Faerie Tale Theatre (1982–1987)
3 user 2 critic

The Nightingale 

A kitchen maid and a nightingale help save the emperor with the power of song and friendship.



On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... The Emperor
... Music Master
... The Maid
... Prime Minister
... Gardener / Minister
... Gardener (as Chao-Li Chi)
... Imperial Doctor
... Death Spirit
Ellen Wakamatsu ... First Lady of the Court
Susan Haruye ... Second Lady of the Court
... Emperor's Bodyguard
... Pansy
... Primrose
Alberto Isaac ... Servant #1
Maysie Hoy ... Housekeeper


A kitchen maid and a nightingale help save the emperor with the power of song and friendship.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

royalty | bird | See All (2) »





Release Date:

10 May 1983 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The production design was inspired by the work of French artist Edmond Dulac, who had in fact illustrated his own version of the fairy tale. See more »


Version of The Chinese Nightingale (1927) See more »

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User Reviews

Yellowface and wooden acting - a deadly combination
13 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

The Nightingale is a pretty poor episode overall. Aside from the offensive application of yellow face on white actors rather than getting performers of Asian descent to play the parts of the Asian characters (a shameful practice which, sadly, continues even now in some cases), the plotting is poor and the pace is sluggish. They just didn't adapt the original story that well.

The worst part has to be Mick Jagger as the Emperor. The man just cannot act; he is less convincing than the animatronic nightingale serenading him. He is truly wooden and only halfheartedly conveys emotion. That ghoulish Fu Manchu make-up on him only makes his performance all that more unpleasant to watch.

This may be the worst episode of Faerie Tale Theatre. Watch only if you are a Hans Christian Andersen die-hard or a completionist for the show.

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