A canine angel, Charlie, sneaks back to earth from heaven but ends up befriending an orphan girl who can speak to animals. In the process, Charlie learns that friendship is the most heavenly gift of all.
Sixteen-year-old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is given thirteen hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother Toby (Toby Froud) when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie).
From a riddle-speaking butterfly (Richard Klein), a unicorn (Mia Farrow) learns that she is supposedly the last of her kind, all of the others having been herded away by the Red Bull. The unicorn sets out to discover the truth behind the butterfly's words. She is eventually joined on her quest by Schmendrick (Alan Arkin), a second-rate magician, and Molly Grue (Tammy Grimes), a middle-aged woman who dreamt all her life of seeing a unicorn. Their journey leads them far from home, all the way to the castle of King Haggard (Sir Christopher Lee).Written by
The horn that Mommy Fortuna created for the Unicorn glows and was located in front of the Unicorn's authentic horn. However, when when the Unicorn says "hurry!" to Schmendrick as he is unlocking her cage, we see that her authentic horn, not Mommy Fortuna's horn, is the one that's glowing. See more »
I dislike the feel of this woods. Creatures that live in a unicorn's forest learn a little magic of their own in time. Mainly concerned with disappearing.
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There are two different versions of the film. One is found the VHS/DVD edition (which is found on both the initial 2004 DVD release and the 2007 25th Anniversary DVD release), the other is the theatrical version which is the same as the 1983 HBO version. There are numerous differences between the two:
In the theatrical/HBO version, after Prince Lir fights the dragon, the film cuts to the scene where King Haggard confronts Amalthea on the tower and tells her he knows she is a unicorn. The film then cuts back to when Prince Lir tries to give Amalthea the dragon hide. In the VHS/DVD version, after Lir fights the dragon the film cuts back to Lir trying to give Amalthea the dragon hide. The Amalthea/King Haggard tower scene occurs much later.
The theatrical/HBO version omits the song "Now That I'm a Woman," although the song does appear in reprise form in "That's All I've Got To Say".
In the theatrical/HBO version, the dragon has a much louder roar than in the VHS/DVD version.
The VHS/DVD version omits several words. The first word missing is the word "Damn", which is heard during Molly Grue's exclamation to the Unicorn upon meeting her. In the theatrical version, she says, "Damn you! Where have you been?", but in the VHS/DVD version, she says, "Where have you been?" The word "damn" is also missing from the scene where Prince Lir is struggling to compose a poem to Amalthea in a stairwell. Additionally, the word " hell" is absent from the scene where Mommy Fortuna pulls the caravan over to look at the Unicorn and then calls Ruhk. In the theatrical version he replies with "Now just what in hell was that stop for?" The VHS/DVD version has "Now just what was that stop for?"
In the VHS/DVD version, the Unicorn's attempts to see if the Butterfly can identify her are more drawn out. For instance, the Unicorn asks, "Do you know who I am?" and the butterfly blithely replies, "Excellent! Well, you're a fishmonger!" He also surfs on a leaf singing, "Take the A-Train".
In the VHS/DVD version, Ruhk goes into deeper description of the Satyr and the Midgard Serpent. He also yells at Schmendrick to stay away from the Unicorn's cage.
In the VHS/DVD version, Mommy Fortuna has an extra line, explaining her need to prove to herself a competent witch: "I quit show-business first! Do you think I don't know what the true witchery is, just because I do what I do? There's not a witch in the world hasn't laughed at Mommy Fortuna and her homemade horrors! But there's not one of them who would have dared..."
In the VHS/DVD version, Schmendrick cast an additional spell in which he burns his hands after trying to turn the bars "into old cheese which I crumble in my hands!" This spell is only hinted at in the original version, in Amalthea's nightmare.
In the VHS/DVD version, Schmendrick's scene with the amorous female tree is extended, with the tree spouting, "Always! Always! Faithfulness beyond any man's deserving! I will keep the color of your eyes when no other in the world remembers your name! There is no immortality, but a tree's love!"
In the VHS/DVD version, King Haggard's line is extended to "I can see no reason at all to replace him with some vagrant, nameless, clownish..." Originally, the line had ended at "replace him."
In the VHS/DVD version, a scene is added with Schmendrick is in the clock room, pondering the riddle, cracking a joke, "I wonder what time it is?" He hides from Lir and Amalthea walking in, when Lir comments, "Well, of course you're of noble birth. Anybody can see that. I mean, you really can't be, heh, that ridiculous magician's niece. It's out of the question."
In the VHS/DVD version, there are more shots of Haggard spying on Amalthea and Lir from a higher tower location.
In the VHS/DVD version, the scene with the Skull is extended as well. It also takes more time to describe how to pass through the clock, with Schmendrick cracking, "Walk through a clock? What do I look like, a magician?" The Skull also gets drunk, slurring, "You're more of a magician than I took you for!"
I saw this movie in theaters when I was a kid. I didn't see it again for the longest time until I found it on video recently. I rented it and was instantly reminded of what a wonderful movie this is. I bought my own copy a week later. It's one of the few book-to-movie translations that actually stays true to the spirit of the book. Probably due to the fact that Peter S. Beagle wrote the screenplay. A must-see. Gotta love that theme song!
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