Given my surname, I have always been a fan of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and his other writings. Over the years I have built up rather a large collection of film adaptations and related stuff, but for one reason or another hadn't gotten round to watching many of them.
So last year I made a pledge to watch them, in chronological order, and tweet using the hashtag #CheshireonAlice.
Here are the tweets for the first fifty I've watched, from the 1903 silent film directed by Cecil Hepworth through to The Two Ronnies sketch from their 1985 Christmas special.
Follow me on @cheshellen for tweets, or check back in a few months for items 51 - 100!
Two Ronnies: Alice in a Winter Wonderland (25 Dec 1985) The Two Ronnies play a variety of classic #AliceInWonderland couples singing Xmas carols with new Christmas/Alice - inspired lyrics with their renowned saucey humour. Plus cameo by Bernard Matthews! #CheshireOnAlice film 50.
#AliceInWonderland (1985) d. Harry Harris. A great cast, top picks inc Sammy Davis Jr, Carol Channing. Anthony Newley & Telly Savalas as the Cheshire Cat. Good tunes and has the sinister undertones of the original. #CheshireOnAlice 49.
.@PBS's Great Performances: #AliceInWonderland (1983) A cast of top stage/film actors deliver really great performances, perhaps the greatest-acted Alice I've seen. Line readings bring real depth & character. Simply & stylishly staged replicating Tenniel. #CheshireOnAlice film 48
Fushigi no Kuni no Arisu/#AliceInWonderland (1983) Although all 52 20-min episodes on YouTube only watched a few (for now!). Each episode starts/ends with Alice at home with her adventures with Benny Bunny in Wonderland drawing on characters/incidents. #CheshireOnAlice film 47.
Alicja/Alice (1982) d. Bromski/Gruza. Not sure where to start! Other than unless really committed to #LewisCarroll #AliceInWonderland - don't bother. But then there's something quite charming about this Polish/English hybrid dubbed musical. Most odd! #CheshireOnAlice film 46.
#AliceInWonderland: Children's Theater Company (1982) Sorry to say that this was the hardest one to sit through. The most irritating Alice and actors hidden behind ugly/creepy masks. To be avoided unless, like me, you're a completist. #CheshireOnAlice film 45.
Alisa v zazerkale/Alice Through the Looking Glass (1982) a sequel from Kievnauchfilm (see film 41). Again different animation styles throughout. Lovely to see rarely included scenes ie train/insects & characters in the right book! This pair topping list. #CheshireOnAlice film 44.
Alice at the Palace (1982) starring #MerylStreep as Alice. It's a TV version of a 1978 stage musical that Streep had been in. Each episode from #AliceInWonderland built around a musical number (by Elizabeth Swados) in a different style. Great fun! #CheshireOnAlice film 43.
Malice in Wonderland (1982) Vince Collins. Surreal 4min animation drawing on the weird & shape-shifting nature of #AliceInWonderland & features versions of key characters. It's sexually explicit depiction of male/female genitalia both disturbing/mesmeric. #CheshireOnAlice film 42
Alisa v Strane Chudes (1981) d. Efrem Pruzhansky. Loved this one! Captures the dreamworld anxiety/energy of the book, with each character a different animation style & jumble music/sound effects. Creates a real sense of confusion. From Kievnauchfilm. #CheshireOnAlice film 41
The Muppet Show with Brooke Shields (Oct 1980) '...our version won't always follow the book' is sung in opening number. The Muppet's variety show format/bizarre characters/bad jokes suits the episodic/surreal nature of the book. A lovely nostalgic 1/2 hr. #CheshireOnAlice film 40
Erase que se era: Alicia en el Pais de Las Maravillas (1979) d. Enrique Alonso. Low-budget Mexican TV special with primitive sets/costumes etc. Alice meets usual Carroll characters and a random clown! Has songs. #CheshireOnAlice film 39. Note: version watched had no subtitles.
Manga Sekai Mukashi Banashi (Manga Fairy Tales of the World): Alice in Wonderland (1977) d. Sodao Nozaki. Part of series of 127 20min adaptations. Lovely artwork. Authorative Male narrator & voice cast good except Alice who's a little high-pitched. #CheshireOnAlice film 38.
Jabberwocky (1977) d. #TerryGilliam. Although it takes its name from #LewisCarroll's poem, there is no real connection to it. Set in a medieval world this bawdy/busy comedy stars #MichaelPalin who ultimately battles the Jabberwocky. Not really my thing! #CheshireOnAlice film 37.
Alice or The Last Escapade (1977) d. Claude Chabrol. Alice Carroll (Sylvie Kristel) finds herself in a mysterious mansion where time works differently, paths lead nowhere & people talk in riddles. Stylish French film that defies genre categorisation. #CheshireOnAlice film 36.
