09 March 2012

Daddy Long-Legs: The True Story

Most musical fans know the story of Daddy Long-Legs, with Leslie Caron as a French orphan and Fred Astaire as the man who sends her to school. But that's not how the book goes, and I've always been a bit PO'd that they never made a better adaptation of the book.

However, the Japanese have done so, in anime version (although Mrs. Lippett is a lot nicer in the anime!):

Daddy Long-Legs, Part 1

Daddy Long-Legs, Part 2

Daddy Long-Legs, Part 3

Daddy Long-Legs, Part 4

Daddy Long-Legs, Part 5

Daddy Long-Legs, Part 6

I wish anime sellers in stores and at science fiction conventions who bring boxes upon boxes of DVD sets would also sell stories like this, not just the titillating girl-adventure stories like "Dirty Pair," or the sci-fi fantasy stuff, and the Transformers-type tales, but the classic book adaptations. There are so many of them that I'd like to see: A Little Princess, Heidi, Lassie Come Home, Tom Sawyer, A Dog of Flanders, Anne of Green Gables...

And speaking of Daddy Long-Legs, with the popularity of Anne of Green Gables and Christy and its sequels, why hasn't anyone made a film of Jean Webster's sequel, Dear Enemy? For God's sake, yes, get rid of the eugenics twaddle, but what a book you have left: early 20th century girl trying to get beyond the prejudices of the day relegating women to comfortable marriage and motherhood, trying to change a dreary institution into a place where, if children do not get adopted, they at least grow up knowing love and how to function in the outside world as something else besides a servant! The Allegra storyline along with the danger element later in the novel would make for a fine dramatic film, along with Sallie finding herself as an independent woman. Where's Gillian Armstrong or someone of that ilk when we need her (without, of course, Miss Armstrong's preaching; the book contains enough revelations without resorting to heavy-handed commentary)?

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