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Alice in Wonderland

Richard Arlen , Roscoe Ates , Norman Z. McLeod    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Alice’s fantastic adventures lead her straight to some of the most memorable characters ever imagined including the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, Humpty Dumpty, the Cheshire Cat, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in the original Alice in Wonderland. Based on Lewis Carroll’s beloved story, this live-action fantasy features Hollywood icons Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and W.C. Fields along with Charlotte Henry as “Alice”. Filled with spectacular sets and imaginative costumes, the classic Alice in Wonderland is a timeless adventure for the whole family!

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Runtime: 77. Actors: Leon Errol W.C. Fields Richard Arlen Cary Grant Gary Cooper. Huge selection to choose from. High quality components. Satisfaction ensured. Always providing you with the best selection at the best value.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Badgley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
There had been three silent film versions of Charles Dodgson's(pseudonym Lewis Carroll)classic 1865 book Alice In Wonderland and just one sound version before this 1933 version made by Paramount studios.Like many films bought by distributors during the late 40s and into the 50s and pared down to fit neatly into TV time slots,this film went from around 90 minutes to 76 and change in this current version.Laurel and Hardy's /34 Babes in Toyland is a prime example;not only was its 90 minutes also cut down to around 78 min's but it's name was also changed.On top of that it was probably this version of Alice which caught Stan Laurel's eye in 1933 when he cast Charlotte Henry who played Alice here,as his Bo-Peep in Babes in Toyland.Because of the release of the Johnny Depp version of Alice in /10,Universal got the rights to release this onto DVD;its' debut in that format.But in its cut format it is a disappointment indeed.
The story about a girl who imagines an opposite world in her houses' mirror and enters into that topsy turvy world through it,is well known and won't be discussed in any detail here.Paramount's version is a ponderous one as Alice goes from situation to situation meeting all sorts of odd and comical creatures.Paramount trotted out their big stable of stars to play in this production and it featured some of those who were on the decline from the silent days to those newer and soon to be stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars June 30 2014
By Kathy
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love Johnny Depp....BUT...there is non that can compare with the original classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Imagine Cary Grant as a sobbing mock turtle, Gary Cooper in a White Knight suit or W.C. Fields as grumpily philosophical Humpty Dumpty!

These and more are featured in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, the trippiest film made in the early sound era. Technical wizardry abounds, as stop action, split-screen, double exposure, undercranking, superimposition and overlay film techniques bring Lewis Carroll's remarkable world on the looking glass's other side to life. Standard animation (provided by FLEISCHER Studios) is also used in the "Walrus & Carpenter" segment.

Highlights include a speedy lawn croquet game, Polly Moran as a historical date-spouting Dodo bird, 'Queen Alice' at the head of a tea party populated by delightful characters such as Edward Everett Horton's Mad Hatter, and especially the most imaginative sets this side of Wonderland itself! It's a movie that will always be the ultimate cinematic version of Alice and friends. Highest recommendation to all!

(Note that the baby being so rudely handled and tossed around is 9-year-old Billy Barty, who was then a veteran of a family knockabout vaudeville act.)

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(6.5) Alice in Wonderland (1933) - Charlotte Henry/Gary Cooper/Cary Grant/W.C. Fields/Edna May Oliver/Edward Everett Horton/Sterling Holloway/Richard Arlen/Alison Skipworth/Lousie Fazenda/Ford Sterling/Leon Errol/Polly Moran/Ned Sparks/Baby LeRoy/Charles Ruggles/May Robson/Raymond Hatton/Jack Oakie/Roscoe Karns/May Marsh (uncredited: Billy Barty/Billy Bevan)
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  84 reviews
102 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stars and sets make this "Alice" shine, despite problems with this DVD release March 5 2010
By Muzzlehatch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I have vague memories (I think) of seeing this on TV as a kid. It's something of a holy grail to nostalgia buffs of course given that nearly every Paramount star who was anybody in 1933 - including most famously Cary Grant, W.C. Fields and Gary Cooper - appears in it, and it's never been on video before. Its reputation isn't all that great though, and the film was shorn of about 15 minutes on reissues which apparently (see below) have been lost for good. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I, inveterate Alice-lover, took a gander.

