"The Slipper And The Rose" is a beautiful version of the classic Cinderella story. Made in England and released in 1976, it retells the familiar story with warmth, humor and wonderful songs by the Sherman brothers, who also did the music for countless Disney films, notably "Mary Poppins". Prince Edward (Richard Chamberlain), heir to the throne of Euphrania, is expected by his father the king (Michael Hordern in another wonderful performance) and his mother the queen (Lally Bowers) to choose a wife and settle down. To this end, they plan a court ball to which all the princesses they can locate will be invited. Meanwhile, young Cinderella (Gemma Craven) has just lost her beloved father. But things go from bad to worse for her, when her selfish stepmother (the great Margaret Lockwood, in her first film in over 20 years, and her last) and spoiled stepsisters (Rosalind Ayres and Sherrie Hewson) reduce her to the status of a servant in her own home. Thankfully, however, her fairy godmother (Annette Crosbie) is waiting in the wings to see that she goes to the ball and meet the prince. The rest is up to them... With an excellent cast and fine support from Kenneth More, as the Lord Chamberlain, Christopher Gable as the prince's friend John, and especially Dame Edith Evans as the dowager Queen, "The Slipper and the Rose" is magical film-making.A few twists in the story keep it fresh, while all the charm of the original is preserved. The lavish production, handsome location photography beautiful costumes and a witty, sophisticated script has appeal for all ages.And enough cannot be said for the Sherman's music, which is, in turn, delightful, hilarious and, when the occasion calls for it, heartbreaking. Craven's ballad ''Tell Him Anything-But Not That I Love Him''is a perfect example of the latter. This film just gets better as the years pass,and it's truly one of the best film versions of "Cinderella" ever made.
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