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The Pied Piper

Overview

The Pied Piper eschews the romanticism of Robert Browning's poem and returns to the grim Grimm Brothers source. Pop singer Donovan plays the 14th century piper hired by a duplicitous burgomaster Donald Pleasence to rid the town of Hamelin of its rats. The piper does what he's asked, but is denied the payment promised him; in revenge, he leads all of Hamelin's children out of town, never to be seen again. Though the story is a familiar one, this 1972 Pied Piper is not a kiddie movie. Director Jacques Demy's ...
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Overview

The Pied Piper eschews the romanticism of Robert Browning's poem and returns to the grim Grimm Brothers source. Pop singer Donovan plays the 14th century piper hired by a duplicitous burgomaster Donald Pleasence to rid the town of Hamelin of its rats. The piper does what he's asked, but is denied the payment promised him; in revenge, he leads all of Hamelin's children out of town, never to be seen again. Though the story is a familiar one, this 1972 Pied Piper is not a kiddie movie. Director Jacques Demy's depiction of the 14th century as a muddy, backward, superstitious, disease-ridden, vermin-infested era transforms this fable into a squalid tale of revenge incidentally, all those repulsive rodents are real. Donovan is matched by a remarkably restrained Jack Wild as the crippled boy, and John Hurt also co-stars.
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Special Features

Closed Caption
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A curious and fascinating take on the familiar legend, Jacques Demy's The Pied Piper is darkly pessimistic and not really for children. Gone is the director's fondness for extraordinarily bright color schemes, replaced with a palette that seems to have been dropped in the mud and trampled upon. Demy's Middle Ages are dank and dirty, gloomy and oppressive. While respecting the basic ingredients of the tale's plot, Demy sprinkles in other elements that are intended to add an extra layer, such as the church's ability to crush science when the latter rears its ugly head in a manner that is unacceptable to church leaders. This they do to an extent, but at times they don't seem to coexist peacefully, creating a schism. Ultimately, the plot still tends more toward melodrama, with the result that some of the performers, such as Donald Pleasence, are not able to fully flesh out their characters. In the title role, Donovan is a bit removed, but overall effective, and Jack Wild turns in a lovely, muted performance that is tremendously impressive. Piper does dawdle every so often, but when it's in full gallop -- as in the unforgettable banquet sequence -- it's a winner.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/1/2008
  • UPC: 844503000378
  • Original Release: 1972
  • Rating:

  • Source: Legend Films
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:31:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Wild Gavin, the Crippled Boy, Melius' Apprentice
Donald Pleasence Baron
John Hurt Franz, Baron's Son
Donovan Piper
Michael Hordern Melius, Alchemist
Patsy Puttnam Gypsy's Wife, Helga
Roy Kinnear Burgermeister
Edwin Brown
Diana Dors Burgermeister's Wife, Frau Poppendick
Peter Eyre Foppish Pilgram
Michael Goldie
Roger Hammond Burgers
Arthur Hewlett Otto
Gertan Klauber Town Crier
David Leland Officer
Mary McLeod Maidservant
Andre Van Gyseghem Friar
John Welsh Chancellor
George Cormack
Cathryn Harrison Burgermeister's Daughter, Lisa
Keith Buckley Gypsy Leader
Hamilton Dyce Papal Nuncio
Peter Vaughan Bishop
Technical Credits
Jacques Demy Director, Screenwriter
Andrew Birkin Screenwriter
Kenneth Clayton Musical Direction/Supervision
George Djurkovic Art Director
Donovan Score Composer, Songwriter
Assheton Gorton Production Designer
Vangie Harrison Costumes/Costume Designer
Tony Jackson Sound/Sound Designer
Bob Lawrence Makeup
Sandy Lieberson Producer
Mark Peploe Screenwriter
David Puttnam Producer
John Stears Special Effects
Peter Suschitzky Cinematographer
Garth Thomas Asst. Director
John Trumper Editor
Doug Turner Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Pied Piper
1. Main Title/"The Plague!" [5:21]
2. The Minstrel [7:11]
3. An Ancient Remedy [5:45]
4. The Cathedral [5:21]
5. "The Pied Piper" [5:16]
6. A Coming Pestilence [4:42]
7. The Pope's Bidding [7:17]
8. Alchemy [4:36]
9. White Wedding [5:55]
10. "Ups and Downs" [6:26]
11. Hysteria [4:11]
12. To the River [4:53]
13. God's Will? [6:08]
14. The Inquisition [5:09]
15. Our Children [9:02]
16. End Credits [2:41]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Pied Piper
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   Scene Selection
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