The Glass Slipper (1955)

THE GLASS SLIPPER (1955)
Article 2567 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-15-2008
Posting Date: 8-23-2008
Directed by Charles Walters
Featuring Leslie Caron, Michael Wilding, Keenan Wynn
Country: USA

A young girl dreams of living in the palace, but she is forced to work as a servant by her stepmother and two stepsisters. When she meets the prince under the belief he is the son of the cook of the palace, she finds herself invited to the ball, but she has nothing to wear. Then a kindly old lady comes to her rescue…

You should have been able to figure out from the above plot description (and the title, or course) that this is basically the Cinderella story. I really liked this take on the story; the characters are fleshed out and well acted by all, though special credit goes to Leslie Caron as Cinderella (who manages to make her character’s emotions very real and strong whether she’s in the musical or non-musical portions of the movie) and Estelle Winwood as Mrs. Toquet, an eccentric old lady who becomes for all story purposes our fairy godmother, and who steals the movie in the bargain. Michael Wilding is charming as the Prince, and Keenan Wynn is at his most subtle as the Prince’s friend. I find ballet sequences much easier to take as segments of non-ballets, and this one has two lovely sequences, one in which Cinderella imagines herself visiting the kitchen of the palace to meet the cook’s son, and one in which she imagines her worst fears when she believes that the Prince is going to marry an Egyptian princess instead of her. The movie is given a very non-fantastic spin on things, so much so that you’ll not be sure whether there really is any fantastic content to speak of (that is, until the final moments of the movie). I found this to be a lovely rendition of a classic fairy tale, unique and with more depth than you might imagine.

 

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