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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.


Bretaigne Windust


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

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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


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


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


Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El flautista de Hamelin See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Stanley Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


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./
Pied Piper: Who doesn't know of the Pied Piper?
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Edited into Santa's Fantasy Fair (1969) See more »


The Emissary's Song
Music by Edvard Grieg (adapted from "Arabian Dance" from "Peer Gynt")
Sung by Villagers
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"Modesty forbids another hero of this occasion/Whose wit and wisdom ended the invasion!"
19 April 2009 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Musical television special brimming with good cheer. The small hamlet of Hamelin, where the townspeople are kept working all day under the thumb of their greedy, selfish mayor, are delighted when a magical piper rids their streets of vermin; but, when the mayor reneges on his promise to pay the piper's fee, the musical maestro leads all the children away to a playground beyond the great mountain. Though lacking in musical talent and fine dancing abilities, the large, game cast is quite good. Van Johnson is both hearty and dashing in the dual role of laborer Truson and the Pied Piper, and no man ever looked so good in tights and a feathered cap; Johnson's jolly spirit seems conjured up on the sly, and his smart, sneaky Piper strikes a series of surreptitious poses (and some amusing double takes). Claude Rains as the mayor looks a little uncomfortable in the musical numbers, though Robert Browning's poetry slips naturally off his tongue and he's a wily villain. Jim Backus as the King's Emissary isn't so lucky; though he looks great in his plush pink velour-and-lace costume, his Mr. Magoo-isms don't mesh with the prosy teleplay (and his hamming does him no favors). The Edvard Grieg music is lovely, though the difficult lyrics often stymie the action--and the slapstick comedy doesn't work too well, either. Still, the presentation is a dandy, with handsome sets and costumes, a good build-up of the story, fun celebrations and a happy ending for one and all--with the exception of the rats.

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