Hans Christian Andersen [1952]

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Danny Kaye, Farley Granger, Zizi Jeanmaire, Joseph Walsh, Philip Tonge
Genre: Biography, Family, Musical
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 112 minutes

One of the great figures of world literature, Danish author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) is renowned for his children's tales, yet comparatively little is known of his extraordinary rise from poverty to preeminence. Hallmark Entertainment presents the story behind the storyteller, one as full of pathos as Andersen himself. In his film debut, Kieran Bew is remarkable as Andersen, an impoverished child who, at age 15, runs away to Copenhagen. Destitute, he's befriended by a wealthy benefactor, Jonas Collin (James Fox), who offers him shelter, education, and, ultimately, an audience with a publisher. As the biography unfolds, so does Andersen's brilliant imagination. The film deftly weaves snippets of his fairy tales ("The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid") into the real-life scenes of a man whose rise to fame is tangled with the strains of success and a tendency to believe his own fiction. An inventive script and strong ensemble cast make this a cinematic standout. (Ages 8 and older) --Lynn Gibson

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