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The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1957)

Overwhelmed by rats, a medieval town hires a magical piper who can rid the town of the pest in exchange for gold but the crooked mayor has no intention of honoring the deal.

Director:

Bretaigne Windust

Writers:

Robert Browning (poem), Hal Stanley | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Van Johnson ... Pied Piper / Truson
Claude Rains ... Mayor of Hamelin
Lori Nelson ... Mara
Jim Backus ... King's Emissary
Kay Starr Kay Starr ... John's Mother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alan Aaronson Alan Aaronson
Kathie Anderson Kathie Anderson
Les Clark Les Clark
Brian Corcoran Brian Corcoran
Cyril Delevanti
James Elsegood James Elsegood
James Gonzalez
Alex Goudavich Alex Goudavich
Fred Hansen Fred Hansen
Jess Kirkpatrick
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Storyline

The singing, rhyming citizens of Hamelin hope to win a competition with rival towns for royal recognition. To this end, the mayor outlaws play (which is a bit hard on the children) and refuses to help a rival town when it's flooded. But rats (seen only as shadows), fleeing the flood, invade Hamelin in droves; a magical piper, whose music only children (and rats) can hear, strikes a bargain...which, once the rats are gone, the Mayor and council renege on, to their subsequent regret. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now! a giant color spectacle! from the pages of the immortal classics comes this famous story!..


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El flautista de Hamelin See more »

Filming Locations:

USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

They speak of melting gold coin to make bells for the town clock. Gold is too soft to make a bell. To coat a bell with gold, would not require thousands of coins. See more »

Quotes

Pied Piper: A man who's unwise only sees things with his eyes.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Santa's Fantasy Fair (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Feats of the Piper
Music by Edvard Grieg (adapted from "Anitra's Dance" from "Peer Gynt")
Lyrics by Irving Taylor
Sung by Van Johnson and Villagers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Nothing Went Wrong...
12 October 2003 | by NY WhovianSee all my reviews

You can't judge a 1957 TV special by 21st century standards. I saw and loved this when it was first shown, and still love it today, as does my son. Yes, there are slow points, but you've got to remember that this is family fare, so there was a love story to interest the parents along with the magical story to entertain the kiddies. Yes, some of the lyrics could be better, but do we really know what time constraints may have been dogging the creators? I have no problem with Kay Starr's song lamenting the disappearance of her son; it's set to 'Asa's Death' from 'Peer Gynt', so the melody is most appropriate. Maybe the colors are garish; as has been pointed out, that was to make the grey-scale diverse enough to have distinct shades.

Like so many dramatic actors, Claude Rains surprised audiences who never realized he had such a good singing voice. In addition, Doodles Weaver (of Spike Jones fame) and Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones in 'The Trouble with Tribbles') play off each other beautifully. Van Johnson does a lovely job in his dual roles as Truson and the Piper. My favorite moments are the opening, with the Piper slithering down the tree like a snake, and the song 'Prestige' - 'Prestige is the dinner they give you for fun, which they wouldn't have done when you really needed one.' Very clever lyric, that.

Yes, the screenwriters added a happy ending. This was, after all, a family show. Besides, it nicely pointed up the moral and showed that people can repent of poor behavior and become better people.


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