When 'Cinderella (1957) (TV)' aired on 31 March 1957, it was watched by more than 107 million people. By comparison, if the show had been presented in one of New York's largest theaters, the 3,000 seat City Center, it would have taken 80 years, at eight performances a week, to reach an audience of the same size. See more »
When performing the duet with the Queen of the reprise of "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?", Jon Cypher as the Prince, accidentally sings a line of the song that was meant to be sung by the Queen, played by Dorothy Stickney. This occurs after he sings the line "Do I want you because you're wonderful?" The camera shifts to the Queen and you can see her open her mouth to sing her line "Or is she wonderful because you want her?" but she remains silent when the Prince goes ahead and mistakenly sings the line from his point of view. According to the interview with Jon Cypher on the DVD release, he didn't realize that he had made the mistake of singing over Dorothy Stickney's line until it was too late, and because it was during a live broadcast, there was nothing either of them can do. If you listen closely, you can also hear that at that point, the orchestra has to catch up with Jon's singing to make up for the mistake. See more »
Back in the golden age of television, when TV specials were just that, waiting for the broadcast of a show like "Cinderella" was truly an anticipated event. Add the names of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Star-in-the-making Julie Andrews, and you have an entertainment milestone! This was the celebrated songwriters only musical especially written for television, and it is a classic. The project was specifically intended to showcase Andrews (then appearing on broadway in "My Fair Lady"). The hand-picked cast included Ilka Chase as the stepmother, Edie (here billed as Edith) Adams as the fairy godmother, and broadway Stars Howard Lindsay and his wife, Dorothy Stickney as the king and queen. A newcomer, John Cypher, later to gain fame on ''Hill Street Blues'' was cast as the prince, and up and coming comedians Alice Ghostley and Kaye Ballard played the stepsisters. Because this was before the advent of videotape, the production was kine scoped while being broadcast live, although the original color kine scope was lost. Julie Andrews may look somewhat matronly (even at 21) to be Cinderella, but her lovely voice and star quality carry her through. Fans of "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound Of Music" will be pleasantly surprised to see how vulnerable she can be. Cypher is a suitable prince, with a good voice, while Adams is pushing a bit too hard as the godmother. Ilka chase, as the stepmother, and Ghostley and Ballard as the stepsisters are more silly than wicked. In all fairness though, this version was written more as a modern take off on the fairy tale, while the 1965 remake returned to the mood of the traditional story. The sets and costumes are rather cut-rate, somewhere between medieval and '50s modern, but they get by. Andrews is really the reason to see this, and it did attract a record audience at the time. The DVD is a treat with a remastered black-and white picture which, while not perfect, is good enough. There are several nice extras, including a documentary with Andrews, Cypher, Adams and Ballard reminiscing about the making of the production. Either for historic or entertainment reasons, "Cinderella" is well worth having. It's not every day you can watch a star being born.
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