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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely delightful anarchic fairytale
Peau D'Ane/Donkey Skin is an unexpected delight. Jacques Demy's fairytale musical has one of the most gorgeous uses of color ever seen thanks to Ghislain Coquet's photography and the sumptuous visual design (one kingdom has blue-clad, blue-faced servants and blue horses, the other red-clad red-faced servants and red horses), and the script manages to juggle...
Published on 15 Nov. 2005 by Trevor Willsmer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not too good, really
I recently bought Donkey Skin again at bargain price, having sold it before, but seeing it afresh only confirms the reasons I didn't keep it then. I generally don't like to write critically but here no one else has, and there are enough positive endorsements for these comments to form a contrast that can then be disregarded. I also feel my objections are quite clearcut,...
Published on 17 Feb. 2013 by schumann_bg


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely delightful anarchic fairytale, 15 Nov. 2005
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Donkey Skin [DVD] (1970) (DVD)
Peau D'Ane/Donkey Skin is an unexpected delight. Jacques Demy's fairytale musical has one of the most gorgeous uses of color ever seen thanks to Ghislain Coquet's photography and the sumptuous visual design (one kingdom has blue-clad, blue-faced servants and blue horses, the other red-clad red-faced servants and red horses), and the script manages to juggle just enough knowing wit without turning into total parody - despite featuring a donkey that craps rubies and emeralds, a crone who spits frogs and a king who wants to marry his daughter in the one film about incest that's still suitable for the whole family, it's played admirably straight.
Michel Legrand's songs are as pleasant as they are unmemorable and anarchic (one romantic duet features lyrics about snack bars while another is simply a recipe for a cake) and if Catherine Deneuve's voice double sings even worse than Deneuve acts, it still somehow comes across as charming (although things do go badly for the donkey). Beautiful stylistic touches abound, from the princess running in slow motion through frozen villagers to the how-did-they-do-that-then? dress the color of the weather, but never at the expense of the storytelling. Not quite up there with 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,' but light years ahead of 'Les Demoiselles de Rochefort.'
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply delightful take on a (seriously) none-too attractive theme, 10 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: Donkey Skin [DVD] (1970) (DVD)
This is a thoroughly charming movie - unmissable - for adults and children - gloriously kitschy and immensely stylish as you'd expect from France, with this fine director, this musician's charming music, and such actors!

The old fable theme, existing in many countries and many versions from light to deeply dark, of a man lusting after his daughter is of course highly unpleasant but is turned into a charming fairy tale as the Princess with help from her Fairy Godmother escapes her father's unsuitable desires. Children can watch and learn because they are told in this story in such a clever, instructive way to understand that loving your father is normal but marrying your father is not normal, and never acceptable.

You'll surely love the decor which is gorgeous. The Princess's homeland has a myriad shades of blue theme - from flowers which are everywhere adorning the scenes, and beautiful clothes, to even the faces of servants and the colour of the horses, whilst the Prince's homeland is decked out in shades of red - red for true love.

