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Once Upon A Mattress ~ (06.03.64) ~ CBS-TV (Newly Discovered Capture) Carol Burnett, Jane White, Jack Gilford, Joseph Bova, Elliot Gould, Bill Hayes


Once Upon A Mattress ~ (06.03.64) ~ CBS-TV ~ Carol Burnett, Jane White, Jack Gilford, Joseph Bova, Elliot Gould, Bill Hayes


  • Carol Burnett (Princess Winnifred)
  • Jane White (Queen Aggravain)
  • Jack Gilford (King Sextimus)
  • Joseph Bova (Prince Dauntless)
  • Elliot Gould (Jester)
  • Shani Wallis (Lady Larkin)
  • Bill Hayes (Minstrel)
  • Jack Fletcher (Wizard)
  • Michael Bennett  Chorus (uncredited)

Produced by:

  • Bob Banner ... executive producer
  • Joe Hamilton ... producer

Announce / Spokesman for Lipton Tea:

  • George Fenneman

Choreographed by Joe Layton


This is the first television adaptation of the 1959 Broadway musical and it aired on June 3, 1964, on CBS.

The production was videotaped in black and white in front of a live audience and featured Burnett, Bova, Gilford, and White from the original Broadway cast, as well as new principals Bill Hayes as the Minstrel, Shani Wallis as Lady Larken and Elliott Gould (in his first appearance on any screen) as the Jester.

The first TV adaptation is closer to the original stage production than the 1972 version, although it was abbreviated for television.

It also features most of the original Broadway cast. Due to the success of this production, another television adaptation appeared in 1972 and iit was presented for the first time in color. However, because the first televised adaptation was reduced to a running time of 90 minutes, several songs and scenes were either cut or shortened such as " Happily Ever After ." The conflict concerning Sir Harry and Lady Larkin was downplayed and was simply noted that they were married in secret.


While previous VHS or DVD prints of the 1964 television special were dreadful due to grainy / snowy picture and numerous sound drop-outs, low and behold a beautiful transfer was discovered.

Due to its age, there are a few picture flutters from time-to-time where the very top of the screen may curve ever so slightly however, this does not ruin the experience. In fact, the overall pciture quality is light years ahead of the previous copies that fans of the show either purchased / sold or traded just to have a bit of "Broadway" memorabila. The sound is excellent. and now, we can all enjoy this charming television adaptation of the 1959 stage musical.

If you've seen the stage production or even this televised special before, you may concur that this television special, while based on the play, it was written as an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale " The Princess and the Pea,"   is not as much of a childeren's musical.  It's an adult fantasy, and that's where all the fun comes from, fun that, sadly, got "sanitized" for Middle America in the 1972 television adaptation.  Therefore, if you only see one of the three televised adaptations (1964, 1972, or the last version that debuted in 2005), THIS 1964 version just may be your favorite.  (B+)

Year(s): 06.03.64

Format: DVD

Run time: Approx. 84m

Country: U.S.A.

Language: English

B&W / Color: B&W

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