I thought this was going to be excellent Snark Week fodder, but to my surprise, The Slipper and the Rose (1979) is actually a pretty decent costume flick. It’s also a musical, which is not my usual cup of tea (that’s more Trystan’s thing than mine) but even though the plot was formulaic, the songs were pretty average (despite being written by the Sherman brothers), and the 4-minute title intro taxed the limits of my attention span, the costuming went beyond my expectations.
The Good Costumes in The Slipper and the Rose
The women’s dresses were surprisingly accurate, considering the unevenness of this period of cinema when it comes to costuming. Costumes were designed by Julie Harris, who had an impressive resume, but will forever be dear to me as the costumer of The Great Muppet Caper.
Me, at 3 a.m. the day of the ball.
I am such a sucker for a red dress, and unfortunately we only glimpse this one at a distance.
Margaret Lockwood rocking it as the Wicked Stepmother.
I loved the “mourning” gown worn by the Wicked Stepmother. Bright-ass salmon pink with black gloves and a giant black hat definitely screams “Merry Widow.”
The Queen’s gown during the “Bride Finding Ball” song was stunning.
I LOVE ANNETTE CROSBIE SO MUCH IT HURTS.
The Queen Mother had an assortment of nice gowns that were hardly shown in full-length. Here’s one of the rare exceptions.
And the Queen Mother’s lady-in-waiting also had a nice gown.
As did these unidentified courtiers.
A very pretty and elegant light pink taffeta gown for Cinderella’s big debut at the ball.
I give the costume designer props for attempting to recreate The Swing by Fragonard.
Cinderella’s wedding dress was a nice take on a robe de cour.
The women’s hair and headdresses were, with rare exceptions, lovely. Chief hairdresser Barbara Ritchie would probably be best known from her work on Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Even the extras got nice hairdos!
Margaret Lockwood was fabulous as the Wicked Stepmother.
Have I mentioned how much I love Annette Crosbie?
The wacky hairdos were used judiciously, mainly on the Wicked Stepsisters where being an exaggerated caricature worked.
The same goes for the hats on the Stepsisters. I love that frilly lace bonnet, but dear god you couldn’t pay me enough to wear one.
I’m definitely getting a Norma Shearer Marie-Antoinette vibe with the wig.
I quite liked the King’s banyan…
Ok, Richard Chamberlain is hot AF.
The Bad Costumes in The Slipper and the Rose
Some of the wigs were just WTF.
I, too, am confused by this wig.
A significant number of the men’s costumes were made out of couch fabric. When contrasted with the women’s costumes, it really made them stand out.
And not in a good way.
There was a definite shortage of bobby pins…
What? I always make sure to leave my long hair down and perfectly curled whenever I’m cleaning the floors.
Cinderella’s “spring time” work dress is a little too Simplicity 1776 Bicentennial for me.
The Ugly Costumes in The Slipper and the Rose
The historical mullets on Prince Edward and his sidekick, John.
“And I raaaan, I ran so far awaaaayyyy…”
Ah, the classic “stick a weft of hair to the back of a guy’s head and put a bow on it” approach to 18th-century hair.
But the guys weren’t the only ones with unfortunate hair…
Thankfully these ladies were just extras. I don’t know if I could have handled the eyestrain if they had had more than 2 seconds on film.
All in all, the film had far more hits than misses. You can currently find it on YouTube if you’re so inclined to watch it. It’s a nice way to spend 2 hours with a little eye candy.
What do you think of The Slipper and the Rose? Share in our comments!
Saw it yoinks ago and I enjoyed it for, well, did I also tell you how much I love Annette Crosbie? Have since her turn as Katherine of Aragon in Six Wives. Costumes were about B- to C+ in my opinion too.
Plan on YouTube re-watch. For did I mention how much I love Annette Crosbie in this?
She’s our #1 ranked Katherine of Aragon, always!
I’m glad. She has light reddish hair, intelligence, indomitable will and is short and we know that Katherine of Aragon was a redhead, short and all the rest. Perfect fit. And *snorts, snicker & grins* ? Did I tell you how much I love Annette Crosbie.
I will see a bad movie if she’s in it.
I watched this movie on tv every year at Christmas when I was a little girl. I found it on YouTube last year. Loved it just as much now as I did back then. Talk about swooning over a prince…yum! And swooned over the costumes just as much ❤️
Annette Crosbie is on my short list of actors whom I will watch in almost anything—even if the film itself is terrible—just for the pleasure of seeing them.
