The Slipper and the Rose

The Slipper and the Rose
The Slipper and the Rose

U.S. poster
Directed by Bryan Forbes
Produced by David Frost
and Stuart Lyons
Written by Robert B. Sherman & Richard M. Sherman and Bryan Forbes
Starring Gemma Craven
Richard Chamberlain
Michael Hordern
Edith Evans
Music by Songs:
Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
Angela Morley
Cinematography Tony Imi
Editing by Timothy Gee
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) 1976
Running time 143 min.
Language English

The Slipper and the Rose is a 1976 British musical film retelling the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. This film was chosen as the Royal Command Performance motion picture selection for 1976.

Directed by Bryan Forbes, the film stars Gemma Craven as the heroine, Richard Chamberlain as the Prince, and a supporting cast led by Michael Hordern, Kenneth More, Edith Evans and Annette Crosbie. Academy Award nominated songs are written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who also shared scripting duties with Forbes and, reportedly, the film's producer, broadcaster and journalist Sir David Frost.



The story revolves around a central theme of love between Prince Edward of Euphrania and Cinderella. There are also elements of wish fulfillment notably conveyed through the character of the Fairy Godmother.

Prince Edward of Euphrania returns home and to be greeted by High Lord Chamberlain, who is anxious to hear the news of his engagement. However, The Prince reveals he did not propose to her (Why Can't I Be Two People). After the unsuccessful journey to meet the princess, Edward decides to tell his parents that he wants to marry for love. They both believe the idea to be ridiculous and completely disagree (What Has Love Got To Do With Being Married?)

Meanwhile, Cinderella is banished to the cellar and made to work as a servant to her Stepmother and her daughters following her father's death. Back at the castle, the King of Euphrania is advised that a marriage between Edward and a Princess from one of Euphrania's enemies would prevent war. A ball is seen as the perfect way to help Edward choose his bride. However the princesses refuse the invitation so the local nobility, including Cinderella's Stepmother and Stepsisters, are invited.

The Stepmother and Stepsisters demand that Cinderella sew all three of them elegant gowns for the ball from the fabric of their old dresses. Cinderella has no idea what to do. As luck would have it her fairy godmother arrives and while Cinderalla rests, creates three beautiful gowns. That night, the Stepmother and Stepsisters depart for the ball leaving Cinderella alone. Cinderella's Fairy Godmother returns and informs Cinderella that she too can go to the ball. A coach and horses are magically prepared and Cinderella is sent off to the ball with a warning that the magic can only last till midnight. It is love at first sight when Cinnderella and Edward meet at the ball. As the clock strikes midnight, Cinderella races away, leaving only behind her glass slipper.

Edward sends his servants out far and wide in search of the woman who fits the glass slipper. The search turns out empty-handed. Edward builds a monument for the slipper and hopes that one day Cinderella will turn up. Finally, frustrated by his fruitless search, he breaks the monument, tossing the slipper into the woods where Cinderella finds it.

Cinderella and Edward meet again and head back to the castle. They are greeted by the Stepmother and Stepsisters. Edward asks the permission of the Stepmother to marry Cinderella and she gives full permission. Cinderella tells her Stepmother and Stepsisters that she forgives them for their mistreatment. In the Throne Room, Edward and Cinderella go before the King and Queen. Whilst the King and Queen find Cinderella to be charming, something seems to be troubling the King. He takes the Lord Chamberlain aside and tells him that there is no way his son and Cinderella, a non-royal, can be married. The Lord Chamberlain conveys this to Cinderella along with the news that she will have to be exiled that very night. Brokenhearted, Cinderella asks the Lord Chamberlain to tell Edward that she never loved him, because she knows that Edward will try and find her because of his love for her.

Edward, knowing he's fighting a losing battle, agrees to marry whomever the King and Queen choose, but says that his marital duties will go no further than the altar. Cinderella, living peacefully in exile, still thinks of Edward. Her Fairy Godmother arrives and asks Cinderella why she isn't at the castle as Edward is getting married that day. Cinderella, surprised, asks who Edward is marrying. The Fairy Godmother doesn't know but plans to set things right.

Back at the Castle, as the wedding is taking place, everyone is surprised when Cinderella shows up in a wedding gown. The King interrupts the wedding and he and his council meet in private. The fairy godmother joins the discussion and convinces the king to change the law, so that Edward can marry the girl of his choice. In a surprising twist, Edward's cousin falls in love and marries Edward's chosen bride thus fulfilling the alliance. Cinderella and Edward live happily ever after.



