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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Release of this Little Gem, 3 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Cinderella [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
The most famous version of "Cinderella" at the date of this production must have been Disney's exquisite movie. It is a Herculean task to better that one, but, Hammerstein wrote, "Impossible things are happening everyday", which ethos may well have been in the writer's mind, especially as they have the current mega Broadway star Julie Andrews in the lead. The story of "Cinderella" is a simple one and it was a right decision of Rodgers's and Hammerstein's to avoid conflation. They conform to the traditional story, taking no more liberty than such as a little blowing-up of the character of the Fairy Godmother, comparable to the little cat-and-mice antic which had successfully enlivened Disney's version. What was created is even more musical than Disney's, and magically so in every sense. Per arias in operas the songs convey wonderfully emotional dimensions. The character of Cinderella is established as a dreamer - which it is tempting to suppose an indebtedness to Disney's - in no other more means than songs. Even more so than in the celebrated "The Sound of Music", the lyrics are remarkably expressive, yet so simple that you could almost really believe they are improvised. The music carries the same graceful and elegant air as in Disney's film, only, without the more sinister moments, even more dreamlike. The libretto is quite incidental, and the rooms (or room?) in which it was all performed are clearly strait, not least that the quality of the film is quite dire even for the 1950s. But the glorious music does whatever is left undone by the book, particularly when one of their performers - all of whom are excellent - is none less than Julie Andrews, and her radiance and liveliness, along with the excellent supporting cast, produce the sheen in lieu of the black-and-white filming and subdued set and costume of this little gem.

It is a pity this little gem is not released outside Region 1. I cannot recommend buying a new player just for it, but the DVD, though not gloriously produced, is done well. There is an introduction to the film by Julie Andrews. The glimpse of how much lovelier it would be in colour, and how fresh the young Julie Andrews really looked is provided in a nice gallery of production photographs and publicity materials. A featurette on the original production is informative. Rodgers's and Hammerstein's promotional appearance on a TV show is also included, in which I met the wonderful duo behind "The Sound of Music" for the first time and in which Rodgers conduct an orchestra and Hammerstein recite the lyrics to a taster of the music for the show.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable live television "one take" musical, 23 May 2009
By 
Mr. I. D. Baldwin (Englansd]]) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinderella [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Shot in one take when broadcast live across America in the 1950's on their early color system.

Unfortunately there were no colour video recorders at the time so this is a black and white filmed off screen copy (let us hope from a colour monitor then perhaps the wizards at the BBC can do a "dad's army restoration" on it). This was made only for Rodgers & Hammerstein's private archive but has now been shared with the world.

Don't expect brilliant special effects - this is very early TV - just great singing. If you love Panto's you'll love this.

I feel privileged to have watched a part of TV history.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing production, 17 Jun. 2009
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Angela Buckler "yelly hippo" (Ealing, London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinderella [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I was pleasantly surprised by this dvd. Considering this was a show which originated in 1957, I was very impressed by the production.It was amazing to think it had been transmitted live as it was quite a complex show. It ran exactly like a stage pantomime and my only disappointment was that it had not been archived in colour.

Angela Buckler
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars julie rules :D, 7 July 2014
By 
Brabant Johan (belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinderella [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
very nice thanx :-)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it, 9 Sept. 2014
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B. pett (london uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinderella [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
V good
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