In the tiny kingdom of Euphrania, the King and his court are most anxious to get Prince Edward wed. But Edward wants to marry for love. Meanwhile, young Cinderella finds life drastically ... See full summary »
Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical retelling of the classic fairy tale. Cinderella is a teenage girl forced to do all of the menial tasks in the home she shares with her coldhearted stepmother and homely stepsisters. One day when home alone, Cinderella shares a cup of water with a thirsty and handsome traveler, not realizing until he continues on his journey that he is the crown prince of the kingdom. Shortly thereafter, the king and queen invite every young maiden in the kingdom to a royal ball so that the crown prince can find a girl to marry. Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters go to the ball, leaving Cinderella behind to wish about how her life could be. While she is daydreaming, she is visited by her fairy godmother, who makes it possible for her wishes to come true.Written by
Cinderella runs out of the ball, but as she appears outside, her glass slipper is already there ahead of her. Her yellow stocking feet are bare. She runs past it, then looks down at it. See more »
We are in sight of the towers of home and your father's palace.
It hardly seems like we've been gone for an entire year.
I sent messengers ahead to tell of your arrival.
I am dying of thirst. Let us stop at that cottage.
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Sony's 2002 DVD, possibly sourced from a tape used for a rerun, cut out some of Cinderella's first meeting with Prince Christopher -- specifically, her explanation that her step-family went to town square to see the prince. Shout! Factory's 2014 DVD, sourced from the master tape, restored the full scene, as well as commercial bumpers and station identification. See more »
Famed composers Richard Rodgers And Oscar Hammerstein wrote "Cinderella" as an original television musical (their only one) for young star-in-the-making Julie Andrews. Supported by a cast which included Edie Adams, Howard Lindsay, Dorothy Stickney, Ilka Chase, Kay Ballard, Alice Ghostley and Jon Cypher, it received a tremendous publicity campaign and aired on March 31 1957. At the time, it drew a record number of viewers, although only the East Coast saw the live color broadcast (the rest of the country saw a black-and-white kinescope.) And, due in part to the poor quality of the kinescope, it was not repeated again until 2004.
Meanwhile, in 1964, Rodgers decided to mount a new production himself (Hammerstein had since died) with a new cast and adaptation, replacing the farcial quality of the original with a more traditional version. The result was another ratings smash, and as intended, a television perennial which was repeated for years. This time, the title role was played by young Lesley Ann Warren, who was introduced in this production and began a career which is still going strong today. Stuart Damon (later to gain fame on "General Hospital") played the prince. The supporting cast had Academy Award-winners Celeste Holm, as the fairy godmother, Jo Van Fleet as the stepmother, and Ginger Rogers as the queen. The beloved Walter Pigeon was cast as the king. And, as the two stepsisters Prunella and Esmerelda, were Pat Carroll and Barbara Ruick. Although the story stuck to the familiar fairy tale this time, the original songs were , of course, retained.
What more can be said for this near-perfect treasure? Ms. Warren is simply glorious as Cinderella, her fresh beauty complimented by her sweet singing voice, and Damon is her ideal Prince (Christopher) Charming. Celeste Holm sparkles as the fairy godmother, and she and Warren share one of the best numbers "Impossible/It's Possible". Van Fleet is a beautifully caustic stepmother, and both Carroll and Ruick are outstanding as the step-sisters. Unfortunately, both Rogers and Pigeon have little to do as the king and queen, but they ARE regal in their roles.
There are a couple of drawbacks--although critics at the time praised the "lavish production"; in reality it is done in the manner of a stage show, with sparse (and very basic) settings, and typical television camera-work. But the biggest error was using videotape instead of film for this production. Because of it's limitations, videotape does no justice to a show like this, severely limiting the visual values needed to compliment the other elements. It may be fine for situation comedies, but it was totally wrong for a musical fantasy. It must be admitted, however, that after a few minutes, one gets used to it, but what a difference film would have made! Because this version is the traditional one, it is my favorite of the two, but both are so different in approach and treatment, that each can be enjoyed on their own terms.
Two cast members of the 1965 version were already professionally acquainted with "Cinderella". Walter Pigeon provided the uncredited narration for the 1955 MGM film adaptation "The Glass Slipper" and Barbara Ruick was the daughter of character actress Lurene Tuttle, who played "Cousin Loulou" in the same movie. Another winner, that version featured Leslie Caron as Cinderella.
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