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Hans Christian Andersen (1952)

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The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."

Director:

Charles Vidor

Writers:

Moss Hart (screenplay), Myles Connolly (based on a story by)
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Danny Kaye ... Hans Christian Andersen
Farley Granger ... Niels
Zizi Jeanmaire ... Doro (as Jeanmaire The Famous French Ballerina)
Joseph Walsh ... Peter (as Joey Walsh)
Philip Tonge ... Otto
Erik Bruhn Erik Bruhn ... The Hussar - Danced by
Roland Petit Roland Petit ... The Prince in 'The Little Mermaid' Ballet
John Brown John Brown ... Schoolmaster
John Qualen ... Burgomaster
Jeanne Lafayette Jeanne Lafayette ... Celine
Robert Malcolm ... Stage Doorman
George Chandler ... Farmer
Fred Kelsey ... First Gendarme
Gil Perkins ... Second Gendarme
Peter J. Votrian ... Lars (as Peter Votrian)
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Storyline

A completely fabricated biography of the famous Danish fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen featuring several of his stories and a ballet performance of "The Little Mermaid". Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The glorious story of the greatest storyteller of them all!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1953 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Hans Christian Andersen et la danseuse See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to cover the necessary camera tricks, and to add "magic" to the Little Mermaid ballet, it was decided that, rather than presenting it as an actual ballet, they would have Hans imagine how it would look. This allowed them to do things on the screen which would be impossible on the stage. See more »

Goofs

In the 'Thumbelina' scene where Hans licks his right thumb and presses it against his left thumb to make a 'playmate' for Thumbelina, the faces are not mirror opposites. In fact, the 'new playmate' has a nose and a big smile that Thumbelina lacks. See more »

Quotes

Hans: You know, I never saw such a worrier as you, Peter. You want to worry? I'll give you something to worry about. Two years ago I took you out of that orphanage and promised them I'd make you into a good cobbler. Two whole years! Look at that shoe. Glue's all smeared, the nails go in crooked. Two years an apprentice and still the nails go in crooked.
Peter: I'm not as bad as all that, am I? You're not going to send me back, are you?
Hans: Ah! A new worry appears in the sky.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about this great spinner of fairy tales." See more »


Soundtracks

Anywhere I Wander
(1952) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Danny Kaye
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Danny Kaye in a fairy tale
6 August 2009 | by Petey-10See all my reviews

This is a movie that's based on the life of the Danish storyteller, H.C.Andersen (1805-1875).Except that it's not.It's more like a fairy tale of his life.Hans is a cobbler living in Odense, a small town in Denmark.He keeps telling fairy tales to local children, which makes the schoolmaster furious, since they rather listen to those fairy tales than attend classes.They then decide Hans has to leave.Hans' apprentice Peter doesn't tell him this, but awakes his old dream of going to Copenhagen.The pair sails off to big city, where he meets a beautiful ballerina, Doro.He falls in love with her immediately.Later he finds out she's married to her tyrannical impresario Niels.But he still keeps his dream alive of having her.Also, one of his tales, The Ugly Duckling, gets published in the Gazette newspaper.And The Little Mermaid is made into a ballet.It is Doro who gets to dance the lead.Hans Christian Andersen is directed by Charles Vidor.It's writers are Myles Connolly, Moss Hart and Ben Hecht.Samuel Goldwyn is the producer.This was his final production for RKO Radio Release.Danny Kaye is just the right man to play the lead.He was a great comedian, and he could nail the more serious roles, as well.The part of Doro is played by the now 85 years old ballet dancer Zizi Jeanmaire.This is her first film role.Farley Granger plays the husband Niels.Also her real life husband, Roland Petit, is in the movie as The Prince in The Little Mermaid ballet.The part of Peter is played by Joseph "Joey" Walsh.Philip Tonge is Otto.John Brown plays Schoolmaster.John Qualen is Burgomaster.Ex-dancer Sylvia Lewis is seen as Danseuse/Corps de Ballet.This is a wonderful film for kids and for the inner kids of us adults.It's a great musical with lots of brilliant songs that bring you in a good mood.Wonderful Copenhagen is very catchy.As are many other songs, including The King's New Clothes and I'm Hans Christian Andersen..It's a sweet moment when Hans sings the song of Thumbelina to the little girl outside the jail.The song was nominated for an Academy Award.Also a sweet moment is when he sings the tale of The Ugly Duckling to a friendless boy, who's head has been shaved due to illness.This is a positive movie, that shows us there's nothing a fairy tale can't fix.Of course life's not like that most of the times, but in a fairy tale anything is possible.


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