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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Marianne Christina Schilling,
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A prince, seeking the greatest treasure, stumbles upon seven little men guarding a coffin. They tell him the story of Snow White, a beautiful princess who was forced to run away from home after her jealous stepmother tried to have her killed. When she realizes that the girl is still alive and living with the dwarfs, she sets out to destroy her only rival once and for all. Written by
Max Vaughn/Reid Taylor
To save money, the Cannon Movie Tales were shot two or three at a time. "Snow White" was shot simultaneously with Beauty and the Beast (1987). This wasn't the best of situations in that often the two crews would be competing for limited equipment, costumes, and sets. See more »
When Snow White begins walking through the forest after being spared by the huntsman, she is seen wearing a ribbon in her hair. In one shot, it is seen falling out, and in the next it re-appears. See more »
Let's get down to the meat of the review, shall we? I think we all know the story of Snow White well enough to skip the summary.
First, let's get the negative over with. Here are the movies bad points: 1: The King's fate. Snow White and her father were extremely close. The movie made an effort to point it out. Then Snow White begs the huntsman not to kill her, and she'll run away in the forest and never come back. The king is told his beloved daughter is dead, and is so heartbroken, he goes into battle, and dies. How unfair! Snow White should have come back and told her father of the queen's scheme, regardless of what she told the huntsman.
2: The 'extraordinary band of tiny little men', with the exception of Billy Barty. They weren't endearing, they just sort of all blended together into one dirty, annoying mass. They seemed more concerned about Snow White as a servant than a family member, and I never could remember who was who, due to the rhyming names. Plus, most of them had the personality of rocks.
3: The Queen's costumes! I only saw one that I half-way liked, and the rest were either blah or hideous. Don't even get me started on some of the headdresses! There were so many costume changes, I can't believe they couldn't impress me just once.
4: Some scenes dragged on too long, and some weren't even needed. Take for instance, Snow White's flight through the woods as a child. It just kept going and going, with no real action, except a confusing encounter with a wild dog, and could have been cut into half, at least. Even as a child, at the height of my fascination with fairy tales, I found the scene boring. There are a few others, but I think you get the idea.
On the plus side: 1: The adult Snow White, played by Sarah Patterson. Not only could I easily believe she was the fairest in the land, she had the character of Snow White down as well. Kind and innocent to a fault, as well as dignified and graceful, not to mention industrious and cheerful. There was a subtle sensual quality to her, a young woman on the verge of blooming.
2: The Prince. He didn't have a lot of air time, but the actor did a lot with it. Handsome and Verile, with a strong singing voice and a soulful quality, it's not hard to see why Snow White went off with him so quickly. Most of the time, I'm rolling my eyes when the prince declares his love, (even as a kid) but in this case, I just go: 'Awww.' 3: Snow White's parents. There was a natural, sweet chemistry between them, both of them fine actors. The king's grief upon her passing was heart wrenching. Usually, in fairy tales, life and death is a light matter, but the movie managed to convey the importance of such a final event without getting depressing.
4: The sets! From Snow White's lavish childhood bedroom, to the drawn's rustic, cozy cottage, there is nothing but top-notch quality. You believe you have been transported to this fairy tale world, and not once are you jarred from story moment.
Everything that I have not mentioned, falls into the average category.
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