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Alice in Wonderland [1933]


CaveGirl
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For all Alice Liddell fans, tonight this Lewis Carroll classic is showing on TCM. 

 

Now it is loaded with stars, though most are in disguise, so you will have to figure out who's who by voices. Of course stars like Cary Grant and W.C.Fields are in it, but I enjoy more the oddball folks like Louise Fazenda, Jackie Searl, Billy Barty and Ethel Griffies.

 

Down the rabbit hole!

 

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It is a lot like the 1940's wacko film of Al Capp's "Little Abner" from I think RKO.

 

People looked a lot like their drawn images and were hard to recognize.

 

I actually watched both of those for the first time fairly recently, and close together. What a weekend!

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I actually watched both of those for the first time fairly recently, and close together. What a weekend!

Was there any reference to the Schmoo in the film?

 

I can't remember if he was created more in the early 1950's, so could not have been in the earlier flick.

 

I know his, shall we say, proteus type shape was often censored by those with delicate sensibilities, since it looked a lot like Alex's weapon in the arty woman's abode, in "A Clockwork Orange".

 

My favorite was Moonbeam McSwine.

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I am sooo looking forward to this! I'll miss the first 15 minutes or so because I don't get out of work until 11:00, but I imagine it'll be on again sometime. I haven't seen this thing in over 35 years and all I can remember about it is how W.C. Fields' Humpty Dumpty FREAKED ME OUT!!!!

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Eeh! What the heck are YOU guys complainin' about here, HUH?!

 

Trying livin' in this magnet for "New Agers" for a while...Sedona Arizona!

 

(...stuff like what happens to Alice in that flick are a daily occurrence!!!) ;)

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I get the impression, reading these posts, that a lot of you have not read the actual book - or maybe I should say books, since the film in question appears to be an amalgamation of both the Alice books by Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. They are two of my favourite books - definitely not just for children, in fact, I would say an adult would get more out of them. I did first read them as a child, however; I read them many times, and have loved them ever since.

 

If any of you have actually read the books (I know the O.P. has), you would not be surprised at the extremely strange and what some of you call "disturbing" characters and events that populate these wonderful works of literature. Both Alice books are full of amazingly imaginative ideas, mathematical puzzles, word play, poems, and - appropriately enough - mysterious dream-like scenes. They are clever and funny, enchanting and moving. 

 

I'm not sure the 1933 film version - or any version, for that matter - does them justice. But then, I have a "thing" about  cinematic renditions of children's books, at least the ones with any kind of magic in them, that I read as a child. I always prefer the film version in my own mind.

 

Through the Looking Glass is actually my favourite of the two, although I love both books. But Looking Glass  really captures the other-worldly, perverse quality of dreams even more than the first Alice book.

 

I had no desire to see the Tim Burton version of a few years ago. From what I heard about it, it was not my idea of the world of Alice. But then, as I said, I never have any interest in seeing film interpretations of beloved books I first discovered as a child - or even as an adult. I deliberately avoided The Golden Compass, an adaptation of the wonderful Philip Pullman novel. I notice they never followed up with the rest of the trilogy, so maybe others also felt it wasn't a good idea.

 

I also eschew any and all movie versions of fairy tales, for the same reason given above. They never do a good job, in my view, of capturing the spirit and magic of these stories. (The one exception I can think of being Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast.)

 

Anyway, sorry, I realize I've kind of digressed from the original topic a bit. Guess you all can tell that I profoundly love certain types of children's literature, and am happy to keep it as such - literature.

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This weekend I watched a show on Queen Victoria's children, and it was mentioned that one of her sons was friends with the girl upon whom the character of Alice was based.  That made the friendship awkward, as apparently it was well known that The Queen of Hearts was a caricature of Queen Victoria.  Somehow I'd never heard that.

 

Tonight while the movie was on Mr. Gay D passed by and casually mentioned he'd played The Mad Hatter in a school play at age 10.  I'd not known that, either.

 

Maybe this means it's time for a trip down the rabbit hole. :unsure:

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Gay Divorcee said: apparently it was well known that The Queen of Hearts was a caricature of Queen Victoria

 

HA! I did not know that....must have been living in a hole not to see the resemblance in Tenniel's drawings!

