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Hans Christian Andersen
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Customer Reviews:

  • my favorite
    this is my favorite danny kaye movie a treat for all, cmae fast and in good condition...more info
  • Classic Kaye
    I don't know if this one is a 'must have' for everyone, but it is for me. Technicolor, Danny Kaye, and music that just takes me right back to childhood.

    This is one your kids should see!...more info

  • Great for all ages
    This film is a delight, wonderful to be enjoyed by kids from 3-4 years and older by themselves or with parents or grandparents. A true classic....more info
  • "Hans Christian Anderson"
    This is a charming fifties musical film with Danny Kaye at his best. The songs are appealing, and the story equally enjoyable for children and adults....more info
  • Favorite Childhood Memories
    Before VHS and DVD players to entertain us in our cars....My family would sing the songs from this movie on long trips to Alabama. The movie has a sweet ageless quailty and touches your heart with the memories of simple life before TMNT, Bratz and Pokeman....more info
  • Enjoyment for all ages!
    At first when I bought this movie, I was really excited since I remember watching this when I was little. I thought to buy this so that my family could enjoy it with me. The children hemmmmmed and hawwwwwed they wanted a different movie, this looked boring. I ignored them, put the movie on, and left to wash dishes. All of a sudden silence, the children were entranced by this movie and did not budge until it was over and then wanted to watch it again! ...more info
  • Hans Christian Andersen
    This movie is just as I remembered seeing it as a child. The songs and stories are wonderful for young children and stay in your memory for years. I love Danny Kaye. I'm looking forward to sharing this with my grandchildren. Thanks for supplying me with a piece of my childhood once again! ...more info
  • Great job
    I was very happy with speed of service and crisp picture of the movie. Would most likely order more of this same movies....more info
  • One of my all time favorites
    I personally think this is one of Danny Kaye's best films, even though it's certainly not his most famous or popular. There are so many classic songs in here (Inchworm/2 and 2 are 4; Ugly Duckling; etc.) and Danny Kaye is a charmer here, much better than his more slapstick style in other movies.

    The only part that I found somewhat tedious was the long scene where he's trapped in a storage room at the ballet and can only imagine what the dancing must be like based on the music he hears (I admit I sometimes fast forward past this bit). But otherwise it's a 5-star-plus movie for me!...more info
  • Delightful Children's Musical
    Danny Kaye plays the Danish cobbler-storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen. At the beginning he is said by the schoolmaster of the village of Odense he is causing trouble. The trouble is he tells stories to the village children, and they learn things like numbers falling in love and marrying each other. One town person said of his stories: They asked their daughter what time it was? She said "the minute and hour hands weren't speaking to each other. They were in love with the second hand. So they wouldn't make up until they met at 12 o' clock." After all the commotion with the village officials, Hans goes back to his cobbler shop. There his apprentice friend, Peter talks him into getting away from the village and going to Copenhagen.


    Reluctant at first Hans agrees to go to Copenhagen with Peter. There Hans meets and falls in love with Doro (Jeanmarie), a beautiful French ballerina. But later learns that she is married to the demanding Niels (Farley Granger). Overwhelmed by his love for her, he is inspired to write, 'The Little Mermaid' for Doro. The story of the Little Mermaid, like Doro goes-that she looked for love from the wrong man. Hans becomes popular with the people of Copenhagen and his gift in telling stories to the children. So Andersen's fame grew out of his plays and stories. Some of the musical scores that stand out are the most known of Andersen's best loved works. Those most memorable numbers are from 'Inchworm,' 'Thumbelina' and 'The Ugly Duckling.' Hans later finds that the ballerina truly loves her husband, so Hans returns home to his village of Odense. There he tells his stories to the children who loves to hear his fairy tales. You may not find Kaye's usual comic flair here. He extends his more poignant side of the famous storyteller. This was Kaye's final film of his career beofre embarking on his life's love of working with Unicef. If you like to read about Andersen, he wrote his auto-bio, 'The Fairy Tale of My Life.' The film itself is a delightful children's story that the whole family can love....more info

