Thursday, July 7, 2016

Once Upon A Time: Shelley Duvall's Strange, Great FAERIE TALE THEATRE


For those of us of a certain age, the show FAERIE TALE THEATRE, which ran on Showtime from 1982 to 1987 and later in syndication, was a big part of our childhood. Whether or not we had actually read, or had read to us, these stories, their enactments on the show, produced and hosted by Shelley Duvall, were frequently fascinating and often kind of weird.

Most young people today are unfamiliar with the show, but it's eminently worthy of visiting (or revisiting as the case may be) because its casts, directors and story-lines are so unusual, and because the show is so well produced and entertaining.

Segment directors included Eric Idle, Ivan Passer (CUTTER'S WAY), Roger Vadim (PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW), Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola and others.

The parade of stars is long, distinguished, and appropriately counter-culture heavy: Vanessa Redgrave, Klaus Kinski, Alfre Woodard, Helen Mirren, Alan Arkin, Vincent Price, Susan Sarandon, Leonard Nimoy, James Earl Jones, Harry Dean Stanton, Sofia Coppola, Robin Williams, Mick Jagger, Barbara Hershey, Christopher Lee, Frank Zappa, Anjelica Huston, Paul Rubens, Carol Kane, Elliott Gould, Jeff Bridges, Art Carney, Ben Vereen, Gena Rowlands, Dianne Ladd, Roddy McDowell, Teri Garr, Ned Beatty, Van Dyke Parks, Carrie Fisher, Paul Dooley, Bud Cort, Herve Villechaize, Malcolm McDowell, Jeff Goldblum, Liza Minnelli, Hoyt Axton, Gregory Hines, Dick Shawn, Karen Black and Zelda Rubinstein, among others (!!!)

In honor of Shelley Duvall's 67th birthday we present one of the best of all the FAERIE TALE THEATER EPISODES, RAPUNZEL, starring Duvall herself, alongside Jeff Bridges. This one gives a fair idea of the feel of the series.


Many other episodes are on YouTube, or you can pick up the discs at your local Vulcan Video.

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