Alicia en el Pais de Las Maravillas (1976) d. Eduardo Pla. The director was a key player in Argentine's Digital Art movement. The art gallery 'Espacio Pla' named for him in Buenos Aires has this film playing on a loop. Filmed on 16 & 35mm in eastmancolor. #CheshireOnAlice film 35
Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Comedy (1976) d Bud Townshend. Alice (De Bell) is not ready to have sex with her young man. In Wonderland she meets the usual line-up who teach/show her different ways of 'enjoying' herself/partners! + songs/comedy #CheshireOnAlice film 34.
The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974) d. Francesco Barilli. An Italian psychological horror on lists of Alice-inspired films. Sylvia (Mimsy Farmer) descends into madness following mother's death: stylish/disorientating via fantasies/flashbacks/imagery. #CheshireOnAlice film 33.
Alice Through the Looking Glass (1973) BBC drama starring Sarah Sutton as Alice. Acting against painted backdrops looks a tad odd/dated but nice to see such a literal adaptation inc sequences usually cut ie insects/lion&unicorn. Dialogue from Carroll. #CheshireOnAlice film 32.
That Girl in Wonderland (1973) Rankin/Bass. Animated spin-off of That Girl sitcom. Marlo Thomas reprises role of Ann who gets a job in children's book publishers & imagines she/colleagues in the stories inc Alice. Poor animation/characters/story/boyfriend #CheshireOnAlice film 31
Festival of Family Classics: Alice in Wonderland (1973) one of 20 20-min animated cartoons produced by Rankin/Bass in early 70s. Really rather charming. #CheshireOnAlice film 30.
Jabberwocky (1973) d. #JanSvankmajer's inventive Czech stop frame short animation loosely based on Carroll's parodic poem, the film opens with a young girl reading it, then a child's playroom comes to life accompanied to music by Zdenek Liska. LOVE it! #CheshireOnAlice film 29.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972) d William Sterling. Film takes the novel at face value, dialogue verbatim aimed squarely at children. Songs by #JohnBarry #DonBlack. Very starry cast #PeterSellers #RobertHelpmann #MichaelCrawford #FionaFullerton. #CheshireOnAlice film 28.
Alice au pays des merveilles (1970) d. Jean-Christophe Averty used 'green screen' tech to create vibrant painted backdrops which actors perform in front of. Visually striking. Includes musical sequences. #CheshireOnAlice film 27. Nb. Watched without subtitles, it's in French!
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) Jaromil Jireš's Czech surrealist coming of age horror which alludes to fairytales/Alice inasmuch as a young woman dreams of strange places/creatures. But here sexual/sinister. Closer in theme to Company of Wolves. #CheshireOnAlice film 26.
Curious Alice (1968) a collage-styled animated anti-drugs health film from the US Dept of Health. Alice meets Carroll's cast of colourful characters each one exhibiting the effect of a drug. Great style but can't imagine it was an effective deterrent. #CheshireOnAlice film 25.
Smashing Time (1967) d. Desmond Davis. This satiric/slapstick slice of swinging 60s London appears on lists of #AliceInWonderland inspired films as places/characters named after those in Jabberwocky, but that's it really. But as British 60s film it's fun. #CheshireOnAlice film 24
Alice Through the Looking Glass (1966) NBC TV musical special with great cast. Simple staging/costumes drawing on Tenniel. Key characters here + new ones ie Lester (Roy Castle) who guides Alice on her journey & vanquish the Jabberwock. Odd but Charming! #CheshireOnAlice film 23.
Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966) The enterprise crew visit a planet where whatever they imagine comes to fruition. For most it's fulfilling some kind of fantasy (long-lost love etc). But why McCoy conjured Alice & the White Rabbit remains a mystery. #CheshireOnAlice film 22. Fun!
Alice of/in Wonderland in Paris (1966). After her adventures in Wonderland Alice wants have a real adventure - in Paris. A mouse appears & takes Alice to Paris via 5 short animations. Has very little to do with #AliceInWonderland - a few references/mood. #CheshireOnAlice film 21.
#AliceInWonderland (1966) d #JonathanMiller A great film about childhood but not for children. All cast in victorian dress, therefore refreshing to see this amazing cast not hidden by make-up. Shot as period photography, dreamlike via closeups/distortion #CheshireOnAlice film 20.
Alice in Rexall-Land (1966) Rexall a chain of drugstores were one of the sponsors of the #HannaBarbera #AliceInWonderland. Characters appeared in some adverts (a couple on YouTube) with Alice exploring the wonders of the one cent offer! #CheshireOnAlice film 19.
#AliceInWonderland or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1966) #HannaBarbera. Alice falls into her TV to Wonderland. Regular HB voices supplemented by stars ie Sammy Davis Jr (Cheshire Cat), Zsa Zsa Gabor (Queen of Hearts). SO much fun! #CheshireOnAlice film 18.