  • A good kid's movie
    HAns Christian andersen is a good movie. Andersen (Danny Kaye) is a cobbler who can't stop telling stories for the little kiddies. This gets him in trouble with the top bananas in town, who vote to have him run out for making kids miss school. Andersen moves to Copenhagen, falls in love with a beautiful french ballerina, and gets himself famous for his stories, all the while going from song to song with true Kaye spirit. It was a good movie, but not one to be overly thrilled about....more info
  • Hans Christian Andersen
    In a time when I find I must wear a disguise that includes facial hair and nerdy eyewear when attending an R rated movie, the innocence of this production is a delight. I saw it when it originally came out many years ago. When I revisited this film, I immediately returned to the security and optimism of childhood. The storyline is not to be taken literally, of course, but then the movie is more about Danny Kaye than Andersen. If you are overcome by unemployment, Congress, Ponzi schemes, the war in the Middle East, and gang activity in your neighborhood, take a look at this and see what the world looked like when we didn't despair every time we read the paper or view the evening news. ...more info
  • Movie Review for Hans Christian Andersen
    I love this movie, I rented it from the Library for my children years ago. I wanted this movie for my Granddaughter, and found it on Amazon. For any child or mom who loves to read this movie tells a great story about a classic writer. Please enjoy with your children or grandchildren....more info
  • Hans Christian Andersen not quite, but very entertaining
    Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) was an Ugly Duckling. He lived in the third largest town Odense, in Denmark. The son of a cobbler he was poverty ridden and a failure as an actor and it wasn't until he moved to Copenhagen and won the patronage of Frederick VI, through his poetry, that he wrote his fairy tales and developed into a swan. Like many artists he wasn't particularly happy, and never did marry, although he was very fond of Jenny Lind (1820-87) the Swedish Nightingale a soprano given the name by P.T. Barnum during her tour of the United States between 1850-52.) Charles Vidor's film does state at the beginning, This is not the story of Hans Christian Andersen but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales. The Danes objected to the way Hans Christian Andersen was portrayed even though Goldwyn had rejected 21 previous manuscripts, so the film company inserted this statement in the credits.

    Danny Kaye with his chiselled features does resemble H.C.Andersen when looking at his profile, but apart from this facial feature that's where it stops. Kaye had dark hair but Hollywood soon changed that and he became a blonde, Andersen also had dark hair but he kept it that way.

    Unlike some earlier musicals, this film does have a strong story line with loads of songs written by "Baby, It's Cold Outside", Frank Loessen, such as Thumbelina, Ugly Duckling, No Two People, and of course Wonderful Copenhagen. The scenery is very clever, the backgrounds look like illustrations from fairy tale books, but as the camera zooms in to the foreground the buildings and props become three dimensional similar to a pop-up-book.

    There are four ballet scenes that I probably found boring back in `52, but revisiting them now, they are visually very interesting, technically I wouldn't know if they are good or mediocre but for a Hollywood musical film, four ballets must of taken an enormous amount of consideration seeing as the film is really for kids. Once again the backdrops for the ballets also resemble fairy tale illustrations and pop-up-books.

    Instead of a soprano, Andersen falls in love with a ballet dancer and here's a musical that doesn't have a very happy ending because poor Hans gets mixed up with a married woman. The ballet dancer Doro, is played by Zizi Jeanmaire, and is married to Niels played by Farley Granger. During the last part of the film, the audience is taken behind the scenes of the ballet company playing at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen, but this isn't a film of a show included in a show, similar to earlier musicals, but an uplifting musical film with lots of music with catchy tunes helped by a ton of children.

    The last ballet scene takes 17 minutes, quite long for a popular movie. In the film Hans writes a story especially for his love Doro, unfortunately Niels locks him in a cupboard so Andersen never sees her perform but has to use his imagination.

    The ballet takes place on land and under the ocean. The surface waves are pop-up so that the dancers can be seen dancing in between the swells, it's really very clever visually, and there's no trickery here. Under the sea filled with monsters and witches, the heroine is probably attached to a pulley so that she can be seen swimming for the surface. There are no blue screens in this film, all effects are up-front and work perfectly similar to a staged ballet. Once again the technicolor process is used and this enhances the fairy tale effect with vivid colors.

    Hans Christian Andersen fairy stories are not violent when compared to the Grimm brothers, but the themes usually have a lesson, and in the story written for Doro's ballet, "The Little Mermaid," it is saying that aiming for the stars does not always bring happiness, but then of course Walt Disney hadn't yet arrived on the scene and he soon changed that philosophy....more info

  • Magical story telling!!
    Danny Kaye is Hans Christian Andersen. There's no doubt about it after you see this film. His portrayal of this writer is winsome and magical, and the songs he weaves coming from the stories he writes and reads cause the children everywhere to want to get out of their classrooms and go the town square or valley to hear him tell them.

