The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella (1976)

Genres - Fantasy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Fantasy, Musical Fantasy  |   Release Date - Apr 24, 1976 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 129 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - G
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The Slipper and the Rose is a delightful variation on the "Cinderella" theme, making a number of changes in the familiar story that make it seem fresh. Chief among these is a greater emphasis upon the Prince, who in this version is actually the main character of the story, and a re-setting of the tale in an era of powdered wigs and knee breeches. The latter allows the creative team to provide some delicious costumes and show them off in a sumptuous setting. The former change allows Richard Chamberlain to demonstrate his natural ease with the musical form. Charming and totally at-home with both the singing and dancing duties demanded of him, Chamberlain engages the viewer from the first and holds court over the entire film. As the heroine, Gemma Craven is sweet-voiced and sincere; she has a winsomeness and innocence that are immensely appealing without becoming cloying. Annette Crosbie is both dotty and down-to-earth as the Fairy Godmother, and Margaret Lockwood leavens the Stepmother with an amusing dose of vanity. Slipper is not without its faults; it goes on a bit too long and the slipper search is anti-climactic. In addition, the Sherman Brothers score is at times too reminiscent of other scores (both their own and those of others), and director Bryan Forbes overuses the soft focus lens. But all in all, Slipper is a pleasant and engaging visit.