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Alice in Wonderland


Price: CDN$ 42.51
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Sellers, John Gielgud, Geoffrey Faithfull, Stanley Faithfull, Mrs. Hepworth
  • Directors: Michael Redgrave, Percy Stow
  • Writers: Cecil M. Hepworth, Jonathan Miller, Lewis Carroll, Sydney Newman
  • Producers: Cecil M. Hepworth, Elias Koopman
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Feb. 9 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002VXEC26
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,999 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

BBC Production of from 1966, starring Peter Sellers. Also includes Cecil Hepworth's 1903 silent film version as a DVD extra.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jammer on Jan. 9 2004
Format: DVD
In Lewis Carroll's original work, Alice is a charming, witty and precocious 7-year old, engaging in sparkling point-counter-point exchanges with all manner of strange characters and situations as she wanders from one scene to another, not always predictably and not always to her liking or desire. This reviewer is unfamiliar with Victorian English society of the period, but surely these encounters are brilliantly realized satire, the animal characters selected to portray various characteristics of the nobility and commoners.
So it should be no surprise that this low-budget (£32,000 and a 6-week shooting schedule) 72-minute BBC B&W production is done with all live actors, no animation, yet is faithful to the book. . Quoting from the enclosed folder, "...there was no script; Miller (the director) simply typed out the dialogue from Carroll's book each day and presented it to the cast on the set, and after a few rehearsals, they would do a take." Principal characters are portrayed in human form in Victorian period costume, making full utilization of the Tenniel illustrations where possible. For example, the white rabbit (Wilfred Brambell in an outstanding portrayal) is a fussily dressed, brisk-gaited English gentleman with pocket watch, top hat, braided uniform with tails, bow-tie, white gloves, and a white fan. Alice's dress and hair style is perfectly realized.
Some of the key scenes are shortened. For example, the pool of tears leading to the caucus race (to dry off) was created by a giant Alice crying in frustration, not shown, so the sudden appearance of water is confusing. The recitation of Father Williams to the Caterpillar (an excellent Michael Redgrave) was regrettably truncated to only a verse or so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott Law on Feb. 23 2004
Format: DVD
What a surprise that a gem like this exists!! I had never even heard that this was created until just recently. The 4 previous reviews all have very good points so I won't go into great detail. It is a disjointed affair, but well worth the trouble to delve into. The girl chosen as Alice seems years too old for the role though. If bizarre 60's movies are not something you are into, then I would advise those people against getting it. If you like weird films like Wonderwall or shows like The Prisoner, you may be able to enjoy this film. I find it fascinating and it is highly psychedelic. There is no doubt that this is a 60's take on Alice. Incredible camerawork with much detail put into camera angles and setting really add to the surreality of this work. Leo McKern is hysterical as the Dutchess. Peter Cook and Peter Sellers have some fun with their roles as do all the cast. No one has a very large role. This looks like it was a blast to make and should entertain anyone with an open mind. I would say that it is not geared toward children as many versions of Alice are. Most little kids will be confused and possibly disturbed. This is much more fun for grown-ups. See if you can spot the Monty Python cameo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Hadley on Feb. 16 2004
Format: DVD
This release of BBC-TV's 1966 black-and-white Alice in Wonderland is very fine indeed. The film is a surreal, theatrical, and dark "Alice," designed as a dream version of Victorian life - there are no animal costumes here. The caucus race is a scene in a public school, the Caterpillar is a sort of headmaster, the trial is a massive church setting, and so on. Alice herself is almost completely impassive, and rarely speaks aloud; I found myself interpreting the whole thing as an autistic girl's skewed and nonsensical view of the world around her. Despite its short length, the film takes its time, and has a very dry sense of humor; I found it endlessly fascinating once I got into it, though. It's almost hypnotic - something greatly helped by Ravi Shankar's sitar music.
The picture quality is excellent, unusual for British TV of this period. Director Jonathan Miller personally contributes an excellent commentary track, discussing the film's themes, his actors, and why he felt a darker "Alice" needed to be made. The disc is rounded out with a short picture gallery, and a real surprise: the first-ever "Alice" film, a 10-minute silent from 1903, with commentary. Really my only complaint is the lack of subtitles for the feature film; Alice's own dialogue is frequently whispered, and to the casual ear can be hard to decipher. Otherwise, this is a great film with an excellent DVD presentation that demonstrates quality over quantity. I recommend it very highly.
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Format: DVD
This challenging 1966 production of Alice in Wonderland by the talented director Jonathan Miller can be watched over and over again with each viewing revealing new details and the great depth of the interpretation, but always while again stimulating the laughter that is inherent in the story.

And it's a real pleasure to watch the apparently effortless and nuanced performances by the old pros such as Gielgud, Redgrave, McKern, Sellers and Muggeridge, along with the usual presence in British productions of a large and very talented supporting cast.

The luminous black and white photography has been beautifully restored and is a pleasure to look at in itself while the music of Ravi Shankar and oboist Leon Goosssens is always refreshing and endlessly catchy in its melodies and rhythms.

The supplements include a drama by the renowned Dennis Potter about Lewis Carroll and the real Alice which indirectly helps to clarify many of the choices made by Mr. Miller in shaping his production.

Don't look for the dumbed-down, overly saccharine approach that Disney and others often take to this and other children's stories but enjoy the knowledgeable-adult level approach taken by Mr. Miller. His commentary is very entertaining and informative, shedding light on his overall approach and providing very many interesting details about the making of the film.

For my money, after viewing it on various occasions over a period of four months, this DVD is a hidden treasure which is an incredible bargain at the price.
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