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Snow White: A Tale of Terror

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Title: Snow White: A Tale of Terror  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sigourney Weaver, Snow White, List of film score composers, Brian Glover, Ellen Ripley, Monica Keena, Interscope Communications, Gil Bellows, David Nykl, Snow White (disambiguation)
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Snow White: A Tale of Terror

Snow White: A Tale Of Terror
File:Snowwhiteterror.jpg
DVD cover for Snow White: A Tale Of Terror
Distributed by Gramercy Pictures
Directed by Michael Cohn
Produced by Tom Engelman
Screenplay by Tom Szollosi
Deborah Serra
Based on Snow White by the Brothers Grimm
Starring Sigourney Weaver
Sam Neill
Monica Keena
Gil Bellows
David Conrad
Music by John Ottman
Cinematography Mike Southon
Editing by Ian Crafford
Production company PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Interscope Communications
Country United States
Language English
Original channel Showtime
Release dateTemplate:Plainlist
Template:Plainlist
Running time 101 minutes

Snow White: A Tale of Terror is a 1997 American horror television film based on the "Snow White" fairy tale. Also known as Snow White in the Black Forest,[1] it was directed by Michael Cohn and stars Sigourney Weaver, Sam Neill and Monica Keena. The original music score was composed by John Ottman. The film was marketed with the tagline "The fairy tale is over." The film received mixed reviews, but is praised for staying with the dark formulae that were once present in fairy tales.

Plot summary

Lilliana Hoffman dies in a carriage accident in the woods, caused by wolves that attack both the horses and the coachman. Her husband Frederick, at his dying wife's urging, reluctantly performs a caesarean section to save their unborn daughter. Years later, the young Lilli Hoffman—the Snow White of the title, although she is never addressed or referred to as such in the film—plays mischievously on the grounds of the Hoffman estate. Lilli greets her new stepmother, Lady Claudia, somewhat reluctantly. Lady Claudia gives the reticent Lilli a Rottweiler puppy. Lilli is pleased, but runs off with the puppy without thanking her.

On the Hoffmans' wedding night, Lilli spoils the communal blessing of the marriage bed by dashing the contents of her small ceremonial cup at Claudia. Running away Lilli hides under the bed in the room where Claudia keeps the mirror her mother gave her and to which Claudia talks. The doors covering the mirror spontaneously partly open when a serving women enters looking for Lilli. The serving woman opens the doors and looks into the mirror and screams and falls dead without known cause.

As Lilli grows into womanhood, Claudia keeps her dressed in girls' clothing. Their relationship has not gotten any better, though Claudia does try her best to be civil with Lilli. Lilli continues to be rebellious and cruel to her stepmother's feelings.

On the night of a ball, Claudia gives Lilli a dress that belonged to her as a child and tells Lilli that it is now her turn to wear it as her stepdaughter. Lilli rebels by wearing one of her own mother's gowns to the ball. Her father is startled, then pleased at Lilli's evocation of her mother; as the two dance, Claudia, in a paroxysm of jealousy, goes into an early labor and delivers a stillborn boy. The doctor — Doctor Guttenberg — informs Frederick that Claudia can never have another child. Claudia tells Gustav to retrieve the foetus which he does so from the fire pit where it has been thrown. Looking haggard from her ordeal, Claudia stares into her wardrobe-like mirror where an ideally beautiful reflection replaces her real one and demands revenge against Lilli for doing this to her.

Claudia orders her brother Gustav to kill and eviscerate Lilli in the woods. Doctor Guttenberg meets Lilli in the woods and tells her, with her permission, he will ask her father for her hand in marriage which Lilli readily encourages. He departs and Gustav arrives. Lilli escapes deep into the woods so Gustav kills a pig and presents its organs to Claudia, who keeps what she believes to be Lilli's heart. Claudia orders Gustav to place the rest of the remains in the stew pot, then coos over the deliciousness of the stew as she eats and urges Frederick to join her. When Claudia learns the truth from the mirror, she drives a terrified Gustav to suicide by either causing him to believe there are insects inside his body or actually causing there to be insects in his body.