And I love The Slipper and the Rose and have always felt bad that it isn’t better known.
I noticed that the men’s jackets that the shoulders were broad, in paintings I noticed that they’re actually very narrow and fitted.
You should see the padded shoulders on the 18th-century jackets in Olivier’s Beggar’s Opera!
I don’t remember if I got this from the back of her books or I just heard the rumor somewhere, but Jean Hunnisett (of the 5 books on building historic costumes) built some of the costumes, which is pretty cool.
Yes, pretty cool if correct.
Thank you for this. I loved this film as a youngster but never knew anyone else who had seen it!
I’d venture to guess that the accuracy of the costumes were largely due to Jean Hunnisett being in the production crew (aka, the sewer behind Elizabeth R). I recall her showing the extant garments and paintings that she based construction for this movie’s costumes. A few of the patterns and thumbnails of her approach are in “Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women’s Dress 1500-1800.”
That’s way cool.
So *that’s* the name of this movie!!!! I vaguely remember a musical 70’s-tastic Cinderella movie that always on the local NYC station WABC airing the late movie slot, but could never remember the name. I just always remember that the Fairy Godmother was bubbly and had the most celestial smile – Annette Crosbie! Wow! She was the best part of Calendar Girls, too!
Oh my days, i love, love, love, LOVEEEE this movie. It’s my favourite Cinderella movie, I like that she has brown hair lol. I forced my siblings to watch bits of it everyday for about two years (we recorded it on tv) and we finally bought the blu ray this year. Was finally gonna ask if FrockFlicks would review it and you have!
this is the hallmark by which I judge all Cinderella movies (this and the one with mother Whitney and Brandy in). Even if some of the ballgowns have zips down the back lol
and I know you don’t like the wigs in the final photo, but the lady in the creamy/peach dress, her edges are snatched. I can only hope my lace front game gets that strong
This is such a sweet movie :D. I loved it. I can’t believe nobody ever re-broadcast this in the US on tv! (Well, after the 70s, anyway). “The Slipper and the Rose” ranks up to the same quality as the 60s “Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” with Lesley Ann Warren, maybe even better. I watched it twice on YouTube before they finally took it off, and then asked for it on DVD for my birthday.
Aside from a few details (which you can forgive, because this is a fantasy story that takes place in an imaginary country) the costumes were amazing. It’s true, I think Cinderella was a little too “prettied up” when in servant’s garb. You’d think after a while she’d tie her messy hair up with a rag, she would be all dirty from cleaning and working in the kitchen, and her dress would have become ragged. But I guess they wanted to keep her pretty, regardless. The fairy godmother was a fun character too, so I’m not surprised anybody would like the actress. The royal family was funny at times as well.
This movie is truly a lost gem worthy of being brought back to light.
Such a late comment, but the only reason I know of this film is that I recorded it off PBS or something in the US in the 90s! It was broadcast a handful of times, and I remember catching it one night and falling right in love with it. I think I had to record it late at night and my very old VHS-from-TV recording may have commercials because of it. I need to get it on DVD because it is one of my most favorite versions of Cinderella. I ADORE the white sparkly wig Cinderella gets for the ball, the poncy court men, the stepmother’s rage as Cinderella forgives her and rides off into the sunset, and the gorgeous shoes, not to mention Edith Evans as the Dowager Queen. It is a delight!
Same here!! Such a super late comment, but I was googling this movie…My sister and I have a mad obsession with this movie. My mom recorded this on a VHS in the 80s–the tv station was supposed to air it, and they didn’t, so she complained and they ended up showing it at a weird hour at night–she recorded it on VHS. My sister and I watched it for years and know the songs inside and out. I’m unmarried, but if I ever marry I fully intend on walking down the aisle to the same music Cinderella did. It was, indeed, life changing for us. I don’t know what other people think when my mom says something in public and her grown daughters respond with, “Oh, Mama! You’re so clevah!”
OMG, I had to see it in the theater when it came out because I had a mad crush on Richard Chamberlain (before we all knew he was family). This is my absolute favorite Cinderella adaptation. My costume design teacher told our class that Jean Hunnisett had some of her students work on some of the extra’s costumes for the film – can’t you just imagine?! I’d still wear Cindy’s wedding dress if I had the opportunity to have a grand wedding…