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The Emperor’s New Clothes

The Emperor's New Clothes, starring Sid Caesar, Robert Morse, Jason Carter, Lysette AnthonyThe Emperor’s New Clothes, starring Sid Caesar, Robert Morse, Jason Carter, Lysette Anthony

DVD review of The Emperor’s New Clothes starring Sid Caesar, Clive Revill, Robert Morse. A very good children’s film that plays on two levels – one for the children, and another for the adults, with the perpetually funny Sid Caesar cracking me up every time he appears as the self-absorbed emperor

Sid Caesar is one of those clowns who can take a minor part and make it laugh out loud hilarious — which he does in this version of the classic children’s tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. His sidekicks (Red! Blue!) are also funny as they fight against each other for the Emperor’s favoritism, and the two would-be thieves (Robert Morse, Jason Carter) are funny, engaging, and likable. Lysette Anthony, as the Emperor’s daughter, doesn’t have much to do other than look beautiful — except when she has to be revolted by her would-be suitor.

In all, The Emperor’s New Clothes is a funny, diverting version of the classic story, with wit, music (thankfully none of which are long enough to distract from the story) and a dash of romance.

 Editorial review of The Emperor’s New Clothes courtesy of Amazon.com

buy The Emperor's New Clothes from Amazon.com Part of Cannon’s Movietale series, The Emperor’s New Clothes is a frenetic musical take on Hans Christian Andersen’s fable. The good news is that Sid Caesar makes for an entertaining Emperor. The bad news is that the incessant slapstick grows tiresome, though the tunes, like “Clothes Make the Man” (“Change ’em every hour/that’s how a politician stays in power”) aren’t bad. In David Irving’s adaptation, Caesar’s Emperor insists on wearing only the “most beautiful, most exquisite” outfits. When he meets tailor Henry Dispenser (two-time Tony winner Robert Morse) and his assistant, Nicholas (Babylon 5‘s Jason Carter), who offer to make him a suit stitched with diamond thread, he showers them with jewels. In return, the con men give him, well, nothing. Only the smart, they explain, can see their fantastic creations. Since the Emperor’s minions don’t wish to seem stupid, they praise his fleshy resplendence. Naturally, the Emperor discovers the awful truth–not only has he been had, but he looks like an idiot. Irving is also behind Cannon’s Sleeping Beauty and Rumpelstiltskin (starring his sister, Amy Irving). Not too surprisingly, The Emperor’s New Clothes feels like it was churned out fairly quickly, but the crazy costumes are a hoot. Most would give fashion critic Mr. Blackwell conniptions, but their garishness is what makes them amusing. This Movietale installment is fine for families, but more mature viewers would be better off with the Emperor’s edition of Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre–Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale gets a lavish makeover in this whimsical live-action comedy starring showbiz legend Sid Caesar (Grease), who plays the eccentric Emperor with his “trademark foreign language gibberish and nervous delivery” (Variety). Full of mischief, merriment and mayhem, this delightful twist on a beloved story weaves a hilarious family adventure you won’t soon forget! The Emperor’s blinding vanity makes him an easy mark for con artists, especially the two phony tailors hired to make him a dazzling outfit for his daughter Gilda’s (Lysette Anthony) wedding. While the elder crook (Robert Morse) schemes to steal the royal jewels, his nephew (Jason Carter) is busy stealing Gilda’s heart. In the midst of it all, it takes a child to reveal the truth that no one else can see!