In the meantime, Lilli is found by seven rough, combative miners — outcast by civil or ecclesiastical authority — who grudgingly give her shelter. When one of them threatens her with rape before ransoming her to her father, their unofficial leader, Will, stops him. Meanwhile, having enchanted a raven so that she can see through its eyes Claudia discovers that Lilli is still alive. While talking to her baby's corpse in the woods she uses her black magic trying to kill Lilli — trapping a sparrow inside an hourglass that is filling with sand, paralleled to the collapse of the mine where Lilli is — instead killing two of the miners. Claudia keeps an injured Frederick infirm — his leg broken after a horse accident while looking for Lilli — and afflicting the estate's staff with the Black Death. Gutenberg arrives at the nearly empty castle where Claudia kisses him passionately and strokes him seductively and has him promise to continue searching for Lilli.

In the morning in the castle Claudia uses magic to imitate Frederick's voice in the forest and draw Lilli away from the miners. Claudia summons strong winds and that cause trees to fall but manages only to kill another miner and not Lilli. One of the miners kills the raven.

After this failure, the mirror tells Claudia to bring her child to life, she must steal the father's seed and bath her child in its father's blood, so she has sex with Frederick. In the forest the four remaining miners mourn their losses, Lilli touches Will's scars, inflicted by Crusaders, and the two share a lover's kiss.

Claudia disguises herself as an old woman and turns her brother's eviscerated heart into a poisoned apple. Transported to Lilli's refuge, the disguised Claudia speaks kindly to her and gives her the apple, which puts her into a locked-in syndrome that makes her appear dead. Will finds Lilli seemingly dead on the ground from a bite of the apple. Dr. Gutenberg, the last person still searching for Lilli, arrives and pronounces her dead. Seeing her eyes appear to open through her mosaic glass coffin during her burial, Will leaps into the grave, pulls Lilli's body from the coffin, and shakes her as he commands her to breathe, causing the piece of apple lodged in her throat to fall out so that she wakes. In the castle Claudia takes Frederick to the chapel, wherein the castle staff appear mindlessly worshipping, ties him to a crucifix and suspends it upside down and prepares to exsanguinate him in a semi-blatant Satanic ritual.

Gutenberg takes Lilli back to the mansion to destroy Claudia; Will follows and joins them to help. Lilli's grown dog attacks Will; Lilli counterattacks with her torch, and they escape. On finding her father, Lilli charges Will with getting him safely outside. Claudia kills Gutenberg by pushing him out a window. Lilli armed with a crossbow — confronts Claudia. Claudia gloats, clutching her newly revived, not fully formed baby boy. She disappears then reappears to attack Lilli, smashing her into mirrors and deliberately cutting her face with one of the shards. Scrambling for safely, Lilli knocks over a burning brazier. When the fire threatens the baby, Claudia is distracted; Lilli finds a knife, and the evil mirror — showing a reflection of the front of Claudia even though Lilli is in the way and Claudia is facing away from the mirror — cries out to warn Claudia. Realizing the source of Claudia's strength and weakness, Lilli plunges the knife into the mirror. The mirror doesn't shatter or crack, but instead bleeds from the wound. The mirror explodes firing shards into Claudia who then burns to death. Lilli joins Will and a delirious Frederick outside. Her father finally recognizes her as it begins to snow. The film ends with the three locked inside, behind the doors.

Awards

Sigourney Weaver's critically acclaimed performance earned her an Emmy Award nomination as well as a Screen Actors Guild nomination as Outstanding Lead Actress in a TV Movie. The film also earned two Emmy nominations for Makeup and Costume Design.[2]

Main cast

Actor Role
Sigourney Weaver Lady Claudia Hoffman
Sam Neill Lord Frederick Hoffman
Monica Keena Lilliana (Lilli) Hoffman
Gil Bellows Will
David Conrad Dr. Peter Gutenberg
Miroslav Taborsky Gustav
Brian Glover Lars
Andrew Tiernan Scar
Anthony Brophy Rolf
Chris Bauer Conrad
Frances Cuka Nannau
Bryan Pringle Father Gilbert
Taryn Davis Little Lilliana (Lilli) Hoffman
Joanna Roth Lady Lilliana Hoffman

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • TCM Movie Database
  • AllRovi
  • Rotten Tomatoes
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