I needn't have worried. Sure, this suffers from all of the defects one would expect of such a lavish star-vehicle from the day - too much rushing through scenes (even at its original 90 minutes, trying to shunt together big hunks of both "Alice" and "Through the Looking Glass" is going to feel thin), an Alice (Charlotte Henry) who is both too old and just not expressive enough for the part, a director (Norman Z. McLeod) sometimes content to point-and-shoot, and some celeb bits (Cary Grant as the Mock Turtle in particular) that just aren't that great or are too short. And this is one of those rare black and white films where I actually thought more than once while watching "gee, I wish this had been in color". Somehow "Alice" more than almost any classic story, seems to demand a riotous palette of hues.

BUT the sets and art direction - supervised by an uncredited William Cameron Menzies, one of the greatest art directors/production designers of all time but listed here only as co-screenwriter - is truly wonderful, capturing at times the surrealism and madness of the tale with an expressionist's palate of odd shapes and complex backgrounds. Some of the special effects are really excellent as well and seem pretty advanced for the year - the raven flying over Tweedledee and Tweedledum for example, and the flying effects for Alice. And though as I said, the conflation of the two books makes for a dash-through-it-quick-as-you-can feeling to things, the way in which McLeod, Menzies and the rest of the team actually constructed the film is pretty ingenious: it starts with Alice going into Looking-Glass world, rescuing the chess pieces from the fire, then running out of the house and following the rabbit at which point it follows mostly the events of "Wonderland" for 45 minutes or so, only to go back into "Looking Glass" territory smoothly towards the finish.

But the primary joy is in the cast; as mentioned I have some issues, but on the whole I really enjoyed most of the stars, and it seems like many of the more important ones did get into the swing of things. Edna Mae Oliver is delightfully goofy and sly as the Red Queen, Fields is perfect as Humpty-Dumpty, Edward Everett Horton silly but tending towards dangerous as the Mad Hatter, and most of the rest of the names including Sterling Holloway and Jack Oakie seem to be enjoying themselves. Top honors in the end have to go to Gary Cooper as the White Knight - frail, naive, joking, crazy, bumbling, and entirely sympathetic. He dominates the screen and comes the closest I think to being a "real" person - though in the end he's not around long enough to be any more than another crazy dream.

SUMMARY: though this is easily the best "faithful" Alice adaptation I've seen - not that most are that good, mind you - I can't quite give it the top rating, despite the excitement that I felt for it and my general pleasure at the film itself, and that is due almost entirely to the way Universal has handled this release. Though the film doesn't look and sound bad, it isn't in terrific shape either - there are occasional tear lines in the frame and more dirt and speckling than there ought to be, if the film were given much restoration effort. The DVD is completely bare-bones, no extras whatsoever - not even a trailer - and given that it is in fact the shorter reissue, it would be nice to at least be given some information as to why we're getting the shorter version, and what may have happened to the missing footage. I can well understand the anger of some of the reviewers at the cheap way this was put out, timed for the release of the new Tim Burton film and seemingly marketed to capitalize on that - but not to really cater to the collectors who have long waited for it.

Still, a mediocre release of a formerly missing classic is better than nothing, and I think there are enough positives to be accentuated for me to recommend this. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to email Universal with any dissatisfaction you might feel as to the quality of the product. While this "Alice" may not be a masterpiece, it certainly deserved better treatment than this, after 77 years.
224 of 246 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Universal is cheap!! Feb. 25 2010
By Neil B. Saiontz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I am tired of Universal putting out these crappy versions of releases. UCLA has an entirely RESTORED print of this film in their library and it could easily have been used as a resource for this dvd release. This so-called restoration per other review sites, lists this dvd release's picture as minimal with crack and speckles on the film. As for the 90 minute version, I can tell you for a FACT the original film was 90 mins. The missing scenes involved Alice's sister and the Reverend and his concern about Alice's strange behavior. I saw it on television back in the late 1970's in Baltimore. There was a man who had the entire print who lived in DC and he allowed the local station to use it to show. What happened to the man's print, I don't know, but UCLA also has a complete audio soundtrack on tape for this film and also a separate sound effects and music track which could EASILY have been used on this DVD as an extra and very well may have the extra minutes.They are just trying to make a quick cash in because of Burton's release. I had approached Universal over the past 5 years on 3 occassions asking them to release this and was basically told to bug off. NOW they release it??? Give me a break. Greedy bunch of #$%$^&.There is no love behind this release AT ALL.
75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars EDITED version, totally BARE BONES packaging. March 4 2010
By N. Huston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
other reviewers have mentioned it; i'll second them: THIS IS THE EDITED 77-minute version (single disc, universal release, upc# 025195053563, just so we're all clear on that); NOT the full 90 minute original.

