Monday, March 09, 2015

Movie Cinderellas

A short history of how many times the fairy tale has been put up on screen. And now yet again.

Stir the embers of the Cinderella story and new flames arise. Kenneth Branagh directs the latest film version in an expensive-looking Disney release starring Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother, and fresh-faced Grace Kelly look-alike Lily James (“Downton Abbey”) as the ashes to riches heroine.

What’s the appeal? In the first 24 hours of its release in November, an online trailer for “Cinderella” was viewed 35 million times on YouTube and Facebook. The scullery maid turned princess can still pack ’em in. ...

Of course there's been a herd of live-action versions of the story, and the 1950 Disney animated feature (which financially revived the studio), but then there's the Fleischer version above, and this:

And Avery's Swing Shift Cinderella (and good luck finding the short on-line):

And so on and so forth.

The tale has been done six ways to Saturday in seven or eight different decades, up there with the zillions of versions of The Three Musketeers and Treasure Island. Show me a well-told public domain story, and all show you a bunch of different movie studios chasing the golden chalice.


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