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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

Production Co:

Hal Stanley Productions See more »
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

Mayor of Hamelin: You have an invention?
Pied Piper: I attract attention/ Chiefly with a secret charm/ On creatures that do people harm;/ The mole, the toad, the newt and viper./
[Chuckles]
Pied Piper: Who doesn't know of the Pied Piper?
See more »

Connections

Version of Der Rattenfänger von Hameln (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Prestige
Music by Edvard Grieg (loosely adapted from "Lyric Pieces: Melodie", Op. 47)
Lyrics by Irving Taylor
Sung and Danced by Claude Rains, Doodles Weaver, Stanley Adams and Councilors
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Childhood Memory for Me, Too
14 December 2005 | by AustinKatAnneSee all my reviews

The DVD of this movie appeared in a bin for $1 at a one of the chain stores, and as soon as I saw the photo of Van Johnson in that incredible hat, I had to buy it.

My mom had a big crush on Van Johnson so any appearance of his was a must see event - when it was first shown we kids were all gathered around the black & white TV. (Although the show was made in color, we didn't see it that way until later reruns. No one I knew had color television before the mid-sixties.)Certain scenes didn't look too familiar, but others produced a slight chill, reminding me of how spooky those knights on the clock seemed to a kid. (Maybe that's why the medieval clock at Frankenmuth, Michigan was disturbing to me as an adult tourist??) The colors on this particular DVD were bright but not really garish. As a 9 year-old, I was given a copy of the Robert Browning poem with Kate Greenaway illustrations. The original story was a lot simpler, and darker, with no Hollywood ending.

The behavior of the town's government is startlingly relevant for today's world, as the politicians sing about 'Prestige', unfurl long documents full of legal phrases in an attempt to cheat the Piper, show their willingness to accept credit for someone else's work, and refuse to help the neighboring town which has been swept away in a flood. The other town's children are scattered and hungry, but the Mayor and council send a sympathy note on fine vellum instead of food or help.

I don't know if a child of today would sit through the songs, but for the sum of one dollar, you can play it for a child you know and observe their reaction!


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