Employing virtually every prominent Bristish performer of its time, this magical and intoxicating version of the story explores Alice's dizzying adventures in the rabbit hole both faithfully and metaphorically as a coming of age story.
Alice (Fiona Fullerton) falls down a rabbit hole and into a magical dream world populated by surreal characters and bewildering adventures. It's a journey of self-discovery for Alice as she searches for a way out of Wonderland and encounters many bizarre creatures such as the White Rabbit (Michael Crawford), the March Hare (Peter Sellers), the Queen of Hearts (Flora Robson), and the Dormouse (Dudley Moore). Musical highlights include the inspiring song "The Me I Never Knew." Written by
A dialogue scene was filmed between Alice and the Cheshire Cat, with the latter perched in a tree. Although some stills survive the footage itself was cut from the final print and may no longer exist. See more »
When Alice emerges from the pool of tears, seconds after being shoulder-deep in water, she is completely dry. See more »
Please, Mr. Dodgson. Just once more.
See more »
Surreal, often gorgeous film adaption of a literary classic
For those who love the Lewis Carroll book, this film version is one to see. Of the many film adaptations of this classic, this 1972 production stays the most faithful to the book. Events happen in the same way, in the same order, and much of the dialog is taken from the book, verbatim. And this really works, as writer Lewis Carroll had a unique way of playing with, and twisting the English language in delightful ways. Fiona Fullerton portrays well, a different kind of Alice here. This Alice is well into her teens, a fact which I thought would sabotage the production; The Alice from Carroll's book was a young child, around 7 or 8 years old. But the gorgeous Fiona Fullerton plays the part with a perfect measure of wonder and innocence, instead of just being an older person foolishly trying to act like a small child. The film has a haunting, dreamlike quality, a certain surreal atmosphere aided by composer John Barry's pretty background score, which is sad and wistful, and dramatic. There are musical sequences in this film, some work better than others to be sure, as this is far from a perfect film. But the songs seem to get better as the film goes along. The thing that really impressed me is the art design, and costume design. The film makers brilliantly designed much of the costumes and landscapes based on those wonderful lithographs that have always accompanied the book. As children, we tend to look to the illustrations to help us get a better idea of how things and people look as we read along. It is quite amazing to see such images come to life, after existing in the imagination for so long. Not all costumes work, as again, this is an uneven production. However certain characters, the King and Queen of hearts, and the Duchess, the cook, the Frog Footman, and of course, Alice herself, dressed in the gorgeous blue dress with white apron;amazing. For instance, watch the scenes with the living cards in the rose garden, and tell me that wasn't how you pictured it while reading the book all those years ago. It is apparent here that the film makers cared a great deal about the material. Perhaps a few scenes fall a little flat, but the good outweighs the bad here, most definitely. Standout scenes, besides the croquet game in the garden, the crazy dance with Alice and the Griffith and the Tortoise, and Peter Seller's funny turn as the March Hare, whose face was mostly covered by his costume, forcing him to utilize his bulging eyes in a sometime s hilarious fashion. Dudley Moore appeared to be drunk as the sleepy dormouse, which I found hilarious as well. The scene where Alice wanders through the dark forest and comes across the bizarre Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum is strange, even a bit scary, especially when the raven comes and the forest turns still darker. Even though Tweedle Dee And Tweedle Dumm are actually from "Through the Looking Glass", this scene fits well into this tale, and is one of the most effective sequences of them all. But my favorite scene has to be where Alice enters the house of the Duchess, where she is bouncing a baby savagely on her knee while the furious cook makes her pepper soup, stopping only to hurl dishes at everyone around her. Absolutely hysterical! Also worthy of mention is the special effects found here. Alice must continually change size, and this looks amazingly real, especially considering that this was made in 1972, long before CGI effects. The unfortunate thing with this title is that there has yet to be an official DVD release. The only available editions on DVD are of extremely bad quality. I am grateful to have any version of this film, but the DVD features colors that are so washed out that at times, the film seems to be black & white. This is a shame, as color is so important here, with sets that are real eye candy. For an idea of what the film looks like, imagine the "Wizard of Oz". The look of "Alice" is very similar to that one. I imagine a restored version with the vibrant colors brought back would be absolutely eye popping to behold. This must have a cult following, and I believe a proper DVD release would be appreciated by many. Recommended for fans of strange cinema!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?