    The one spot I had difficulty with was with the scenes where Hans falls in love with the ballerina, and while it may have some historicity, I found it a little distracting. But this is a small thing, and overall, this is a marvelous film and highly recommended....more info

  • I'm going to Copenhagen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AHHHHHHHH this is like the best movie! Whats the matter thumby? still unhappy? would you like a playmate? give him a kiss!...more info
  • Hans Christian Andersen
    Wonderful family movie. Danny Kaye does a wonderful job. This classic should be in everyones library....more info
  • danny kaye
    this movie was a child hood favorite
    my mother use to make my brothers and i sit and watch certain family classics and this was one of them, my mother is now passed and my husband has been helping me save precious memories by buying me all those old classics! received this one for christmas this year.
    i have found that many many people my age(mid 40's) never heard of this movie and i think it is one to watch with your little ones! ages 5-12 especially with the garbage they watch on todays TV. 13-the older teens would probably not enjoy it as much unless they come from a very sheltered and disciplined home life.
    this is clean language and i would class it as a musical. ...more info
  • One third great, two thirds blah...
    The really wonderful parts of this film are the great songs by Frank Loesser as performed by Danny Kaye. Loesser was at his peak and delivered songs that were all memorable, all charming and (almost) all on target for plot and character. Kaye combines charm and wit in a way that was all his. He is perfect for this material. This should have been the basis for a wonderful musical. Unfortunately, the film was "overproduced" with substantial elements that distract and detract from this strong core.
    Moss Hart got hired to do the screenplay. His script is flabby and overlong. Dramatic scenes go on aimlessly and are so long that the energy of the musical numbers dissapates. Mr. Hart's script should have been ruthlessly reworked and tightened. The second error was hiring Roland Petit to film the multiple ballet sequences. Here is where the film really begins to look like one the least successful of that long line of "The Red Shoes" wannabes that Hollywood produced in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Unfortunately, these numbers have none of the charm, intensity, and cinematic quality of that earlier classic. Sadly, when a producer has paid big bucks for a major playwright and a major choreographer, he is very unlikely to discard their well meant but inappropriate contributions.
    I wish Mr. Goldwyn had stayed strictly with what worked....more info
  • Delicious performer, wonderful introduction to ballet!
    I fell hopelessly in love with Danny Kaye when I was 8 years old, and I'm still crazy about him many years later. . . no other performer of whom I'm aware has ever shown his unique combination of comic virtuousity, tenderness, silliness, physical bravado and dramatic depth.

    He could also really sing, not just comically but straightforwardly, in his naturally rich, sweet lyric-tenor voice. If you really listen to the "Inchworm" song, you will hear just how fine his voice really was.

    The ballet sequences in the movie transfixed me as an eight-year-old ballerina wannabe. Maybe they look hokey to present-day grownups, but I bet most kids would immediately understand.

    One of the best movies ever!!!!...more info
  • Wonderful and beautiful story
    This was sent to me from I don't know who, but I've always loved the stories of Hans Christian Andersen, as well as Danny Kaye being a favorite performer.

    Hans Christian Andersen is a Dutch cobbler who enjoys telling stories to the children in his village. When concerns for the children's education begins to anger the adults, Hans and his apprentice Peter leave for Coppenhagen for new territory. In Coppenhagen, Hans finds inspiration for some of his most memorable stories, as well as love for a beautiful ballerina.

    Danny Kaye is endearing and charming as he works with the children he tells the stories to.

    The music is beautiful and charming and the ballet scene is fantastic.

    I heartily recommend this movie to fans of musicals, fairytales or ballet....more info
  • Correction
    I'd just like to make a correction on another customer review that I read of this movie. This was not Danny Kaye's last movie. I don't know what was, but in 1954, he did "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. It's not a really important thing, I suppose, but I just wanted to make sure that the information was correct....more info
  • A Classic
    I find the the film has a few deficiencies, like some of the dramatic scenes are a bit long. But it is indeed a children's-well really a family movie.I have no children, yet I enjoy this movie very much! I loaned it to my friend and her (very hyper) children were glued to it. I especially enjoyed the toning down of Danny Kaye, there is none of his over-the-top silliness that really bothers me at times. This movie is labelled at the outset as a fairy tale in it's own right, it's not meant to be factual. It features his happier tales indeed, but they are small parts of the overall tale; the larger tale features a man who seeks to entertain and to teach, yet is subject to a bit of vanity as are most of us...it also illustrates the danger of living too much in fantasy!

