Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Recalling some little known Disney movies from the 50s, especially "The Sword and the Rose" and "Stormy"

I was actually a fan of Walt Disney movies when I was a boy, and I followed the opening of Disneyland in 1955 (wouldn’t visit it until 1967) and even “Doodyville” about the same time. 
There are a couple of curious classic Disney films that everyone has forgotten.

One of these is “The Sword and the Rose” (1953), directed by Ken Annakin, which would be shown in two parts on the Disneyland show in late 1955 under the original title of the 1900 Charles Major (Edward Caskoden real name) book “When Knighthood Was in Flower” (a swashbuckling best seller), which had been filmed once in 1922 (Robert Vignola).

I rather remember the 15th century period spectacle.  But the story concerns a plan for Mary Tudor (Glynis Johns) to escape a forced arrange marriage with a French King by escaping to America, about the time of Sir Walter Raleigh, during the time of Henry VIII.  Arranged marriages sounds like an important topic now, given the modern debates over the privatization of marriage (even same-sex marriage). 

I also remember the idea of chivalry -- the way men supposedly protected women in that society.
There was 40-minute short around 1953 that I was with my mother, “Stormy”, about a race horse.  I can’t find reference to it now.  It was a short that went along with a cartoon feature (Ii think it was “Peter Pan”).

A good movie to mention today also is “ Lady and the Tramp” (1955), the first animated film made in Cinemascope.  (Today, most animated films seem to be made in standard aspect 1.85:1).  The story concerns a romance between farm cocker spaniel Lady and a mutt from the wrong side of the tracks.   

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