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Hans Christian Anderson (Samuel Goldwyn 1952, Danny Kaye)

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Tuneful and enjoyable film loosely based on the life of maestro fairy-tale teller Hans Christian Andersen, starring Danny Kaye in the title role. The film tells the story of Andersen’s unrequited love for a ballerina (Zizi Jeanmaire) and how, instead of finding the romance he craved, he became a storyteller.

Lavishly produced by Sam Goldwyn, the film features a memorable score by Frank Loesser that includes Thumbelina, Wonderful Copenhagen, Inchworm and The Ugly Duckling.

Trivia wise Gary Cooper was once considered for the lead (which makes the mind boggle somewhat) and Moira Shearer was down to play the ballerina but fell pregnant. The role instead went to Zizi Jeanmarie who is famously name checked in Peter Sarstedt’s 1968 Number One Where Do You Go To My Lovely.

production details
USA | Samuel Goldwyn | 112 minutes | 1952

Writer: Moss Hart
Music and Lyrics: Frank Loesser
Cinematography: Harry Stradling
Director: Charles Vidor

cast
Sylvia Lewis as Danseuse / Corps de Ballet (uncredited)
Lee Aaker as Little Boy (uncredited)
Billy Bevan as Town Councilman (uncredited)
John Qualen as Burgomaster
Farley Granger as Niels
Fred Kelsey as First Gendarme
Danny Kaye as Hans Christian Andersen
Zizi Jeanmaire as Doro
Joseph Walsh as Peter
Philip Tonge as Otto
Erik Bruhn as The Hussar – Danced by
Roland Petit as The Prince in ‘The Little Mermaid’ Ballet
John Brown as Schoolmaster
Jeanne Lafayette as Celine
Robert Malcolm as Stage Doorman
George Chandler as Farmer
Barrie Chase as Ballerina (uncredited)