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Alice in Wonderland (1983)

Cast: Kate Burton, Kate Burton, Richard Burton, more...
Director: Kirk Browning, Kirk Browning
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Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Kids, Live Action, Music Videos/Performance
Running Time: 87 min.
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Part of the Broadway Theater Archives, this stage production of Lewis Carroll's children's fantasy Alice in Wonderland was directed by Kirk Browning. Kate Burton plays young Alice, the little girl who wanders into a bizarre wonderland that just gets more and more curious. Her real-life father, Richard Burton, plays the White Knight. Also starring Eve Arden as the Queen of Hearts, Maureen Stapleton as the White Queen, and Donald O'Connor as the Mock Turtle. Broadway star Nathan Lane can also be seen in one of his earliest roles as the Dormouse. Alice in Wonderland was originally broadcast on PBS in 1983 as an episode of Great Performances. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

It's a bad sign when the costumes are more exciting than the actors. by Saroz February 3, 2004 - 11:08 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This particular Alice has a long history. It started as a hit play in the early '40s, was resurrected in the late '70s with Kate Burton in the title role, and then ported to Great Performances on PBS - the latter of which is what we have here on DVD. Presumably it worked a little better on stage, and probably a little better in the '40s, too. Sadly, it runs through both Alice stories in a breakneck 90 minutes' time, and much of the acting is truly lamentable - some of the actors are so bad, I actually thought that might be an intentional joke, as with Austin Pendleton's monotonistic White Rabbit! Probably the best of them are Donald O'Connor - the only one of the lot who can actually sing! - as the Mock Turtle, Geoffrey Holder as the Cheshire Cat, and Richard Burton as the White Knight. The tea party crew is fairly good as well. The rest...well, the sooner forgotten about, the better.

Despite the acting, the sets and costumes are gorgeous - they're mostly made (with the exception of the Cat) to look like Tenniel woodcuts, as the other reviewer noted. That makes it quite a visual treat, if nothing else. This isn't the worst Alice I've seen, but it's not very high on my list. Still, it has enough good points it's probably worth a rental on a rainy week...just don't expect anything too incredible.

Not my favorite Alice by TAubuchon May 8, 2002 - 9:56 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
I found this productions to be horribly disappointing. The acting was, for the most part, poor and extremely rushed. The staging was awkward and bumbling at times. The strange, made for video additions were painful to watch. Even Nathan Lane, who was born to do musical comedy on stage, was badly directed.

The reason this productions was so disappointing was due the amazing costume and set design. The set and costume designer successfully (minus the Cheshire cat) made the characters come straight out of the original etchings. The work was brilliant and deserved a brillant performance around it. I wished the staging had been better and I could have muted the sound. I would have happily watch the beautiful costumes and backgrounds, like moving etchings and not minded the poor acting around it.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 3.92)
12 Votes
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Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice
Lewis Carroll's immortal Alice in Wonderland has been the basis for an astounding variety of film and TV projects. Which ones are on DVD, and are they worth your time?

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