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Willa: An American Snow White (1998)

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Willa places the ancient "Snow White" story in a realistic America setting about 1915. The jealous queen is Regina Worthington, an aging beauty whose stage career has soured. Snow White is ... See full summary »


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Title: Willa: An American Snow White (TV Movie 1998)

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Credited cast:
Jonny Elkes ...
Mark Jaster ...
Floyd King ...
Chief Tonka
John Neville-Andrews ...
Caitlin O'Connell ...
Sammy Ross ...
Billy Bugg


Willa places the ancient "Snow White" story in a realistic America setting about 1915. The jealous queen is Regina Worthington, an aging beauty whose stage career has soured. Snow White is her beautiful and talented stepchild Willa. The cottage of the seven dwarves has been changed into a traveling medicine show run by a failed Shakespearean actor named Dr. Alfonzo and his two odd-ball companions a flamboyant Irish Indian called Chief Tonka, and a dancing dwarf named Billy Bug. They sell Chief Tonka's Elixir of Life a highly alcoholic concoction that is supposed to reverse aging. Written by Anonymous

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Did You Know?


Mark Jaster plays Otto, a name reminiscent of his mime act from the stage: "O the Fool," which involved sight gags based around the letter O. See more »


Willa: [revived by the Elixir of Life] That stuff tastes really awful!
See more »

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User Reviews

Charming and different
5 April 2005 | by (Takoma Park, MD) – See all my reviews

I saw this on PBS a few years ago on a Christmas afternoon and my family and I were entranced and delighted. This is the familiar story transported to the American South in what seem to be the 1920s. The evil stepmother is an embittered and insanely jealous stage actress, the stepdaughter is lovely and talented, and the seven dwarfs have been replaced with a traveling medicine show. It's simultaneously down-to-earth and darker; the stepmother's fate is rather gruesome.

This is part of a series of classic fairy tales directed by Tom Davenport, all re-set in rural America. I haven't seen the rest but if they're as good as this film then they'll be worth checking out. Davenport is going to be honored by the American Film Institute soon and I also understand that the whole series will be available on a DVD set, which I may have to get as soon as I can!

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