Sunday, March 21, 2010

Alice in Wonderland: Three versions

1903 directed by Cecil Hepworth.
A hardly viewable print that had been considerably restored with the usual Hepworth family casr including a rather old Alice and an unco-operative family cat. The BFI archivist introducing the film was enthusiastic about the film but took as long to
show this, which he did admirably, as the film itself.
1933 directed by Norman Z. McLeod.
A showcase for the Paramount Studios contract players which conflates the two Alice books with a rather colourless Alice going through the looking glass first and only later down the rabbit hole. The interest is in spotting the different players who are, fortunately for present-day audiences, listed at the start. The more recognizable ones are Cary Grant as the Mock Turtle, W.C. Fields as Humpty Dumpty and Gary Cooper as the White Knight though the latter does seem to get rather more than his fair share of screen time. A decided curiosity.
2010 directed by Tim Burton.
A 3D version which is really a return to Wonderland by an Alice on the day of her engagement party. Returning to Wonderland which she does not recognise at first it has all the expected characters with a glorious performance from Helens
Bonham Carter as the Red Queen an inspid one from Anne Hathaway as her sister, the White Queen, and a rollicking turn from Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. A lot of fun though I thought Alice was all but a cipher and Anne Hathaway's make-up made
her look rather odd (her mouth matches that of Julia Roberts for size and is even larger here).

1 comment:

pppatty said...

good summary! I'm pleased to have finally seen the 1933 version, but it will never be more than a curiosity. I would be far more willing in the future (technology willing) to revisit Burton's 3-D Wonderland than Cameron's ecological paradise on Pandora.