The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

name=The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

caption= souvenir program cover
director=Henry Levin
George Pal (fairytales)
writer=David P. Harmon
Charles Beaumont
William Roberts
starring=Lawrence Harvey
Claire Bloom
Karlheinz Böhm (as Karl Boehm)
Barbara Eden
Walter Slezak
Oscar Homolka
Russ Tamblyn
Yvette Mimieux
Jim Backus
Buddy Hackett
Martita Hunt
Ian Wolfe
Otto Kruger
Arnold Stang
editing = Walter Thompson
producer=George Pal
released=August 7, 1962 (USA)
runtime=135 min
amg_id = 1:55188
imdb_id = 0056700

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) is a Cinerama film directed by Henry Levin, who had a long career directing movies such as "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1959) and the television series "Knots Landing" in the late 1970s and early 1990s. George Pál was the producer and was also in charge of the stop motion animation. The film was one of the highest grossing movies of 1962. It won one Oscar and was nominated for three additional Academy Awards. Several famous actors, including Laurence Harvey, Jim Backus, Barbara Eden, and Buddy Hackett, are in the film, and it uses a rarely found feature in filming wherein an overlay of two separate screens was utilized to produce various effects. For example, the scene with the dragon seems more realistic since the creature appears to be directly over the characters instead of in the background on a giant screen as was typically done.


The story focuses on the Grimm brothers, Wilhelm and Jacob, and is biographical and fantastical at the same time. Both are working to finish a history for a local Duke, though Wilhelm is more interested in collecting fairy tales and often spends their money to hear them from locals. As the film progresses it occasionally presents tales from the Brothers Grimm, such as "The Dancing Princess" and "The Cobbler and the Elves" in such a way that the tales are integrated into the main plot. One of the tales is told as an experiment to three children in a book store to see if publishing a collection of fairytales has any merit. Another tale, "The Singing Bone", is told by an old woman in the forest who tells stories to children, while the uninvited Wilhelm secretly listens through an open window. The culmination of this tale involves a jeweled dragon and features the most involved usage of the film's special effects.

Eventually, Wilhelm loses the manuscript of the Duke's family history while writing down this third story - he is actually supposed to be collecting additional information for the family history - and the brothers cannot meet their deadline. So they are required to pay their rent, which was withheld while they worked. Meanwhile, because he was wading through a stream in an effort to retrieve the manuscript (which fell into the water after his briefcase broke open), Wilhelm becomes critically ill with pneumonia and lies at death's door. He dreams that at night various fairytale characters come to him, begging him to name them before he dies. The experience causes the fever to break and Wilhelm recovers completely, continuing his work as his brother publishes regular books such as a history of German grammar and a book on law. However, Jacob, shaken by his brother's experience, now begins to collaborate on the fairy tales with Wilhelm.

The two are ultimately invited to receive honorary membership at the Berlin Royal Academy, which makes no mention of the tales in their invitation. But as the train pulls into the station and Jacob prepares to make a speech deliberately insulting the Academy for snubbing Wilhelm, hordes of children arrive, chanting, "We want a story!" Wilhelm begins: "Once upon a time, there were two brothers". The children raise their voices in a loud cheer, and the film ends.

Cinerama tells a story

"The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" was produced and exhibited in the original 3-strip Cinerama widescreen process. It was the first Cinerama feature that attempted to tell a cohesive story, unlike previous productions, which had all been travelogues.

ee also

*"The Brothers Grimm" (2005)
*List of stop-motion films

External links

*imdb title|id=0056700|title=The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

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