So I was lounging around yesterday on my one day off this week and I decided out of the blue that I wanted to watch “The Slipper and the Rose”. I haven’t seen that movie in so long. It is a fantastic musical representation of the “Cinderella” story. It has freaking Richard Chamberlain in it as the freaking prince! I remember when I first saw him in it and he was singing for crying out loud. And it weirded me out because I saw him in “Towering Inferno” and I had learned to hate him. So to see him as a sensible prince was kind of a brain buster.
So he was one reason why this movie fascinates me, the other was that it has brilliantly written musical numbers. After watching it again, I discovered that they were done by the Sherman Brothers. No wonder I love and remembered these songs after all these years. The Sherman Brothers are musical geniuses. In all the movies in which they’ve written songs for there is not one song of theirs I don’t like. And I learned the sad news that Robert Sherman died earlier this month on 3/6/12. His brilliant music will live in my heart for the rest of my life, may he rest in peace.
Now on to the music itself. I remembered most of the songs. One that I was happy I could sing along with was “What a Comforting Thing to Know”. That was the song that the prince sings about how as a kid he was brought to the royal crypt and shown where he was gonna be buried when he died. It’s both hilarious and morbid. I think without the musical number this probably would have scarred me for life. What a depressing thing for a small child to think about.
The song “Protocoligorically Correct” was one that I remember for both the song and the dance number. I don’t know what it was about old men dressed in Renaissance era clothing doing the can can that I found amusing, but it did and does. This song was sang by Michael Hordern as the king. This was about figuring out a way to essentially prevent war on his country, by having a party to find a bride for the prince. But since the women would be princesses from different kingdoms, they had to figure out ways to keep the ones that truly hated each other as far from one another as possible. Since apparently the fastest way to prevent war is not to insult neighboring countries royalty.
“Suddenly It Happens” is the stories dreams come true song. I love Gemma Craven’s singing voice. It’s truly inspiring to listen to her sing her heart out in this one. I love the part that Annette Crosbie as the fairy godmother(who is the most hilarious and interesting character in the movie) sings at the beginning. Same lyrics, but Craven really brings the emotion to it. Though I did find the mice turning into pseudo humans and then into horses kind of odd and disturbing. The rest of the scene though is really awesome.
One more song that I remembered from childhood mostly because it pissed me off was the song “Position and Positioning”. This song talks about the different statuses and stations that these people lived by. If you were a maid, you were a maid forever. If you were a cook, you did it forever. If you were anything below ‘nobility’ you stayed there. Forever! Even as a kid I found this concept disturbing and maddening. What if I didn’t want to be a maid or a cook anymore? I’d just be screwed. And I found it so unfair. Glad I don’t live in such a horrible society.
A lot of the love songs I remembered but not to the extent of these ones mentioned here. I remember the ball scene where they danced and then sang their duet and wishing I was a pretty princess with a prince waiting for me somewhere. Alas I’m a grownup now. I’m not a princess and princes don’t exist where I come from. But there is that part of me that still loves a good fairy tale. That part of me compels me to read romance novels for the fix. But this movie is so special for me. It’s such a well done retelling of a classic story. Fit for anyone that has a love for that sort of thing.