transfer quality and sound are both 'okay.' not great, not poor - just okay.

single disc, extremely bare bones packaging. NO special features whatsoever. yet another missed opportunity in the mishandling of a classic film.

if you LOVE this version of the story, buy it. if you're a die-hard alice/carroll fan, buy it. if you absolutely NEED everything cary grant, gary cooper or w.c. fields (or even edward everett horton, baby leroy, or sterling holloway) ever attached their names to, buy it. or you could wait until a miracle occurs and a studio somewhere starts to take pride in its back catalogue, releasing films uncut, unedited (hays code cuts are still in effect, really? in THIS day and age?!), with at least SOME minimal effort put into production... but i wouldn't hold my breath.

three stars as-is, because the movie, weird as it is, cut-up as this version is, does radiate a certain charm (and this is, in all likelihood, the ONLY version we're gonna get); otherwise, i'd give it a pass.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Correction to Previous Reviews July 28 2010
By James Curtis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
While I'm no fan of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and the indifferent way USHE generally treats its older releases, in this case I have to say they've gotten a bum rap and something needs to be said.

Other customer reviews note a rumored 90 minute version of ALICE and berate USHE for only releasing the supposedly shortened version of the film on DVD. I'm here to tell you that the myth of the 90 minute version is just that--a myth.

I've had occasion to look into the making of this movie twice. Once, fleetingly, for my 2003 biography of W.C. Fields, and more deeply for a book I'm currently preparing on William Cameron Menzies. I've read the MPPDA file on the film, seen many of the reviews, noted contemporary articles on its making, and examined various drafts of Menzies' illustrated screenplay. At no time was the film any longer than 76 minutes. The Variety review, published December 26, 1933, gives its length as 76 minutes, and the 1935-36 Motion Picture Almanac (the earliest I have at hand) gives it as 75 minutes. (Close enough.) There are no major scenes in the shooting script, dated September, 1933, that are not in the film, and the Hays Office file shows that no eliminations were required at any time. In fact, Dr. James Wingate, in approving the film on December 9, 1933, commended the studio on an excellent job. "We trust that, in addition to the satisfaction of having produced one of the most notable pictures of the year, Paramount will also find that the picture will measure up at the box office to its outstanding production quality."

In terms of the DVD itself, the picture quality seems just fine to me. No attempt has been made to restore the film in any way, and there are zero extras, but the source materials seem to have been in fine shape, and the transfer appears to confim this. And whatever you may think of the film itself, it is, for 1933, a fascinating example of state-of-the-art visual effects, produced the same year as that other groundbreaking show, KING KONG. In conception, it may have been a mistake to combine both ALICE books into one scenaio, but if you've never seen this film, forget everything else you've heard about it and just allow it to take you in. In scope, ambition, and technical expertise, there are few more interesting movies of the period.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Begin at the beginning and go on 'til you come to the end: then stop." Feb. 27 2010
By Annie Van Auken - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Imagine Cary Grant as a sobbing mock turtle, Gary Cooper in a White Knight suit or W.C. Fields as grumpily philosophical Humpty Dumpty!

These and more are featured in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, the trippiest film made in the early sound era. Technical wizardry abounds, as stop action, split-screen, double exposure, undercranking, superimposition and overlay film techniques bring Lewis Carroll's remarkable world on the looking glass's other side to life. Standard animation (provided by FLEISCHER Studios) is also used in the "Walrus & Carpenter" segment.

Highlights include a speedy lawn croquet game, Polly Moran as a historical date-spouting Dodo bird, 'Queen Alice' at the head of a tea party populated by delightful characters such as Edward Everett Horton's Mad Hatter, and especially the most imaginative sets this side of Wonderland itself! It's a movie that will always be the ultimate cinematic version of Alice and friends. Highest recommendation to all!

(Note that the baby being so rudely handled and tossed around is 9-year-old Billy Barty, who was then a veteran of a family knockabout vaudeville act.)

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(6.5) Alice in Wonderland (1933) - Charlotte Henry/Gary Cooper/Cary Grant/W.C. Fields/Edna May Oliver/Edward Everett Horton/Sterling Holloway/Richard Arlen/Alison Skipworth/Lousie Fazenda/Ford Sterling/Leon Errol/Polly Moran/Ned Sparks/Baby LeRoy/Charles Ruggles/May Robson/Raymond Hatton/Jack Oakie/Roscoe Karns/May Marsh (uncredited: Billy Barty/Billy Bevan)
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