The Slipper and the Rose (1976)

slipper and the rose musicalOf the 5,483,922 film productions of Cinderella, I’d say this ranks at a solid 1,532,624. (That’s just behind Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical and a couple million ahead of Jerry Lewis in Cinder-fella.)

 

Ok, I have a bone to pick with this film. There is no “rose” ever mentioned in The Slipper and the Rose! It’s completely rose-less. Like my cheeks. (the ones on my face, I mean.) They might as well have called this The Slipper and the Barry Manilow. Same thing — only roses can’t whisk us away to places where music and passion are always the fashion.

Still, I suppose I can find it in my heart to forgive this gross oversight and give it another chance. Indeed, I’m ready to take a chance again.

The Slipper and the Rose tells the Cinderella story in a classic way while adding a few twists to make it interesting. Overall I really did enjoy it, though I will say it’s a little long due to a few unnecessary songs and opening credits that last about 17 hours.

cinderella musical

I didn’t decide I enjoyed it until about 10 or 15 minutes in where we meet the rest of the royal family. The king and his elderly mother have some great one-liners that instantly secured my endorsement of this movie. (That, and an unintentionally hilarious scene where Cinderella’s slipper-clutching hand rises creepily out of the weeds like Frankenstein. Good stuff.)

Richard Chamberlain is the only member of the cast I recognized, but then again I’m woefully behind on 1970s British musicals.

The film was shot on location in Austria and the scenery is just as beautiful as the music — which, by the way, was written by the Sherman brothers. They, of course, were the musical masterminds behind Disney films like Mary Poppins, and the songs in this movie has a very similar feel. In fact, had the prince suddenly scrunched his pants down and danced like a penguin this would have been the same movie.

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: I thought my Barry Manilow joke was really, really funny. My wife disagreed.

slipper and the rose movie cinderella

Similar to Aladdin, this version of the Cinderella story focuses on a prince who defies his father’s wishes to marry someone who could provide a strong alliance to the kingdom.

As my two little boys grow older I find myself identifying more and more with the parents in these movies, and I can’t help but feel just as sorry for the king as I do the prince.

While a family is not exactly a democracy (if it were, ice cream would win the dinner vote by a landslide at our house), it’s most definitely not a monarchy, either, where parents dictate everything and their child citizens are denied the freedom to choose. It’s true that fathers and mothers have a responsibility to set rules and enforce consequences, but there must be balance where children are allowed to grow and learn for themselves.

It can be hard, even heartbreaking, for parents to watch their kids of all ages make choices that go directly against what they have hoped and planned for those children. We ought to take comfort, however, in the fact that even though our Heavenly Father has designed a perfect plan for us (centered on the Savior’s Atonement), He still allows us to make decisions that are sometimes not in harmony with that plan.

Equally as important, our Father in Heaven also allows us to experience the consequences of our decisions, which is a crucial side of agency’s coin. No child of heaven or earth can truly grow if a fairy godparent swoops in to save them from inconvenient consequences.

So teach your kids. Love your kids. And pray to God they remember your loving lessons and make the right choices.

“Behold, here is wisdom, and let every man choose for himself…” — Doctrine & Covenants 37:4

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