Thursday, March 11, 2010

1903 - ALICE IN WONDERLAND, possible first version?

Wrapping up the Alice in Wonderland movie marathon.  This 1903 version,  supposedly the first  of the Alice stories on film.  A typical silent movie from that period when people were still figuring out how to actually make movies.  They do a few tricks with the camera and the actors run around in animal costumes for probably the first time.  It's a foreshadowing of a long road of Alice movies to come.

I'm throwing in the towel on the Alice in Wonderland films.  I could easily go on watching 3 or 4 more of these things.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a 1999 film featuring Whoopi Goldberg as the Cheshire Cat, big pass on that.

Producer Irwin Allen showed up in 1985, with his version.  This film was in two parts and covered both books, it had songs by Steve Allen, and a low rent cast of actors like,Telly Savalas as The Cheshire Cat, Red Buttons as The White Rabbit, Merv Griffin as The Conductor and so on.   It should have been a camp classic, but it's pretty much crap.   The film looks like a cheap TV movie in that special Irwin Allen way.

The British were back with a musical version of Alice in 1972, with music by John Barry and lyrics by Don Black.  The songs are extremely unmemorable and indistinguishable.  The music just makes the film longer and an ordeal to sit through.   The so called choreography seems to involve having the actors chase each other around.  However the actor playing Alice is kind of pretty.

The British did a version of the second book, called Alice Through the Looking Glass in 1998 with the actor Kate Beckinsale.  Another tiresome film to watch, and Beckinsale didn't even wear her latex cat suit from Underworld.

All these films are floating around You Tube, if anyone feels inclined to watch them.

8 minutes on the 1903 version, skip the other versions.

No comments: