It’s time for the second installment of my “Forgotten Classic” series. This time I’ll be talking about the absolutely enchanting The Glass Slipper (1955). Directed by Charles Walters, this film is an interesting take on the Cinderella fairytale, with Leslie Caron as Ella, Michael Wilding as Prince Charles, Keenan Wynn as Charles’s valet Kovin, Elsa Lanchester as Ella’s stepmother, and Estelle Winwood as the fairy godmother character, Mrs. Toquet.
We all know the basic Cinderella story, but I’ll provide a summary of the movie anyway. Ella is an orphan taken in by Widow Sonder and her two daughters, Serafina and Birdina. Ella is an angry and very lonely girl, or as the narrator puts it: “It was the old story of the rejected becoming all the more rejected because they behaved badly because they’d been rejected—one of those circles.” One day in her secret spot away from town, Ella meets Mrs. Toquet, an eccentric lady who is gossiped about because she lives by herself in the woods and likes to steal things (but she always returns them, so no one pays attention). The two instantly bond, gaining Ella her first friend. The next day, Ella returns to her spot to meet with Mrs. Toquet, but she instead finds Prince Charles and his friend, Kovin. Charles has only just returned from a very long stay in Paris, so Ella doesn’t realize that he is the prince, therefore she believes him when he tells her that he’s the son of the palace cook.