Entertainment Magazine: Free Movies: Family: Piwd Piper of Hamlin

Van Johnson in "The Pied Piper of Hamelin"

This classic 1957 drama, "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" (1957) stars Van Johnson, Claude Rains and Jim Backus.

From the pages of the immortal classics comes this famous story. The singing, rhyming citizens of Hamelin hope to win a competition with rival towns for royal recognition.

To this end, the mayor outlaws play (which is a bit hard on the children) and refuses to help a rival town when it's flooded.

But rats (seen only as shadows), fleeing the flood, invade Hamelin in droves; a magical piper, whose music only children (and rats) can hear, strikes a bargain...which, once the rats are gone, the Mayor and council renege on, to their subsequent regret.

Written by Rod Crawford

Runtime: 89 minutes

Van Johnson...Pied Piper / Truson
Claude Rains...Mayor of Hamelin
Lori Nelson...Mara
Jim Backus...King's Emissary
Kay Starr...John's Mother

Director: Bretaigne Windust
Writers: Robert Browning (poem), Hal Stanley (writer)
Release Date: 26 November 1957

Van Johnson, the popular Hollywood star in the '40s and '50s with films such as "30 Seconds over Tokyo," "A Guy Named Joe" and "The Caine Mutiny," died on Friday, December 12, 2008 of natural causes. He was 92 years old.

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Starring: Roger Moore, Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson

Van Johnson plays Charles Wills a young reporter for the "Stars and Stripes" in Paris. He secretly dreams of writing the great novel that is in his head and in the midst of the celebrations for VE Day he encounters two very different sisters, Helen Ellswirth a flighty, beautiful fun loving girl not used to any responsibilty and her older sister Marion (Donna Reed),the down to earth emotionally repressed one. Both women are like night and day and while Marion falls for Charles it is Helen who captures his eye and his heart. They marry and Charles enters the unorthodox world of the Ellswirth family presided over by Helen and Marion's lovable but laid back father James (Walter Pidgeon in a delightful performance). From Amazon

Director: Richard Brooks
Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
Studio: Westlake Entertainment
DVD Release Date: November 1, 2003
Run Time: 116 minutes

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