This 1955 musical production of the classic children's tale made history as the first Broadway musical adapted to TV with the entire cast and crew intact. Join Peter and his friends in ... See full summary »
Peter Pan, the kid who doesn't want to grow up, arrives at the Darling home searching for his shadow. He meets the Darling children and takes them to Never-Never Land, where they will fight against Capt. Hook and his pirate ship and crew. At the end the children will be back in their warm beds.Written by
The original Broadway production of "Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" by J.M. Barrie opened at the Empire Theater on November 6, 1905, ran for 223 performances, closed on May 20, 1906 and starred Maude Adams, a stage actress who never made any films, and should not be confused with the model-turned-actress Maud Adams. See more »
After the climactic fight with the pirates, Peter and the Lost Boys hoist a flag aboard the Jolly Roger. For the UK release of the film, the flag is the Union Jack; in the US version, this shot is replaced with one of the Stars and Stripes. See more »
Peter Pan---An Enchanting Silent Film For All Ages
After watching the Kino DVD of PETER PAN, I was delighted to have this most charming of silent films finally available in a quality video release.
The picture quality, which was subtly tinted amber and blue, will disappoint no one, although it looked more like a really good 16mm print than a 35mm to me. Perhaps I'm spoiled because I've never seen the film in any gauge but 35mm. A great deal of the magic in PETER PAN was supplied by cinematographer James Wong Howe. Scenes that could have been foolish in other hands became enchantment in his.
The actors are magically believable in their parts. Betty Bronson, who convincingly plays a child although we never forget that she's really a grownup woman, gives a performance that is unusually `fey' and she seems to have fully developed every muscle in her face that can cause an adorable look to radiate to the viewer. Ernest Torrence as Captain Hook will remind everyone of their grandfather while he comically menaces Peter and the Lost Boys, but remains the perfect gentleman with Wendy------complete with courtly bowing and a flourish of his handkerchief .
The animals in Never-Never Land are children in marvelously expressive fur costumes who look like stuffed animals come to life. But the largest and most expressive of all is Nana, the canine nurse maid for the Darling Children who will amaze everyone with her anthropomorphic gestures. She (played by George Ali) is the delight of the film.
PETER PAN is filled with magical touches that never seem to go too far or become foolish. Peter's heart to heart talk with the crocodile when they conspire to "get" Captain Hook was one of my favorites, as were the mermaids on the beach. The only point that has ever bothered me is at the end when Peter actually stabs and kills two of the pirates. Somehow I thought this was out of place and brought too much realism to a light hearted fairy tale. But this is very minor nit-picking of an otherwise flawless silent film.
Phil Carli's score works perfectly and has a "turn of the century, concert in the park on a Sunday afternoon" feel to it. It wouldn't have worked with many silent films, but for PETER PAN it was marvelous------a tribute to Carli's ability to match a narrative theme with it's programmatic musical compliment.
The "value ads" are production stills from the film along with a poster and lobby card. There are also interviews with Esther Ralston (one video and three audio), who plays Mrs. Darling. The things she has to say about Louis B. Mayer are more than just interesting.
A title card at the very beginning tells the audience that the acting may seem whimsical to an adult but that "all the characters are seen with a child's outlook on life.....even to the adults in the story. Pull the beard on a pirate and you would find the face of a child." So for 102 minutes, clap your hands and pretend you believe in fairies.
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