  • Robert Arditti — Adrian Barnes — Wendy Barry — Tony Bateman — Nicky Benton — Michael Buchanan — Reg Bundy
  • Susan Claire — Ina Clare — Rosalind Cole — Michael Coleman — Lesley Collier
  • Michael Darbyshire — Anna Delaney — Bill Drysdale — Stanley Fleet — Neil Fitzwilliam — Joyce Graham
  • Johnny Heawood — Deanne Horsham — Sheila Humphries — Jerry (?) Hunt — Janie Kells — Lorna Kelner
  • Jimmy Land, Maurice Lane — William Lawford — Adrian Lepeltier — Susan Lockwood — Vince Logan
  • Connel Miles — Thorey Mountain — Connie Paull — Terry Rendle
  • Stuart Saunders — David Shelmordine — Petra Siniwski — Wayne Sleep — Arthur Sweet — Jessica Swift
  • Hilary Tickner — Jacquie Toye — Domini Winter


  • "Why Can't I Be Two People?" - Richard Chamberlain
  • "What Has Love Got to Do With Getting Married?" - Michael Hordern, Lally Bowers, Edith Evans, Julian Orchard
  • "Once I Was Loved" - Gemma Craven
  • "What a Comforting Thing to Know" - Richard Chamberlain, Christopher Gable
  • "Protocoligorically Correct" - Michael Hordern, Chorus
  • "Bride-Finding Ball" - Richard Chamberlain, Julian Orchard
  • "Suddenly It Happens" - Annette Crosbie, Gemma Craven
  • "The Slipper and the Rose Waltz Theme" (an instrumental version of "He Danced With Me")
  • "Secret Kingdom" - Richard Chamberlain, Gemma Craven
  • "He Danced With Me/She Danced With Me]" - Richard Chamberlain, Gemma Craven
  • "Position and Positioning" - Christopher Gable, Chorus
  • "Tell Him Anything (But Not That I Love Him)" - Gemma Craven
  • "I Can't Forget the Melody" - Gemma Craven
  • "Secret Kingdom (Reprise)" - Richard Chamberlain, Gemma Craven

In its initial US release by Universal Pictures, the songs "What Has Love Got To Do With Being Married" and "I Can't Forget the Melody" were cut. They were also cut from the soundtrack LP, released in the US (MCA 2097).

Award nominations

The Sherman Brothers were nominated for the following awards for The Slipper and the Rose:


At the March 24, 1976 Royal Command Performance of the The Slipper and the Rose the Queen Mother commented to the songwriters, "The waltz you wrote for the ballroom scene is the most beautiful song I've ever heard."[1]

Writing in The New York Times, critic Vincent Canby called the film "harmless", adding that the writers "stretched the fable without mercy, largely to accommodate a whole bunch of forgettable songs by the Shermans", and that, as the Prince and Cinderella, "Mr. Chamberlain and Miss Craven have impossible roles that are less like characters in a fairy tale than pictures on a jar of peanut butter."[2]

In other media

In the 2006 London play, Frost/Nixon, playwright Peter Morgan makes reference to Executive Producer, David Frost's involvement in The Slipper and the Rose suggesting that Frost is more "entertainer" than serious journalist.[3]

Jim Reston: "Where's David?"
Bob Zelnick: "At a movie premiere."
Jim Reston: "What, the night before we start taping? What premiere?"
Bob Zelnick: "The Slipper and the Rose"
Jim Reston: "The Cinderella movie?"
Bob Zelnick: "He's the executive producer."
Jim Reston: "What the one with Richard Chamberlain singing, 'ding diddy ding ding'?"


See main article: The Slipper and the Rose (musical)

United Kingdom

The 1984 musical production has been run often on the British stage.

North America

United States

It made its US premiere in February, 2004 at the Hale Center Theater in Salt Lake City, Utah. A production was also put on in Nov.-Dec. 2008 at the Tacoma Musical Playhouse in Tacoma, Washington.


The Slipper and the Rose had its Canadian premiere on Saturday May 28, 2011 at the Beaubois Theatre in Montreal, Quebec.[4]

Home video

In 2000, this film was released in the USA on DVD by Image Entertainment, in its original full-length British version, with audio commentary by director Bryan Forbes. Its extras included a video interview with the Sherman Brothers and a promotional featurette. This DVD is currently out of print.

See also

  • The Slipper and the Rose (musical)


  1. ^ Walt's Time: From Before to Beyond by Robert B. Sherman, Camphor Tree Publishers, 1998, pg. 190
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent, "Screen: Glass Slipper Into Sow's Ear", The New York Times, November 5, 1976. Requires registration. Retrieved December 1, 2006
  3. ^ Morgan, Peter, Frost/Nixon. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 2006 p.41
  4. ^ Les Productions Coracole. Retrieved May 28th, 2011

External links

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