 

I too am a fan of children's books (I have a first printing of ALICE IN WONDERLAND & no idea where I got it!) and enjoy this story, along with Baum's OZ series.

 

Film adaptations are difficult, books don't "read" in 2 hours neatly. I don't mind movies based on an story, idea or charactors just as long as it's a GOOD STORY.

 

The new MALIFICENT movie was enjoyable, while many elements were changed from our most familiar rendition of the Sleeping Beauty story, the Disney cartoon. These movies seem to me as just VERSIONS of a story or theme. And who can fault 1939's THE WIZARD OF OZ, when songs are added or minor charactors are omitted?

 

Aren't fairy or folk tales kind of "liquid" in that they are traditionally "told" by a storyteller bringing their own flavor to the story?

 

Although I loathe Tim Burton's work, I saw his Alice In Wonderland movie, and found it rather enjoyable. The facial CGI additions were creepy, but I suppose that was the intent. (ever hear of ACTING creepy?) I found many of the effects unnecessary & distracting, but overall a good effort!

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SELECT TRIVIA ENTRIES FOR ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1933) COPIED AND PASTED FROM IMDB:

 

During the Mad Tea Party, the Hatter asks Alice what day of the month it is and Alice answers that it's the 4th. The Hatter checks his watch and bewails the fact that "it's two days off." When Alice examines the watch, the hands on the dial indicate the date as being a Tuesday in June. In 1933 when this film was made, June 4th fell on a Sunday - two days off from what the Hatter's watch indicates.

 
Sterling Holloway, who played The Frog in this movie, later went on to be the voice of The Cheshire Cat in the well known Disney adaptation of Alice in Wonderland (1951).

The running time, 76 minutes, is the length of the time Alice is through the looking glass: clock on the mantelpiece starts at 3:40 and she returns at 5:00.

Bing Crosby was originally sought for the role of the Mock Turtle but refused it because he felt the role was demeaning to his career.
 
Virtually the entire star stable was thrown into this movie because Paramount was trying to keep from going bankrupt and thought that such a star-laden movie could save the studio from failing. It didn't work since most of the stars couldn't be recognized because of their costumes. Instead, two Mae West movies, She Done Him Wrong (1933) and I'm No Angel (1933) saved the studio from bankruptcy instead.
 

The Mock Turtle, who says he is what mock turtle soup is made from, is a cow in a turtle's shell. This was because mock turtle soup was made from veal.

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I have to say overall that I enjoyed this film. I thought the special effects for 1933 were pretty darn good. I would love to know how they made her stretch. It almost seems like they heated the film and stretched it like taffy!

W.C. Fields as Humpty Dumpty didn't freak me out as much as it did the last time I saw this film - I think I was around 16 years old at the time. But it is still bizarre. Much of his dialogue makes no sense, and I suppose it's not meant to.

I thought the costumes were pretty cool, except the mock turtle. His head looked like a cow's.

I have read the books, but that was many moons ago. I don't remember too much.

Fun flick.

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For all Alice Liddell fans, tonight this Lewis Carroll classic is showing on TCM. 

 

Now it is loaded with stars, though most are in disguise, so you will have to figure out who's who by voices. Of course stars like Cary Grant and W.C.Fields are in it, but I enjoy more the oddball folks like Louise Fazenda, Jackie Searl, Billy Barty and Ethel Griffies.

 

Down the rabbit hole!

The '33 version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND had previously aired on TCM when Ileana Douglas hosted a monthly spotlight called Second Looks. That was the first time I had ever seen it.

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I am sooo looking forward to this! I'll miss the first 15 minutes or so because I don't get out of work until 11:00, but I imagine it'll be on again sometime. I haven't seen this thing in over 35 years and all I can remember about it is how W.C. Fields' Humpty Dumpty FREAKED ME OUT!!!!

Janet, I was more freaked out by Jack Oakie as Tweedle Dum...or was it Tweedle Dee.

 

So, did you enjoy it?

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I get the impression, reading these posts, that a lot of you have not read the actual book - or maybe I should say books, since the film in question appears to be an amalgamation of both the Alice books by Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. They are two of my favourite books - definitely not just for children, in fact, I would say an adult would get more out of them. I did first read them as a child, however; I read them many times, and have loved them ever since.