    This is a movie that is positive, well acted (mostly...the bit parts are pretty weak) and has a wonderful score that I was still able to sing or hum despite the passing of 20-30 years between viewings...how many movies can you say that about?
    ...more info
  • Hans Christian Andersen
    In a time when I find I must wear a disguise that includes facial hair and nerdy eyewear when attending an R rated movie, the innocence of this production is a delight. I saw it when it originally came out many years ago. When I revisited this film, I immediately returned to the security and optimism of childhood. The storyline is not to be taken literally, of course, but then the movie is more about Danny Kaye than Andersen. If you are overcome by unemployment, Congress, Ponzi schemes, the war in the Middle East, and gang activity in your neighborhood, take a look at this and see what the world looked like when we didn't despair every time we read the paper or view the evening news. ...more info
  • Enjoyment for all ages!
    At first when I bought this movie, I was really excited since I remember watching this when I was little. I thought to buy this so that my family could enjoy it with me. The children hemmmmmed and hawwwwwed they wanted a different movie, this looked boring. I ignored them, put the movie on, and left to wash dishes. All of a sudden silence, the children were entranced by this movie and did not budge until it was over and then wanted to watch it again! ...more info
  • One of my all time favorites
    I personally think this is one of Danny Kaye's best films, even though it's certainly not his most famous or popular. There are so many classic songs in here (Inchworm/2 and 2 are 4; Ugly Duckling; etc.) and Danny Kaye is a charmer here, much better than his more slapstick style in other movies.

    The only part that I found somewhat tedious was the long scene where he's trapped in a storage room at the ballet and can only imagine what the dancing must be like based on the music he hears (I admit I sometimes fast forward past this bit). But otherwise it's a 5-star-plus movie for me!...more info
  • delightfully simple
    This is a classic for young and old. Buy now, enjoy it for a life time. Share it with any one who loves musicals, comedy, and a moment of joy....more info
  • A joy and smile that spans the generations
    I remember seeing this movie several times as a child. When I had children of my own I always looked forward to this wonderful movie to show on T.V. Now that I have grand-children, I am purchasing a copy so that this generation can enjoy the magic and the joy....more info
  • Hans Christian Anderson
    I grew up on this movie back in the 60's and I enjoy watching it just as much today. My husband's father was a friend of Frank Loesser, the composer of the words and music for the film, and also his payroll manager for years at his music company Frank Music, so I might be a little biased. Danny Kaye is great as Hans, the shoemaker who makes up children's stories and songs, and all of the supporting cast is excellent as well, especially Farley Granger as a cranky play producer. If you don't know the songs already( The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, Inchworm....)they are all very catchy and will grow on you. The sets used in the film are all top notch and very beautiful. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards but did not win any. I can't say enough about this film. One thing I will say is if you didn't grow on this film like I did, children over 10 might find it some what dated. I wish there was some special features on the dvd but all you get is the trailer, it would have been nice to have a making of documentary or director's commentary, maybe in a future release. But this disc will do for now especially at this price. So sit back and enjoy an MGM classic with classic songs. They sure don't make them like this anymore. ...more info
  • FOR FANS OF HANS
    Children will undoubtedly love this confection as I did. As an adult, if you watch this film as a fantasia of the great Dane's life it is bearable; otherwise the going gets pretty sticky. The ballerina originally was to be played by the eloquent Moira Shearer, but she was pregnant and therefore unavailable; the part went to the rather lacklustre Zizi Jeanmaire. The scene near the beginning where Hans is telling the kids stories looks amateurish in the kid's reactions. The picture was Goldwyn's GREATEST moneymaker and there are wonderfully hummable tunes such as "No Two People" "Thumblina" "Wonderful Copenhagen" and the sad "Inch Worm" Young children should love this sugar-coated confection which bears little reference to the real Andersen (probably just as well as he was notoriously morose). The Danish people weren't too thrilled as a whole with this film when they saw it and most thought it was insulting to their national hero....more info
  • Hans
    This movie is a great example of real life lessons and how to cope with the good and bad. If you enjoy Danny Kaye, you will enjoy this....more info
  • Loveable (if long)
    A fan of Danny Kaye for life, I viewed this with grandchildren 8 and 4 who stuck with it despite some long ballet passages and a contrived plot. There are a number of touching scenes, good songs, and of course wonderful stories....more info