A musical version of the classic story about a miller's daughter who recieves help from a mischievous dwarf, then ends up over her head. Now, she and a mute servant girl may be the only ...
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Dame Diana Rigg (TV's "The Avengers"), Billy Barty ("Willow") and Sarah Patterson ("The Company of Wolves") as Snow White star in this feature-length, live-action, musical version of the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.
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In Europe several several centuries ago, a group of prisoners about to be executed are freed as part of the celebration of the upcoming marriage of the emperor's daughter, Princess Gilda, ... See full summary »
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A musical version of the classic story about a miller's daughter who recieves help from a mischievous dwarf, then ends up over her head. Now, she and a mute servant girl may be the only hope for her baby son, John. Written by
Kicks the Cannon Movie Tale film series to a pretty good start
While not the best of the Cannon Movie Tale films (Hansel and Gretel), it's not the weakest either (The Emperor's New Clothes). Instead it sits comfortably in the middle, and serves as a pretty good start.
Rumpelstiltskin is less than perfect (none of the Cannon Movie Tale films are, with the flaws varying in number and size for each). The Cannon Movie Tale films all had low budgets, which while rarely showing in the photography nearly always showed in the costumes for example. This is true for Rumpelstiltskin too, while nicely photographed the production is rather dimly lit, the sets are flat in colour and are the sort that were constructed on the lowest amount a shoe-string budget can get and the costumes (apart from an appropriate one and some effectively grotesque make-up for Rumpelstiltskin) are shoddy.
Like The Emperor's New Clothes and to a lesser extent The Frog Prince, Rumpelstiltskin also suffers from a story which, while great and nicely done in its own right, feels even when padded too short to suit a feature length film, some of the first half especially drags and has scenes going on longer than they need to. And while most of the songs are enjoyable, though not the strongest set from a Cannon Movie Tale production, one does miss big-time and that is, despite Clive Revill's enthusiasm and fine voice, the embarrassingly weird and not particularly necessary (seeing as it adds very little to what we already know about the King, and it seemed only to be there for convenience) I'm Greedy. John Moulder-Brown is very charming as the Prince, but doesn't have an awful lot to do and the character is not developed all that much.
The rest of the songs, a nice mix of bright and breezy and nostalgic pathos, do work nicely, with Queen of the Castle and Miller's Daughter being the highlights, and the incidental score is whimsical and characterful. The script is wonderfully witty in places, especially with the King and Rumpelstiltskin, and balances the serious parts of the story well without being too dark or heavy. The story is very padded, is not always successfully executed and there are liberties, but the whole basic story, characters and events are present and correct, and with an easy balance of the fun, the emotional, the charming and the creepy on the most part. The characters help make the film engaging and it's competently directed and staged throughout.
Of all the performances from a uniformly solid cast, Billy Barty steals the show as a truly grotesquely creepy and very entertainingly performed Rumpelstiltskin while Clive Revill matches him closely in a riotous turn as the hilariously pompous King. Priscilla Pointer is wonderfully snobbish, Robert Symonds plays the miller nobly and Amy Irving beguiles and affects as the heroine of the story (she acquits herself very well as a singer too), and shares an easy-going chemistry with Barty and Moulder-Brown in particular. Overall, a pretty good start for Cannon Movie Tales. 6.5/10 Bethany Cox
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