HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
   
 
Newest Articles
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
   
 
  Alice in Wonderland Mirror, Mirror
Year: 1933
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Charlotte Henry, Leon Errol, Polly Moran, Ned Sparks, Sterling Holloway, Alison Skipworth, Richard Arlen, Edward Everett Horton, Charles Ruggles, May Robson, Cary Grant, Edna May Oliver, Jack Oakie, Roscoe Karns, Mae Marsh, W.C. Fields, Gary Cooper
Genre: FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: It's a chilly winter's afternoon and the snow is falling, so Alice (Charlotte Henry) is not allowed to venture outside, at least not until her older sister returns to see her. In the meantime, the girl is stuck with her aunt, and she is extremely bored having run out of things to amuse herself with, so when she spies a rabbit outside she makes up a story about it being fully dressed, which fails to impress her aunt. By and by, Alice curls up in an armchair with her cat and dozes, but when she wakes up she wonders about the looking glass above the hearth - is that another world she is seeing?

A famous flop in its day, this version of the Lewis Carroll Alice stories was the closest Hollywood predecessor there was for the 1939 Wizard of Oz, only without that classic's glittering reputation. The chief problem for audiences of the time was that yes, it may have had a star-studded cast, but for some reason the filmmakers opted to have the greater majority of them covered in makeup or masks which completely obscured their features. If it was not for their voices being heard, for most of them that could be any bit part actor playing those roles.

And in some cases, you have your doubts that the actors are playing who the opening credits say they are. These days the movie would be animated, perhaps, so the stars lending their voices would not be regarded as shortchanging the viewers quite so much, but here the practice of disguising the cast is simply bizarre. Though no less bizarre than the rest of it, with Carroll's characters brought to life in a world that is undeniably colourful even if this is filmed in black and white - the creative special effects and lavish set design help quite a bit.

Charlotte Henry, a nineteen-year-old playing twelve, is a plucky heroine and helps to keep the plot moving, although the film is hampered by the fact that the storyline is unavoidably episodic and never manages to work up a head of steam. Time and again Alice will wander a little further, meet a strange person or animal, and then move on, which may be faithful to the source but doesn't do much for forward momentum as far as the narrative goes. All the expected notes are reached, but this feels more like box-ticking than true storytelling in the spirit of Carroll.

Still, the producers could have been onto something with this all-star (for 1933) cast of performers as you do grow curious about some of them. Is that really Cary Grant as the tearful Mock Turtle? Would he have climbed into that ungainly costume? It is undoubtedly his voice, as the same can be said for W.C. Fields' Humpty Dumpty, but would the great comedian have consented to encasing his head in all that makeup? It doesn't seem to be his style somehow. If anything is effective here, it's that an authentically dreamlike-verging-on-the-nightmarish atmosphere is achieved, not consistently, but on sufficient occasions to create a genuinely weird item of surrealism. That said, you can still see why this version remains a cult movie rather than an acknowledged classic, and that is more down to the originals. Music by Dmitri Tiomkin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4033 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: