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Alice In Wonderland [DVD]


Price: £4.33 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Alice In Wonderland [DVD] + Alice's Adventures In Wonderland [DVD] + Alice Through The Looking Glass [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Charlotte Henry, Richard Arlen, William Austin, Gary Cooper, W.C. Fields
  • Directors: Norman Z. McLeod
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 24 May 2010
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IN7YQO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,882 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and W.C. Fields star in this 1933 Paramount Studios adaptation of the classic children's novels 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass' by Lewis Carroll. When Alice (Charlotte Henry) steps through a mirror, she finds herself in an enchanted land where - among many other colourful characters and experiences - chess pieces come to life, a hookah-smoking caterpillar shows her how to change sizes by eating pieces of mushroom, a baby changes into a pig and a Cheshire Cat dissolves into thin air.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on 6 April 2010
Format: DVD
I first encountered this version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND back in the early 1960s when I was home from school recovering from a bad cold. In those days your local TV station would show morning movies before the game shows started. I only saw it that one time until many years later but I never forgot some of the imagery. It may not be Lewis Carroll's ALICE (no movie ever is) but it does create a world of its own which is its strongest selling point. It actually plays better today than in 1933 for with few exceptions (W.C. Fields, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper), no one remembers the other stars (aside from Charlotte Henry best known as Bo-Peep in Laurel & Hardy's BABES IN TOYLAND) and so they can be viewed as characters not stars under heavy make-up. The adaptation by Joseph L. Mankiewicz retains most of Carroll's original dialogue and is more THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS than ALICE. It flows very nicely between the two books and at 77 minutes seems just right. As has been noted elsewhere the film was originally 90 minutes but the missing footage deals with the real world so it probably isn't missed too badly. The question is why was it cut.

For reasons that have never been fully explained or understood, the film has been out of circulation for years (even from TV showings) and was never officially released until now to cash in on the Tim Burton adaptation (just as Sherlock Holmes movies have reappeared in time for Robert Downey Jr's version). That's how the game is played. The cover has even been colorized to hide the fact from most people that the film is in black & white. The production design by the legendary William Cameron Menzies uses black and white to good advantage as does Bert Glennon's photography so fortunately no attempt was made to colorize the film for this release.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dean Richards on 21 Mar. 2010
Format: DVD
I love this movie. and yes i've read the books. if you love old black and white 30's movies you'll love this adaptation the best. there's just something about surrealism in B&W that is so haunting and memorable. Charlotte Henry is just wonderful and many of the scenes from the book like the tea party, Humpty Dumpty, and particularly the Tweedles are very faithful. don't hesitate to get a copy of this right away before it becomes hard to get again. a must own for any 'Alice' fan.
James Johnston
the real 'Alice' fan
(Dean just has the account)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 16 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Curiouser and curiouser doesn't even begin to describe Paramount's lavish 1933 version of Alice in Wonderland. Few films of the Golden age can boast quite so impressive a roll-call of talent both in front of and behind the cameras: while stars like Richard Arlen, Leon Errol, Edna May Oliver, Ned Sparks, Charlie Ruggles, Sterling Holloway, Jack Oakie, Baby LeRoy and May Robson may have faded, there's still Cary Grant as the Mock Turtle, Edward Everett Horton as the Mad Hatter, Gary Cooper as the White Knight and W.C. Fields as Humpty Dumpty and a screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and legendary production designer William Cameron Menzies, a score by Dimitri Tiomkin and direction by Norman Z. McLeod. How could it miss? Surprisingly easily...

To be fair, the film is nowhere near the disaster of its reputation: intended to save Paramount from toppling into bankruptcy by roping almost all their major contract players into one film regardless of whether they were right for the film or not, the reviews were mixed - with many, like Variety's, incredibly savage - and the box-office poor, with Paramount cutting the film by some 13 minutes shortly after previews (it's the shorter version that's made it to DVD). It didn't endear itself to fans of Lewis Carroll by combining both Wonderland and the Looking Glass and not being especially faithful to either, while star spotters will have their work cut out by the grotesque masks and heavy makeup they wear - so heavy that you wonder why they didn't just have the actors dub the dialogue over standins. Few make much impression, though Cooper shines through his Don Quixote makeup to give a surprisingly good turn as the elderly doddering knight who can't stay on his horse and who sounds oddly like a geriatric Groucho Marx.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Swales on 10 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Brilliantly directed by Norman Mc Cleod, shot in monochrome, and released in 1933, Charlotte Henry beautifully portrays Alice's innocence and wonderment as she learns each life's lesson and gains confidence in herself, facing and conquering her inner fears on her journey of gay abandonment through the surreal Radula space that is Wonderland.

The direction is witty and fast-paced and Norman Mc Cleod's direction creates many interesting juxtapositions on the story - beginning with the opening winter scene from 'Through the looking glass' and not the May boat ride and picnic one normally anticipates.

On the journey there are some fabulous cameo performances from such notables as Gary Cooper, WC Fields, and Ford Sterling; and Edna May Oliver as The Red Queen is just the best; but the cameo that shines out for my family was the wonderful pathos infused by Cary Grant as The Mock Turtle.

His unrestrained rendition of `Beautiful Soup' (sung to the tune of `Star of the Evening') is one of the best I have ever seen (well on a par with Gene Wilder's brilliantly sentimental take on the deeply troubled character reminiscing his lost childhood and absent family) and as Alice digests the moral of the importance of respect and family values, she in turn helps the Mock Turtle release his deep sorrow in an explosive and unexpected outburst of grief that had us all in tears (we had to pause the film to recover - that is how wonderful it was).

Another very clever aspect is that the sets and the actions and motions of the characters accurately represent Tenniel's immortal illustrations - utterly brilliant!
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