 

If any of you have actually read the books (I know the O.P. has), you would not be surprised at the extremely strange and what some of you call "disturbing" characters and events that populate these wonderful works of literature. Both Alice books are full of amazingly imaginative ideas, mathematical puzzles, word play, poems, and - appropriately enough - mysterious dream-like scenes. They are clever and funny, enchanting and moving. 

 

I'm not sure the 1933 film version - or any version, for that matter - does them justice. But then, I have a "thing" about  cinematic renditions of children's books, at least the ones with any kind of magic in them, that I read as a child. I always prefer the film version in my own mind.

 

Through the Looking Glass is actually my favourite of the two, although I love both books. But Looking Glass  really captures the other-worldly, perverse quality of dreams even more than the first Alice book.

 

I had no desire to see the Tim Burton version of a few years ago. From what I heard about it, it was not my idea of the world of Alice. But then, as I said, I never have any interest in seeing film interpretations of beloved books I first discovered as a child - or even as an adult. I deliberately avoided The Golden Compass, an adaptation of the wonderful Philip Pullman novel. I notice they never followed up with the rest of the trilogy, so maybe others also felt it wasn't a good idea.

 

I also eschew any and all movie versions of fairy tales, for the same reason given above. They never do a good job, in my view, of capturing the spirit and magic of these stories. (The one exception I can think of being Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast.)

 

Anyway, sorry, I realize I've kind of digressed from the original topic a bit. Guess you all can tell that I profoundly love certain types of children's literature, and am happy to keep it as such - literature.

Miss Wonderly, I was just wondering about you yesterday and am glad to see you back. Yes, just recently I started rereading the book which is within a larger book I have, with all kinds of side notes explaining everything written by Carroll. It does help to know that background info, on things like who was the inspiration for some parts etc.

 

Can't agree with you more about Cocteau's "BATB"!

 

Have you ever read that Bruno Betelheim [sp?] book about fairy tales? It is somewhat discounted now, but still fun.

 

PS. The Alice book I'm reading is called "The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition" by Martin Gardner.

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Annotated-Alice-Definitive-Edition/dp/0393048470

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My critique of the film had nothing to do with the source books and everything to do with the primitive make-up, bizarre stunt casting, terrible stage sets, and poor pacing of the film. While intriguing to watch once for the uncomfortable looking cast, I can't say it's something I'd want to watch again.

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I have to say overall that I enjoyed this film. I thought the special effects for 1933 were pretty darn good. I would love to know how they made her stretch. It almost seems like they heated the film and stretched it like taffy!

W.C. Fields as Humpty Dumpty didn't freak me out as much as it did the last time I saw this film - I think I was around 16 years old at the time. But it is still bizarre. Much of his dialogue makes no sense, and I suppose it's not meant to.

I thought the costumes were pretty cool, except the mock turtle. His head looked like a cow's.

I have read the books, but that was many moons ago. I don't remember too much.

Fun flick.

 

My feelings about this film are similar to yours.   With regards to the mock turtle;  doesn't his head look like a cow because he is a mock turtle?  I.e. he is mocking a turtle but is really a deformed hybrid creature?    Anyhow that is how I explained his look to my wife (but all she wanted to see was the guy who did the voice,,,,,  that ugly dude Cary Grant!).

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Janet, I was more freaked out by Jack Oakie as Tweedle Dum...or was it Tweedle Dee.

 

So, did you enjoy it?

 

I did enjoy it. I hope it comes on again soon. It would be good Saturday morning fodder for the kiddies. Then again, maybe they ought to put it on the late, late show...

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My feelings about this film are similar to yours.   With regards to the mock turtle;  doesn't his head look like a cow because he is a mock turtle?  I.e. he is mocking a turtle but is really a deformed hybrid creature?    Anyhow that is how I explained his look to my wife (but all she wanted to see was the guy who did the voice,,,,,  that ugly dude Cary Grant!).

 

Ha! You know, I was thinking that about the head being mock.

 

Maybe Cary should have stuck to his real moniker - Archibald Leach. It suited his looks, I think.

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Looks like Cary Grant's really beside himself over having to play the Mock Turtle.

 

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One of my favourites in the film was Gary Cooper as The White Knight. Based on this promotional piece, it's a shame they didn't film the wonderland dream sequence in two strip colour.

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