It looks like Paramount spared no expense in their film version of Lewis Carroll’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
Celebrating the 100 year old children’s Classic, I guess they thought it would be a big family hit. There were ambitious sets,costumes and makeup to convey the wondrous creatures of this fable.
It cried out for color,but Technicolor was not quite ready.
It’s not surprising the opening credits last 3 and a half minutes, with a picture of each star in character, and then one of the star as themselves .
Cary Grant is ‘Mock Turtle’ and is completely unrecognisable. It’s his voice, but is it even him ?
As is Gary Cooper as ‘The White Knight’ who keeps falling off his horse and has a little ladder to get him back on.
The other magical creatures Alice meets in the land behind the mirror include May Robson as the ‘Queen of Hearts’ who keeps telling her soldiers, “Off with her head!”
W. C.Fields is ‘Humpty-Dumpty': Richard Arlen is the ‘Cheshire Cat': Charlie Ruggles is the ‘March Hare’ who does a duet with Edward Everett Horton as the ‘Mad Hatter’.
Edna May Oliver is hilarious as the ‘Red Queen’ and Jack Oakie and Roscoe Karns are ‘Tweedledum and Tweedledee’.
It’s star laden ,but very difficult sometimes to recognise the stars!
And that apparently was why it wasn’t a success.
Ida Lupino, Betty Grable and Anne Shirley were tested for the part of Alice,but it went to Charlotte Henry whom I thought was very good. She was at least 17 at the time,(playing the much younger Alice).
A brave effort by Paramount. I enjoyed it.But why didn’t they promote Charlotte Henry afterwards.