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Alice Through the Looking Glas

Judi Rolin , Jimmy Durante , Alan Handley    NR (Not Rated)   DVD

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Product Description

Step Through The Mirror With Young Alice And Enter The Fantastic World Of Author Lewis Carroll In This Song-Filled Live-Action Feature. Judi Rolin Stars As Alice, With Jimmy Durante, Ricardo Montalban, Agnes Moorehead, Jack Palance, And The Smothers Brothers Heading Up An All-Star Cast Of Colorful Characters. 90 Min. Standard; Soundtrack: English; Subtitles; English (Sdh); Featurette.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feast for the eyes and ears and a nostalgic look back at those grand '60s TV spectaculars Feb. 5 2010
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
This glitzy 1966 NBC musical special, which was rebroadcast on Thanksgiving Day, 1972 -- after star Judi Rolin appeared in the Macy's parade -- features an all-star cast including Agnes Moorehead, Ricardo Montalbán, Nanette Fabray, Jack Palance, The Smothers Brothers, Jimmy Durante, Broadway's Robert Coote (Camelot), London's Roy Castle (Singin' in the Rain) and great character actors like Iris Adrian and Jackie Joseph.

Alice father is played by Richard Denning, who played Lucille Ball's spouse on radio's "My Favorite Husband" and lost Deborah Kerr to Cary Grant in the movie "Affair to Remember."

The Emmy-winning costumes were co-created by Bob Mackie. Moose Charlap, who wrote most of the music for the Broadway "Peter Pan," did the same for this. The score includes the "Backwards Alphabet," which was also recorded as a single by Soupy Sales. The score from the special was also released on RCA Records on vinyl.

It's a little corny and cheesy by today's jaded, cynical standards. It's part Broadway musical, part "Hollywood Palace" variety show (with canned laughter and applause!), but a feast for the eyes and ears as well as a time capsule of legendary talents of the 20th century.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By DEWEY M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Perhaps inspired by the annual TV broadcast of MGM'S "The Wizard Of Oz", the three major television networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) used to comission family-oriented Made-for-TV musicals. These were preserved on videotape and shown every year, usually around the November/December holidays; as truly "Special Events." Alas, these "TV musical Special Events" belong to a TV era that vanished long ago. Along with MGM's "The Wizard Of Oz," there were also annual broadcasts of Mary Martin as "Peter Pan" (NBC, preserved for posterity on videotape in 1960) and Lesley Ann Warren as "Cinderella" ( CBS; 1965). While NBC'S 1966 musical adaptation of "Alice Through The Looking-Glass" may not have achieved perennial status, aspects of it lingered in my childhood memory. I remember viewing this once or twice; and being scared to death by Jack Palance as the "Jabberwock." I also recall an RCA Victor Soundtrack Album of the songs by Moose Charlap (co-writer of the songs for Mary Martin's "Peter Pan") and Elsie Simmons. The songs include "Two Sides To Everything," "Keep On The Grass", "Some Summer Day", "Who Am I?," "The Backwards Alphabet" and "Alice Is Coming To Tea". Stepping back through the Looking-Glass with Alice again was like re-discovering a lost gem from my childhood.
The production, featuring extremely lavish costumes by Bob Mackie. unfolds very much like a live Broadway musical-- except it is on videotape. The canned laughter and applause aren't nearly as distracting as they might seem to be; actually giving the production a bit more nostalgic value. The libretto by Albert Simmons is more "Suggested By" Lewis Carroll's "Through The Looking-Glass" than directly "Based Upon" it. Alice (Judi Rolin) steps through the looking-glass into topsy-turvy Looking Glass Land. After meeting the Red King and Queen (Robert Coote, from the Original Broadway Cast of "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot"; and Agnes Moorehead) ; and The White King and Queen (celebrated comedienne Nannette Fabray and "Fantasy Island's" charming Ricardo Montalban). Alice decides she wants to be a Queen herself. The inhabitants of Looking-Glass Land live in fear of The Jabberwock (a genuinely frightening performance by Jack Palance). Fearless Alice is determined to arrive at the Palace and be crowned Queen; thereby ending the Jabberwock's reign of terror. Simmons adds a character named Lester The Jester, (delightfully portrayed by Roy Castle) who occasionally guides Alice through Looking-Glass Land and protects her from the Jabberwock. There is incredible chemistry between Judi Rolin and Roy Castle; resulting in a suggestion of romantic attraction between Alice and Lester. The final moments, where Jack Palance's Jabberwock screams at Alice from inside the Looking-Glass, still scare me. The perfectly cast production also includes Tom and Dick Smothers as Tweeledee and Tweedledum and Jimmy Durante as Humpty Dumpty.
Judi Rolin gives an extraordinary performance as Alice, and she more than holds her own in a cast filled with show-business heavyweights; most notably Agnes Moorehead; (best-known for her role as the imposing grand-dame witch Endora on the TV classic "Bewitched"). In other film and TV adaptations, the very British Alice often comes across as snobby or-- much worse-- bland. But Judi Rolin's American Alice, free of annoying affectation and mannerisims, is brave, authoritive, vibrant, and enchanting.
On the DVD Extras, producer Bob Wynn shares his memories of the "Looking-Glass" cast and production; and also his memories of working with such show-business superstars as Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatuiful Muisc Feb. 22 2010
By Charles Wild - Published on Amazon.com
The previous reviewer said it so perfectly. This is such a fun & whimsical TV Special that put so many GREAT talents together. One added note: I have impressed people for years with the ability to say the alphabet backwards (fast/quickly) due to learning it from the Soundtrack of this film! Silly, but fun. Many of the other tunes are quite humable and done so well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a delightful classic! Jan. 18 2011
By Horse lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In a time of primative special effects and the days of "live" television, this classic tale competes with the best of today's specials. The unusual performances of major stars of the time are wonderful. Judi Rolin, in the title role, gives a magical rendition of Alice. She is a whisp of a girl, but her voice is powerful and she more than holds her own surounded by huge characters bigger than life. How lucky we are to have captured her rare performance. What a shame she didn't do a lot more. This rendition produced in 1966 is unusual and very different. It is not animation, but real actors. Bob Mackie's costumes are spectacular. The Moose Charlap score is lovely and the Don Costa musical arrangements are terrific. There are special added comments added by long time TV producer (The Judy Garland Show) Bob Wynn.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderland Meets TVland March 21 2010
By Dean Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you love retro television you'll love this. Even if you don't you might just love this. It's wonderfully engaging stuff and really tuneful magic.
Judi Rollins sings divinely and the supporting cast is a real delight. Nanette Fabray is goofy and charming as the White Queen, and little Tommy and Dickie Smothers are hilarious and perfectly cast as the Tweedle boys.
If you love Wonderland with a new spin on it, or you simply love the old retro TVland stuff, you'll get a kick out of it.
James Johnston 'Alice' fan
(Dean's account,my DVD)

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