IMDb > The Pied Piper (1972)
The Pied Piper
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The Pied Piper (1972) More at IMDbPro »

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The Pied Piper -- Very dark and chilling story of a piper who rids an evil hamlet of rats... an interesting comment on humanity during the middle ages.

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Andrew Birkin (written by) &
Jacques Demy (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Pied Piper on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 December 1972 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Come children of the universe, let Donovan take you away, far far away.
Plot:
Greed, corruption, ignorance, and disease. Midsummer, 1349: the Black Death reaches northern Germany... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Neither musical nor children's film but a grim fable See more (11 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Keith Buckley ... Mattio
Patsy Puttnam ... Helga
Arthur Hewlett ... Otto
Paul Hennen ... Karl
Peter Eyre ... Pilgrim

Donovan ... Piper

John Hurt ... Franz
David Leland ... Officer

Michael Hordern ... Melius

Jack Wild ... Gavin
Michael Goldie ... Burger

Diana Dors ... Frau Poppendick
Cathryn Harrison ... Lisa

Peter Vaughan ... Bishop
Andre Van Gyseghem ... Friar
John Falconer ... Priest
Clive Elliott ... Priest

Roy Kinnear ... Burgermaster Poppendick

Sammie Winmill ... Gretel

Donald Pleasence ... Baron
John Welsh ... Chancellor
David Nettheim ... Kulik (as David Netheim)
Gertan Klauber ... Town Cryer
Hamilton Dyce ... Papal Nuncio

Roger Hammond ... Burger
Edwin Brown ... Burger
George Cormack ... Burger
Mary MacLeod ... Maidservant (as Mary McLeod)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Fielder ... Flunky (uncredited)
Sacha Puttnam ... Little Boy (uncredited)

Directed by
Jacques Demy 
 
Writing credits
Andrew Birkin (written by) &
Jacques Demy (written by) &
Mark Peploe (written by)

Robert Browning  poem (uncredited)
Jacob Grimm  fairy tale (uncredited)
Wilhelm Grimm  fairy tale (uncredited)

Produced by
Sanford Lieberson .... producer
Gavrik Losey .... associate producer
David Puttnam .... producer
 
Original Music by
Donovan 
 
Cinematography by
Peter Suschitzky 
 
Film Editing by
John Trumper 
 
Casting by
Mary Selway 
 
Production Design by
Assheton Gorton 
 
Art Direction by
George Djurkovic 
 
Costume Design by
Evangeline Harrison 
 
Makeup Department
Bob Lawrance .... makeup artist (as Bob Lawrence)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Garth Thomas .... first assistant director
 
Sound Department
Tony Jackson .... sound mixer
 
Special Effects by
John Stears .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Roy Larner .... gaffer
Ron Robson .... camera operator
Roy Rodhouse .... best boy
 
Music Department
Kenny Clayton .... conductor (as Kenneth Clayton)
Kenny Clayton .... music arranger (as Kenneth Clayton)
Donovan .... musician: singer
 
Other crew
Zelda Barron .... continuity
John Holmes .... rat trainer
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Iceland:12 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) | USA:G

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Was released after the death of Hamilton Dyce.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Jacquot de Nantes (1991)See more »

FAQ

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Neither musical nor children's film but a grim fable, 2 December 2009
Author: TrevorAclea from London, England

Jacques Demy's The Pied Piper is neither musical (though there are three songs) nor children's film, more an almost resigned fable about the foibles of human nature. The Piper isn't even the main character. Rather it's an ensemble piece, with the town of Hamelin, with all its pettiness and everyday corruptions, that takes centerstage. It's the kind of film that could only have been made in the 70s, set in a vividly realised medieval world that at times threatens to make Monty Python and the Holy Grail look glamorised, though it doesn't revel in the filth or the grotesque. Aside from the travelling players, almost everyone is out for whatever they can get - even Donovan's piper, for all his hippie folkie songs (and there are only three of them) wants a thousand gilders for a spot of pest control he knows won't prevent the plague from coming to Hamelin, while Donald Pleasance's baron won't pay up because he's bankrupting himself buying his way out of Hell by building a cathedral for the Church. The Church would much rather he provided them with troops for another civil war ("The Pope wants a new emperor because the emperor wants a new Pope."). Even the nominal love interest is far from a Disney princess, but the Burgomaster's bored young daughter bartered to the baron's callous son (John Hurt) for political power by her father (Roy Kinnear) and for a bit of adultery with the husband-to-be by her mother (Diana Dors). It's not so much a portrait of superstition versus reason as one of superstition versus superstition with the hint of the seed of reason that may take generations to flower: as Michael Hordern's Jewish alchemist tells his inquisitors, where once he had hoped the world would learn from his discoveries, now he can only hope the world learns from their mistakes.

The film isn't entirely successful by any means, but it's constantly fascinating and even manages not to seem as clumsy as most Euro-puddings - in this case an English picture (one of David Puttnam and Sandy Lieberson's first) directed by a Frenchman and shot in Bavaria on some excellent locations - probably because it keeps the cast almost entirely British so there's no jarring clash of accents. Donovan's not exactly a great actor but he's mostly harmless as the Piper (although his wardrobe isn't terribly pied), though he's infinitely less hopeless than Patsy Puttnam in a thankfully brief role as the player's wife. Jack Wild shows his limitations as the most famous cripple in fairy tales, Richard Eyre has a nice turn as an increasingly disillusioned pilgrim, Peter Vaughn brings the church into disrepute as a pragmatic Bishop and it's strangely appropriate to see John Hurt playing Pleasance's son considering the way his career has evolved into a modern-day Pleasance's as a stock feature in undemanding low-budget movies.

Long out of circulation, Legend's extras-free Region 1 NTSC DVD isn't a great transfer but it's acceptable enough considering the film's rarity and Paramount's disinterest in releasing it themselves. In France the film is available in an English-friendly 10-disc boxed set of Demy's features. Very unusual and worth a look.

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