The Grimm Brothers' Snow White

The Grimm Brothers' Snow White

Director: Michael Cohn Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Sam Neill, Gil Bellows

DVD (Wide Screen)

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Once upon a time, pursuing wolves frighten horses drawing a carriage, and it tumbles down a hill. Dying, the pregnant woman inside orders her grieving husband Frederick (Sam Neill) to cut the baby from her womb, so that at least it might live. Years later, the infant is now headstrong young Lilli (Taryn Davis), who is resentful of her father's upcoming marriage to Claudia (Sigourney Weaver). Claudia is devoted to the memory of her own mother and installs a magic mirror that belonged to her in a wardrobe in her private room. More time passes; Lilli is now an adult, but her relationship with the now-pregnant Claudia has never improved, though Claudia has never done her any ill. Claudia loses her baby, and on the same night, gazes into her mother's mirror, which shows her an image of herself young and beautiful. She determines to rid herself of Lilli. Lilli is walking near the forest when Claudia's mute brother Gustav (Miroslav Taborski) draws a knife and chases the frightened young woman into the forest. She evades him, so he kills a pig and takes the heart to a delighted Claudia, who believes it to be Lilli's heart. She has Gustav put the heart in a stew cooking in the kitchen, and that night as she dines with Frederick, Lilli eats the stew with great pleasure. Later, Frederick and some men search for Lilli in the rainy forest. Lilli takes refuge from wolves in a ruined castle, where she's confronted by seven vagabonds who've banned together to seek a lost gold mind. Will (Gil Bellows), scarred during the Crusades, is around Lilli's own age and resents her presence, but the older Lars (Brian Glover) is friendlier to her. The mirror tells Claudia that Lilli is still alive, so in the forest where Claudia keeps a shrine to her dead baby, she casts a spell designed to kill her stepdaughter. Lilli, helping the men in their mine, is almost smothered in a cave-in; she's rescued, but one of the men dies. The mirror again tells Claudia that Lilli still lives. Whirling in a black gown, Claudia conjures a wind that strikes the forest; giant trees topple all around Lilli and the men, killing Lars, but Lilli still lives. So the mirror now transforms Claudia into a bald old hag, and she goes into the forest herself. She offers an apple to Lilli, who takes one bite and falls into a trance that no one can tell from death. She's placed in a stained-glass coffin and lowered into the ground, but the agonized Will, who's fallen in love with her, lifts her from the coffin and a piece of apple falls from her mouth. She returns to life, and they all head for the castle. She arrives in time to interrupt Claudia in the act of slashing Frederick's throat, then confronts Lilli in a room full of mirrors. (There's a hint that Claudia had a part in the death of Lilli's mother.) Lilli stabs not Claudia but her mirror image. It bursts apart, shredding and burning Claudia to death. This bold movie out-grims the Brothers Grimm, telling their oft-told tale as a horror movie/adventure -- and it works. In fact, the weakness of the movie is precisely that the story is so familiar, but the changes wrought by the writers and director keep it fresh for most of its length. It's handsomely designed, using real locations and costumes that are never too grand for the setting. Weaver is clearly having a great time as the not-so-wicked stepmother who eventually becomes a vengeful witch. Especially for a fairy tale, the characters are complex and not necessarily always likable; even Lilli (who is never called "Snow White") has a hard edge, and her "Prince Charming" is a bitter, scarred commoner. It's a shame this attractive, imaginative film didn't have any theatrical release in the United States; originality, especially in a field as well-ploughed as fairy tales, should be encouraged.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/01/2012
UPC: 0025192147876
Original Release: 1997
Rating: R
Source: Universal Studios
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Time: 1:41:00
Sales rank: 35,684

Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Cast and Crew Filmographies; International Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sigourney Weaver Step-mother Claudia
Sam Neill Lord Hoffman
Gil Bellows Will
Monica Keena Snow White Lilli
Miroslav Táborský Claudia's brother
Taryn Davis Young Snow White Lilli
Brian Glover Actor
Anthony Brophy Actor
Frances Cuka Actor
Christopher Bauer Actor
John Edward Allen Actor
Andrew Tiernan Actor
Bryan Pringle Actor
Dale Wyatt Actor
Joanna Roth Actor
David Conrad Dr. Guttenberg

Technical Credits
Michael Cohn Director
Marit Allen Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert W. Cort Executive Producer
Ian Crafford Editor
Fantasy II Film Effects Special Effects
Tom Engelman Producer
Ernest D. Farino Special Effects Supervisor
Ted Field Executive Producer
Linda Howy Casting
Gemma Jackson Production Designer
Scott Kroopf Executive Producer
John Ottman Score Composer
Simone Reynolds Casting
Peter Russell Art Director
Deborah Serra Screenwriter
Mike Southon Cinematographer
Thomas Szollosi Screenwriter
Tim Van Rellim Co-producer
Gene Warren Special Effects Supervisor
Ken Weston Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Snow White: A Tale of Terror
1. Main Titles [6:27]
2. Lady Claudia's Arrival [8:50]
3. A Deadly Occurance [3:28]
4. Nine Long Years [4:06]
5. Her Mother's Footsteps [3:45]
6. Stillborn [1:38]
7. Mirror, Mirror [4:37]
8. Evil Deeds [6:18]
9. A Failed Attempt [6:01]
10. "Traitor!" [1:27]
11. Closer To Nothing [4:03]
12. Premature Burial [4:43]
13. Black Luck [4:28]
14. Dreams Of Fire [4:46]
15. Witchery [4:05]
16. The Father's Seed [4:26]
17. Dead To The World [5:12]
18. A Breath Of Life [2:36]
19. The Homecoming [6:47]
20. Death and Transfiguration [6:43]
21. Snowflakes [1:48]
22. End Credits [3:47]

Customer Reviews

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The Grimm Brothers' Snow White 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the fascinating themes in this alarming version is that the terror is all the stepmother's. Young Lilli is not the most sympathetic of heroines, and Claudia spends most of the movie sure that the evil fates are out to get her. Sigourney Weaver's descent into madness is fun to watch, and poor Sam Neill's Father character never knows quite what is happening to his family. Isn't that the way it always is!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was a pretty good movie based off of the story of snow white but goes deeper than the disney movie. the performances weren't half bad, and the locations including the costumes were cool and so wanted to see more of will and lili one of my fave movie couples. sorta off topic but wanted to say it, when i first saw will could of sworn he looked like a mix of oded fehr "awesome in mummy, charmed and resident evil 2-3", russel crowe, but mostly karl urban "good in xena, lotr and doom". had no idea that this was a tv movie and a first that i actually like next to speak "another good one with kristen stewart". they should make more fairy tales/movies like this. seriously
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
This is how more films based on fairy tales should be, hence they were originally dark. Lily takes an instant dislike to her step mother. An unfortunate tragedy happens and Lily realizes how she's treated Claudia. However the step mother slowly goes off the deep end and wants her dead. After escaping into the forest Lily meets the "dwarves." This movie was creepy and yet you feel a little sorry for the step mother and how unlikeable the main character is, at first. Loved the twist on the girl falling for the prince. The locations looked cool. One of Sigourney's best roles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was terrific. I think that the actors did great gobs portraying their characters. I love the fact that Lilli doesn't fall for the most perfect guy like in every other story.I also like that is has a scary edge to it because I like scary and romantic movies and the movie combined them. I would definitly recommend this movie to people over the 13 because it gets sort of intense. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this movie, and i love how lilli gets with the cute thief will, but i dont understand how claudia would have anything to do with lilli's mothers death. but all in all it was the bomb.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago