'Brothers Grimm' Joyful Cinerama Delight
Salt Lake Tribune, 23 August 1962, page 12A
"The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm," Cinerama's new blend of drama and fantasy, had its Intermountain premiere Wednesday evening on the curved-jumbo screen of the Villa Theatre and for 2 1/2 hours the audience was rapt up in the wishful, wonderful world of make-believe.
The El Kalah Oriental Band from Ogden performed on the plaza in front of the theater. Prior to the film the South Sea Island Polynesian Group performed on the stage. There were also choral numbers by the Chanters of El Kalah under the direction of Bill Bobolis.
The first-night audience was greeted by Ted Kirkmeyer, city manager of Fox Intermountain Theatres, and by J. Parker Coombs, Ogden, illustrious potentate of El Kalah.
The film tells the story of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm of Prussia whose folk tales and fairy stories written 150 years ago have become part of everyone's childhood ever since. There is hardly a language existent in the world today in which the stories have not been published.
King and gypsy, witch and dragon, princess and lover, knight and slave - all are cloaked in the facsimile of reality by the three-eyed camera of Cinerama.
The old bugaboo of multiple film projection - shifting of the separate panels - has been reduced to such a minor distraction that after the first minute or so you lose yourself in the picture and become unaware of it. The problem has also been minimized by confining most of the plot action to the center panel.
Woven into the pattern of the main plot are three of the Grimm's "Once Upon a Time . . ." fairy tales.
Laurence Harvey, who portrays Wilhelm Grimm, also plays the Cobbler in one fantasy sequence, "The Cobbler and the Elves," with Puppetoons as his nocturnal helpers.
In "The Singing Bone," Terry-Thomas is a knight arrogant who gets his come-uppance from the lowly born but valorous Buddy Hackett, who stages a running, pants-scorching battle with the most ferocious fire-spouting dragon to ever stalk the screen.
"The Dancing Princess" is a whirlwind of delight as Russ Tamblyn dances, pursues and schemes his way into the heart of the king's daugher, Yvette Mimieux, to win her hand and cheat the headsman's ax. Jim Backus is the "teched" tyrant, and his "Mr. Magoo" voice draws a laugh regardless of his lines.
The cast has given a deft touch to both fact and fantasy. In addition to Mr. Harvey as the impractical dreamer whose main love was to take children along on his flights of fancy, the main story line also stars Karl Boehm as practical Jacob Grimm, who first rejects and then accepts his brother's literary rambling.
Clairre Bloom is Wilhelm's devoted and understanding wife; Barbara Eden is the new girl in town.
Walter Slezak plays the dumpy, skeptical bookstore owners, and Oscar Homolka portrays a fatuous, far-from-grand duke.
There's something in this film for everybody - fun. And the switch ending should make you feel bouyant enough to float out of the theater. It won't dilute the surprise to give you one clue.
"They All Lived Happily Ever After."