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|Index||26 reviews in total|
Maybe it's because I grew up with this movie, and am stuck in that age, but I have always found this to be a special and magical movie experience. It was especially so on the big screen when I was 6 years old. We also had the soundtrack box edition on vinyl. So, I rated this movie highly, because I feel it truly was perfection (especially for its day), and needs to be re-discovered by families, and the young-at-heart everywhere. I hate clichés, but they just do not make them like this anymore. This gem should be restored in its full glory, and preserved and brought back to life. Hope you get to enjoy it someday.
Ideally, one would be able to experience this movie as it was originally presented in Cinerama. I know that just about every child who shared that experience was completely enthralled by this movie. But even without the Cinerama presentation, this is still a very enjoyable and imaginative movie. This is one of the most successful live-action fairy tale films. The entire production is rich in color and atmosphere. The effective use of unusual locations and cinematography puts this film in a "one of a kind" category. The screenplays for the fantasy section are very fine and the biographical story is simple but unpretentious and easy to take. What really makes this sprawling fairy tale work is the wonderful cast and acting. This is an enormous international cast and includes humorous and touching performances from many of film's finest character actors. It would be wonderful to have a DVD release with comments from surviving cast members (Russ Tamblyn) and production artists.
An enchanting faerie tale anthology film, couched in a biographical story
that is somewhat less interesting than the stories themselves, which is
perhaps inevitable. There are a lot of stars in a lot of stories -- Russ
Tamblyn shows off some of the fantastic aerobic dancing he displayed in
"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." If only they could have come up with a
more worthy opponent for their lovely stop motion dragon than Buddy Hackett
(who, on the flip side, makes for an unusual ghost).
The writing is good, and there are a lot of really fun scenes. The Cinerama process is used very effectively (wish I could have seen it on the big screen).
You have to be young at heart to relish the film and I enjoyed the visuals
as a child would. You know today that the two brothers wrote on two desks
side by side to accommodate the cinerama screen--yet it looks so much better
visually. It is not great cinema but good cinema of the
Of particular note was the Terry Thomas and Bud Hackett sub-plot which might not appear to be great technically but is funny and heartwarming even today. Laurence Harvey as Wilhelm Grimm (it was difficult to note that was the Cobbler as well) and Martita Hunt as the witch were superb. The German locations were ideal. The art direction and the puppet/animation sequences were really topnotch--who cares if there was a car visible in one shot!
In short, this is an ideal film for family viewing and the studios should consider re-releasing it for school viewing. All the kids today know of Snow White and Cinderella, but how many know of the Grimm brothers or of why Cinderella was called by that name? The film needs imaginative marketing to keep the box office jingling...
While it's been encouraging to see a number of George Pal's sci-fi and
fantasy classics finally come to DVD, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE
BROTHERS GRIMM is one of many still waiting to debut in the digital
format (along with HOUDINI, ATLANTIS: THE LOST CONTINENT, a complete
PUPPETOONS collection, etc..) With Terry Gilliam's new THE BROTHERS
GRIMM film in theaters, it would seem like the timing would be perfect
for such a release.
Although available on VHS for some time, the tape doesn't do the film justice. GRIMM was shot using the three camera/three projector Cinarama process. With cast and crew members such as Russ Tamblyn (who provided commentary for Pal's TOM THUMB DVD) and stop-motion animator Jim Danforth still around, it would be nice to see Pal's fairy tale film get the deluxe DVD treatment, with the insight of surviving participants giving us a behind the scenes look at the making of the movie.
Back when it first was out I never did get around to seeing The
Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm and it should be seen in the
theater rather than a formatted VHS version. This was indeed a film for
which Cinerama was definitely suited.
During the Fifties a whole lot of the Grimm stories were used in a shortlived series hosted by the grown up Shirley Temple entitled Shirley Temple's storybook. I think they were better presented on the big screen.
I'm not sure if these in fact are the real Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm as played by Laurence Harvey and Karl Boehm. Wilhelm is the married one, in fact married to the lovely Claire Bloom, with two small children and it's those kids who keep him interested in German folklore and tales of such. The more serious minded Jacob, scholar, historian, and linguist would like to marry Barbara Eden, but that ain't happening unless the brothers finish the dynastic history they've been commissioned to write by Duke Oscar Homolka. And Jacob can't keep Wilhelm's mind on the business at hand.
The real story of the brothers is merely a plot device on which to hang cinematic presentation of three of the Grimm fairy tales and the presence of a lot of the others during a delirious fever sustained by Laurence Harvey. The regular story is directed by Henry Levin, but George Pal who probably got the biggest budget in his career to utilize in The Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm gets to direct the fairy tale segments.
My favorite is The Singing Bone with Terry-Thomas as the braggadocious knight and Buddy Hackett as his put upon squire and their encounter with a dragon in a cave. That is George Pal and Cinerama at their very best.