Wednesday Play: Alice (1965) #DennisPotter's take on birth of #AliceInWonderland as shy Dodgson (George Baker) spends time with 'teenage' Alice (Deborah Watling). Does question their problematic friendship pre & post publication. Sad & thought-provoking. #CheshireOnAlice film 17.
The New 3 Stooges: Curly in Wonderland (1965) 'This is either a dream or a silly animated cartoon' exclaims Curly. Well it's a silly animated cartoon that in 3 1/2 mins captures both Stooges & Carroll humour. #AliceInWonderland #CheshireOnAlice film 16.
Alice in Waterland (1964) an extract of the #AliceInWonderland Underwater Revue from Weeki Wachee Springs Florida features some amazing freediving performances to the music of Marlin and the Mermaids. The park is still in operation with regular shows. #CheshireOnAlice film 15.
The BP Super Show #AliceInWonderland (1962) only a short fragment from this Aussie TV show on YouTube with Chips Rafferty as the White Knight & Patricia Moore as a dark haired Alice. Great character performance from Rafferty. Wish I could've seen more. #CheshireOnAlice film 14.
Hallmark Hall of Fame #AliceInWonderland (1955) Cast clearly drawn from vaudeville with dames for Duchess/Queen/Cook. Comes to life for songs/set pieces. Notable for Dick Smith's debut for using latex make-up prosthetics. Elsa Lanchester=Red Queen. #CheshireOnAlice film 13.
'Kraft Theatre' #AliceInWonderland (1954) An ambitious live TV special with a cast of 40, curiously featuring top-hatted & tailed ventriloquist act Bergen & McCarthy. Simple staging, but cast of TV/Broadway stars have much fun with the Carroll's words! #CheshireOnAlice film 12.
The Fred Waring Show (1951) pre-promotion for Disney's #AliceInWonderland, Beaumont & Holloway chat/perform songs (with regular show singers) in specially designed sets by Mary Blair +intro from Walt. Sterling Holloway as #CheshireCat steals the show! #CheshireOnAlice film 11.
#AliceInWonderland (1951) #WaltDisney. Criticisms of film's disjointed feel (have they not read the book?!) are far outweighed by striking animation, great voice work & memorable songs. Smooths out the novel's darker elements but all the better for it! #CheshireOnAlice film 10.
#AliceinWonderland (1949) d. Dallas Bower with Carol Marsh as Alice BUT the real star is Lou Bunin & his stop-frame animated puppets, the 1st version to make significant use of this artform. Great voice work. Colour must've been lovely in '49. A real gem. #CheshireOnAlice film 9.
Thru the Mirror (1936) d. Dave Hand. #MickeyMouse
falls asleep reading #AliceInWonderland and steps through a mirror to a world full of music and dancing objects, most playfully a pack of cards. #CheshireOnAlice film 8. #WaltDisney
Betty in Blunderland (1934) d. Dave Fleischer #BettyBoop follows white rabbit through mirror to Blunderland & for the next 6 mins pretty much meets every Wonderland character & is kidnapped by the Jabberwock. Inventive, fun with Bonnie Poe voicing the sexy Betty. #CheshireOnAlice 7
Alice in Wonderland (1933) d. Norman Z MacLeod. Never took to this version despite its high production values & starry cast (hidden behind ugly masks). Alice (Charlotte Henry) annoying. BUT Gary Cooper as the White King will break your heart. #CheshireOnAlice 6 #AliceInWonderland
Alice in Wonderland (1931) an independent film d. Bud Pollard with Ruth Gilbert as Alice. Well someone had to do the first talkie & this is a curiosity for that alone. Can hear Carroll but no wit or charm. Version available has missing scenes. #CheshireOnAlice 5 #AliceInWonderland
Alice's Wonderland (1923) Walt Disney's Laugh-o-Gram pilot. Live action Alice (Virginia Davis) falls asleep and finds herself in an animated world which other the final fall back into bed bears no resemble to Carroll. But innovative/delightful. #CheshireOnAlice 4 #Disney
#AliceInWonderland (1915) d. WW Young. A 52 min canter through Carroll's greatest hits inc (unusually) Father William in its entirety. Great costumes/settings/props. Lovely central performance from Viola Savoy who goes from sweet-natured to bad-tempered. #CheshireOnAlice 3
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1910) d. Edwin S. Porter for Edison. 10 min short starring Gladys Hulette and a whole host of special and practical effects for the shifts in size. #CheshireOnAlice 2 #AliceInWonderland #SilentFilm
#AliceInWonderland (1903) d. Cecil Hepworth/Percy Stow. First film version & at the time UK's longest running film at 12 mins (abt 9 mins remains), 4 x the length of others. So a major blockbuster. Laden with primitive effects. Hepworth plays the frog doorman. #CheshireOnAlice 1