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MPAA Rating - G

    101 Minutes

    Theater [nf]

Original Release Date:
    Oct 19, 1999

    Vincent J. Donahue

    Maureen Bailey, Lynn Fontanne, Sondra Lee, Mary Martin, Cyril Ritchard

Movie Summary
Mary Martin originally starred in the Jules Styne/Carolyn Leigh/Comden & Green musical version of James M. Barries Peter Pan on Broadway in 1953. On March 7, 1955, Peter Pan was restaged for television, live and in color, on NBCs Producers Showcase. The telecast was so popular that it was repeated, again live, the following year. Blessedly, Mary Martin returned to commit Peter Pan to videotape in 1960; this version was first telecast on December 8 of that year. Forty-seven years old at the time, Martin is utterly enchanting as Peter Pan, the little boy who wont grow up and who whisks Wendy Darling (Maureen Bailey) and her brothers Michael (Kent Fletcher) and John (Joey Trent) out of their London nursery and off to Never Never Land: First star to the left, then straight on till morning. Song highlights include Ive Gotta Crow, Im Flying, I Wont Grow Up, Neverland, Ugg-a-Wugg and Hooks Waltz. As with the Broadway version, the staging and choreography was in the more than capable hands of Jerome Robbins. Cyril Ritchard shamelessly hams it up as the wicked Captain Hook, and also doubles as the more benign Mr. Darling. Both Martin and Ritchard re-created their Broadway roles, as did Sondra Lee as the incongruously blonde Indian princess Tiger Lily. Martins daughter Heller Halliday also appears in the minor role of Liza the maid, while the whole wonderful package is narrated by Lynn Fontanne. Repeated several times into the 1970s, this full-color version of Peter Pan was put into mothballs for several years, then retelecast (complete with the old NBC Peacock logo) in 1989. For this return engagement, the play was edited to accommodate extra commercials; happily, the complete version of the 1960 Peter Pan is now available on videocassette. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


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