Watch Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
- 1 hr 26 min
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella is a 1997 television musical film directed by Robert Iscove and written by Robert L. Freedman based on the classic fairy tale Cinderella. The movie is a remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1957 television musical, which was broadcast live and starred Julie Andrews. The 1997 version stars Brandy Norwood as the titular character Cinderella, with Bernadette Peters as her evil stepmother and Veanne Cox as her stepsister.
The movie follows the classic story of Cinderella, a young girl who is treated cruelly by her stepmother and stepsisters, but dreams of a better life. With the help of her fairy godmother, played by Whitney Houston, Cinderella gets to attend the royal ball and meets the prince, played by Paolo Montalban. Despite the many obstacles in her path, Cinderella ultimately finds herself living happily ever after.
One of the main strengths of this version of Cinderella is its diverse cast, with Brandy Norwood being the first Black actress to play the role of Cinderella. This was a groundbreaking move at the time and helped to break down barriers in terms of representation in Hollywood films. Brandy, who was a successful R&B singer at the time, brings a freshness and modernity to the role of Cinderella, while still maintaining the character's essential kindness and innocence. Her voice is a highlight throughout the film, with several of the movie's iconic musical numbers showcasing her talents.
Bernadette Peters as the evil stepmother is equally memorable, bringing a sly sense of humor to the role. Peters is a Broadway legend with a long list of credits to her name, and she imbues her character with a complex mixture of cruelty, jealousy, and vulnerability. Similarly, Veanne Cox excels at playing the stepsister who is jealous of Cinderella's beauty and grace. Cox is a gifted comedic actress and brings a lot of energy and humor to her scenes.
The movie's standout moment is undoubtedly "Impossible," the song that Cinderella's fairy godmother sings to her as she transforms from a ragged servant girl into a beautiful princess. Whitney Houston, who produced the film as well as appearing in it, delivers the song with passion and sincerity. Her vocal range is on full display here, with the song's high notes soaring into the stratosphere. The scene is a visual feast as well, with Cinderella's dress transforming from rags into a stunning ball gown, complete with glass slippers.
Beyond the performances, the movie is visually stunning, with elaborate sets and costumes that transport the viewer into a fairytale world. The ballroom scenes in particular are breathtaking, with hundreds of extras in gorgeous costumes swirling around the dance floor. The film also features some impressive special effects, including the pumpkin that turns into a carriage and the mice that transform into horses. These effects are seamlessly integrated into the film, making them feel believable and magical.
While the movie is faithful to the original story, it also introduces some new elements and changes. For example, Cinderella's fairy godmother is given a more prominent role in the film, appearing in several scenes throughout the movie. There is also a subplot involving the prince's adviser, who is in cahoots with the evil stepmother and tries to prevent Cinderella from attending the ball. These additions help to keep the movie fresh and exciting, even for those who are familiar with the story.
In conclusion, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella is a delightful, family-friendly musical that retains the magic of the original fairytale while adding fresh twists and updates. The performances are excellent, with Brandy Norwood, Bernadette Peters, and Veanne Cox all standing out in their respective roles. The music is memorable, with several standout songs that are bound to leave viewers humming along. And the visuals are simply stunning, bringing to life a fairytale world that is both enchanting and awe-inspiring. This movie is a must-watch for fans of musicals, fairytales, or simply feel-good movies in general.
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella is a 1997 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.