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FairyTale: A True Story (1997)

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In 1917, two children take a photograph, which is soon believed by some to be the first scientific evidence of the existence of fairies.



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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Salkey ...
James Collins
Lara Morgan ...
Adam Franks ...
Adrian Doyle
Denis Doyle
Houdini's Assistant
John Bradley ...
Portly Gentleman
Florence Hoath ...
Leonard Kavanagh ...
Stage Manager
Elizabeth Earl ...
Wounded Corporal


Based on factual accounts, this is the story of two young girls that, somehow, have the ability to take pictures of winged beings... which certainly causes quite a stir throughout England during the time of the first World War. Everyone, except the girls who think it's quite normal, are excited about this "photographic proof" that fairies exist... even the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini pay the girls a visit. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fairy Tale: A True Story  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,515,323 (USA) (24 October 1997)


$14,036,249 (USA) (9 January 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The last film of Don Henderson. See more »


Judith: Is it true all Africans are cannibals?
Frances Griffiths: I've never met one. Do you have anymore stupid questions?
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See the Conquering Hero Comes
from "Judas Maccabeus"
Composed by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
Arranged by Christopher Blood
Performed by the combined brass ensembles of St. Peter's & St. Oliver's Schools, York
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User Reviews

As Harry Houdini says...
10 December 2004 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

..."I see only joy here." No truer words can be evoked to describe the purpose and effect of this beautiful film.

Charles Sturridge ('Brideshead Revisited' and 'A Handful of Dust') has assembled a cast that would be the envy of many other top flight producers and directors embarking upon a "serious" film. That is not to say this isn't a serious film, it is. It is marketed for children, naturally, but it has deeper levels that challenge the adult mind far beyond what one normally encounters in films directed towards adult audiences.

The quality of this script attracted such great actors as Peter O'Toole (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Harvey Keitel (Harry Houdini), Bill Nighy, Phoebe Nicholls, Paul McGann and a slew of other well-known British actors. You might also take note of Mel Gibson in an uncredited cameo at the very end.

Sturridge and his team of writers has come up with something beguilingly profound, flowing quietly beneath the simple story of two little girls who have managed to photograph fairies at the bottom of the garden. This is based on the famous "scandal" of the early 20th century when a similar event took place, only in the film the photographs are pronounce authentic whereas in the actual event in England the "experts" proved the photographs to be false. But the film does not pretend to represent the actual events but moves beyond them to a more fundamental issue of out times.

There is nothing "twee" about this movie either and it could have easily become mawkish and sugar-sweet in less committed hands.

I am left, after viewing this film, with Shakespeare's words ringing in my head... "there is far more in heaven and earth than meets [our] little philosophy."

In this blighted age of science and money-worship it is good to be reminded that we limit ourselves through our cynical prejudices and need to have everything proved scientifically, usually for profit.

When the condition of our lives and society has got you all blocked up, watch this little gem and weep for everything that has been lost to us. You will feel better afterward.

I will stop this commentary abruptly now by recommending 'Fairy Tale' to one and all. And get out the Kleenex box before you begin.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does anyone believe in faeries? enchanteddreamer
Not exactly a "true story" laterosenoonvale
Here are the original pictures by the real girls..... tracy3185
Whether you are a believer or a non-believer... psychedelically
I Live there! willthematrixhacker
Question about Mel Gibson.. katjamats
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