Jean Marais makes a splendid and Kingly father whose desires go badly awry due to his dying Queen's wishes. Catherine Deneuve is as always so very beautiful and charming. Delphine Seyrig is a brilliantly acid and clever Fairy Godmother who keeps the heroine up to the mark, and I'm pleased to see another favourite of mine, Sacha Pitoff as the Chamberlain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not too good, really, 17 Feb. 2013
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Donkey Skin [DVD] (1970) (DVD)
I recently bought Donkey Skin again at bargain price, having sold it before, but seeing it afresh only confirms the reasons I didn't keep it then. I generally don't like to write critically but here no one else has, and there are enough positive endorsements for these comments to form a contrast that can then be disregarded. I also feel my objections are quite clearcut, so hopefully worth putting. First, the father/daughter incest motif might work well enough in the original fairy tale, but as it is here played by actors there is not enough distance and the effect is jarring. Second, the hag spitting toads with every other word is particularly repellent, even more so coming hot on the heels of the whole donkey-skin sequence where the Princess puts on the skin still red on the inside from the freshly slaughtered animal. Again, it would be more angled to its psychological meaning in Perrault's text. More importantly, perhaps, there is the very dominant presence of Michel Legrand's music. The first song here is played by the orchestra over the credits, and is subsequently overworked so that its angular, strained melody becomes quite irritating - and hard to get out of your head thereafter. It is memorable, but in the wrong sense. Two other songs - one about baking a cake and a romantic duet, also seem too saccharine to register any real sense of emotion, accentuating the rather cloying artifice of the whole film. This superficiality particularly affects the latter stages, where a ring is being tried out on all the ladies of the land rather like the slipper in Cinderella - there is not enough going on to prevent boredom setting in, and what little interest there is derives from some rather dubious undercurrents suggesting ageism and some unfortunate stereotyping of the lower orders, who present themselves at the back of the queue. On the positive side, there is Catherine Deneuve's radiant beauty, the brilliance of the dress that is the colour of the weather, the charm of Jacques Perrin as the Prince and some nifty colour coordination (blue in one Royal palace, red in the other). Jean Marais repeatedly recalls his role in La Belle et la Bete, both in voice and costume, but this only serves to emphasise the weaknesses of this one. Even Delphine Seyrig's fairy godmother has a rather acerbic camp quality that detracts from the charm the role might otherwise have. All in all, I have to say I don't like it that much, but, as I say, it may well be that I am failing to see the charm it really has!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird but watchable, 2 Jan. 2009
By 
Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Donkey Skin [DVD] (1970) (DVD)
I don't know for whom this film was made. In many ways it's a lavishly filmed fairy story for children played by top actors with some adult in-jokes and weirdly anachronistic inserts. The nearest thing I can think of is a Christmas pantomime version of Cinderella that bends the story to appeal to adults, while keeping children entertained, with references to modern-day events and personalities. The costumes are gorgeous and the background scenery is wonderfully cartoon-like. A preposterous, weird, yet funny film--I've never seen anything quite like it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars donkey skin, 15 Sept. 2008
By 
This review is from: Donkey Skin [DVD] (1970) (DVD)
I first saw this film 26 years ago when I was 12 years old and still love it now.
It is such a wonderfully made movie combined with great music.
The atmosphere is pretty surreal and really effective for a fairy tale.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who truly loves to immerse themselves into a fantasy world of fairy tales.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ludicrous but somehow compelling!, 3 Dec. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Donkey Skin [DVD] (1970) (DVD)
On the one hand when viewed in the context of other films that the leading players have appeared in etc. this film could be regarded as a load of ludicrous tosh,albeit with high production values and big name actors, and if it's through a search on either Jean Marais or Catherine Deneuve that you have arrived here be warned! - this is no highbrowish arthouse stuff( Jean Marais appears relatively little and although always great to watch essentially does a self-parody of his earlier classic roles). On the other hand it's the kind of ludricrousness that somehow captivates..much of the pleasure is to be had through exlamations of 'what the...'! and bouts of combined wincing-groaning-laughing - the songs especially induce this kind of effect
The plot is essentially a reworking of a well known fairy story. At one point Catherine Deneuve bakes a cake.. the recipe for this film is approximately 6 parts very-70's Sunday afternoon TV near Christmas 'Slipper and the Rose'-like saccharine musical, 3 parts a sort of homage to Jean Cocteau's 'La Belle et la Bete' (Beauty and the Beast) but attempts (emphasis here) to recreate the visual effects of that film are pretty lamentable (in a way this was inevitable given that the overall colour scheme of the film appoximates that of the first version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,and indeed there are even some very Umpa-Lumpa like royal servants at one point) 1 part a working in of a magical connection to the present (in the 1970s French culture seems for some reason to have decided to play around with the idea of incest in a dubious playful totally unrealistic sort of way.. and there may even be a song on that one!)
If nothing else defintely worth renting for the whackiness and the so-bad-its-good factor!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars magical, 27 April 2010
By 
R. Fleury - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Donkey Skin [DVD] (1970) (DVD)
Donkey Skin is a dark psychedelic fairy tale done with a great sense of humour. The score was composed by Jacques Demy regular Michel Legrand and it's as infectious as it is beautiful and elegant. There are strong performance by Delphine Seyrig and Jacques Perrin, a beautiful and sweet young Deneuve and an impressive Jean Marais. Probably not as good as Umbrellas or les demoiselles de rochefort, Donkey Skin is still a great film, very entertaining and magical, a must see.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully filmed fairy tale on the lines of sap sorrow, 1 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Donkey Skin [DVD] (1970) (DVD)
Excellent film.recomend to anyone who liked la belle et la bete
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Donkey Skin [DVD] (1970) (DVD)
so pleased to have this
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Donkey Skin [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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