Don't expect a whole lot from this film, it's not deep, it was meant for the kid market. And it dates not a bit though with today's computer generated special effects it would be even better if done today.
When I was a kid I would have travelled to the moon if necessary to see
anything in Cinerama and this film was no different. I have not seen it
since '62 or '63 but I can still recall its magic. If I dug hard enough in
old trunks I might even find its 'programme'. Amazing how blockbusters and
special format pics always seemed to have accompanying booklets...or they
did here in NZ at least.
If I was to view this now in some small screen format it might indeed seem corny and clumsy and dull but let me say that in three eye cinerama it was a sumptuous feast for a ten or so year old and I reckon if I was to see it again in those circumstances I would still be spellbound. How could one not be when senses are in sensory overload?
Years later I got to visit the real Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria. I recall it being a bit of a a disappointment compared to the sequences where it featured in this film. Long live Cinerama!
My parents took me to see this movie when it first came out. I was 12. My girlfriend went with our family and she was Mennonite. She didn't have a TV and never went to movies. But her family let her go with us. We were mesmerized by the fantastic stories and the music was excellent. It was action packed and it used a new process called Cinerama, so it felt like you were really there. It stands out in my mind as a wonderful memory. I am now a Grandma and want my 6 year old Granddaughter to see it. I can't imagine the new one being this good. Even though I love Terry Gilliam, it sounds like he has changed the core story and added the latest cutting edge special effects. There is something to be said for 'less is more.'
This is a well made entertaining little movie, told in a wonderful
fairytale kind of way and with a great atmosphere, that makes you feel
like a child again.
This movie had all the potential to become a real great and classic children movie but unfortunately the movie makes some bad choices. The movie can be seen as 4 in one. It features 3 told fairy tales and then there is the storyline regarding the brothers Grimm themselves. The whole story of the brother Grimm is perhaps not the most interesting told one (especially not for children) and its not as wonderful and fairytale like as the actual fairy tales told in this movie. And the brothers Grimm have written some of the most marvelous and best known fairy tales but yet this movie decides to use some lesser known and less great fairy tales ('The Dancing Princess', 'The Cobbler and the Elves' and 'The Singing Bone'). In my opinion it makes the movie a bit of a missed opportunity. It's not a bad movie now but the whole movie gave the feeling it all could had been more entertaining, humorous filled and a bit shorter. The movie had easily could and also should had ended 15 minutes earlier. The movie now needlessly goes on for too long.
The fairy tales are definitely the best told parts of the movie. They flow well, have a fun feeling and atmosphere all over it and all makes you forget your worries for a while. It's kept all perfectly childish and it ensures that it never ever becomes too scary for the young ones.
The movie is filled with some wonderful and lovable characters and they're being played by some good actors. Laurence Harvey and Karlheinz Böhm aren't really believable as brothers, mostly because of their looks and very different accent of course but they're still of course good actors. Some supporting roles are there for Terry-Thomas, Buddy Hackett and Billy Barty among others.
The movie was made filmed in 3-camera Cinerama. Cinerama is the trademarked name for a widescreen process which works by simultaneously projecting images from three synchronized 35 mm projectors onto a huge, deeply-curved screen. So a technique that works only in cinemas. On the small screen it just doesn't look good and it looks like the images on screen are cut in 3 parts but back then movies just weren't made for home release of course.
The movie is good looking. Deliberately campy with its fairytale sequences and good and realistic in its 'real world' sequences. The sets are all nice (Oscar-nom) and so are the costumes (Oscar-win). The stop-motion effects in the movie are all fair looking but it's nothing too impressive really. Wasn't Ray Harryhausen available for this movie?
Good entertainment, for the whole family.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Of this film's three re-enacted fairy tales, I can recall the first
segment's carriage ride and the third segment's dragon cave from when I
was little kid, and I remember loving those parts. Over the decades, I
have tried to figure out which movie had those sequences, but without
success. Finally I happened across this video tape in the library, and
my eyes probably popped out of my head! The librarian gave me a look
that said, "Aren't you a little old for this movie?".
Having watched it now, I am impressed by the extensive use of wonderful German locations, including Neuschwanstein Castle, Rothenburg, and so on. The stop motion animation is a bit cheesy, but in many ways is really very well choreographed...live actors move convincingly around the animated characters. I also wonder what technique was used for the magic cloak of invisibility in the first segment, it looks pretty good.
It seems that only the pan-and-scan version is available on video at this time, and the version I saw had a noticeable pair of vertical lines on either side of the image; I had not realized that the original film was in Cinerama with it's three screen projection - I suppose that those lines are the places where the outer two images merge with the center image. I wonder if they were as visible when viewed on the big screen? Still, there are many good things about this movie, and if one were to edit out just the fairy tale segments to another video, it would be worthwhile for kids.
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