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The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1957)

TV Movie  |  Unrated  |   |  Musical, Family, Fantasy  |  26 November 1957 (USA)
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Reviews: 22 user | 2 critic

The singing, rhyming citizens of Hamelin hope to win a competition with rival towns for royal recognition. To this end, the mayor outlaws play (which is a bit hard on the children) and ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Pied Piper / Truson
Lori Nelson ...
King's Emissary
Kay Starr ...
John's Mother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alan Aaronson
Kathie Anderson
Les Clark
Brian Corcoran
Cyril Delevanti
James Elsegood
James Gonzalez
Alex Goudavich
Fred Hansen
Jess Kirkpatrick


The singing, rhyming citizens of Hamelin hope to win a competition with rival towns for royal recognition. To this end, the mayor outlaws play (which is a bit hard on the children) and refuses to help a rival town when it's flooded. But rats (seen only as shadows), fleeing the flood, invade Hamelin in droves; a magical piper, whose music only children (and rats) can hear, strikes a bargain...which, once the rats are gone, the Mayor and council renege on, to their subsequent regret. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

repentance | based on story | See All (2) »


Now! a giant color spectacle! from the pages of the immortal classics comes this famous story!..


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 November 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El flautista de Hamelin  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


They speak of melting gold coin to make bells for the town clock. Gold is too soft to make a bell. To coat a bell with gold, would not require thousands of coins. See more »


Pied Piper: As a rule / I refrain from calling any man a fool. Heed me now. / I'll wait until yon clock strikes the hour. / Don't let me go away / Without my pay.
See more »


Version of Hamelín (1969) See more »


In The Hall of the Mountain King
Music by Edvard Grieg
Orchestral arrangement adapted from Grieg's music for "Peer Gynt"
Performed onscreen by Van Johnson (dubbed by an anonymous flute soloist)
with offscreen orchestra conducted by Pete King
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of my favorites growing up...
27 September 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie on TV when it first came on (I was about 5) and it ranked right up there with Cole Porter's ALADDIN as an immediate favorite. I remember having the record album (which had expanded versions of some of the Grieg songs, including the WEDDING DAY AT TROLDHAUGEN, a wonderful piano piece adapted for the mounting of the gold chimes that the corrupt mayor - Claude Rains - had fashioned by melting down the guilders in the town treasury!) When I was in high school I saw this film again and tracked down the Grieg selections which are not just from the Peer Gynt Suites as another commenter wrote but spanned the Piano Concerto - which became one of my favorites as a result - the above mentioned "WEDDING DAY", and many of the sections of the Peer Gynt Suites as well.

While today I see the tremendous limitations of this film and would not expect today's children to suspend their belief and enter this world like I did when I first saw it, it had a real effect on me and I'm glad to be able to see it again from time to time. I don't see Kay Starr's lament to the tune of Ase's Death as a "torch song" as suggested by an earlier commenter...I remember seeing this again, as a young teenager in the mid-60's and being very moved by that song, sung after the piper lured the children into the mountain. (I also remember how MAD I was once when it was shown on New York local TV and the song - and ONLY that song - was CUT).

Now, I see the complete lack of credibility of the ending - not only did the children come home, but the corrupt mayor was deposed in favor of the forthright school master, played in a double role by Van Johnson who also was the Piper - and then joined in the resultant gaiety by playing a tune from the Piper's flute instead of being hauled off in CHAINS like one would expect...oh well.

Perhaps there is one five, six or seven-year-old who will see and hear this and it will spark his curiosity and interest as it did mine. Given the jaded nature of today's youth, mixed with the decidedly dated nature of this as a movie and a musical, I'm not holding my breath. Still, it joins "THE MUSIC MAN" (the ORIGINAL with Robert Preston) and the Alastair Sim "CHRISTMAS CAROL" as one of my three childhood favorite movies.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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