April 11, 2007

Alice's House


Sometimes when I do my morning exercises, I watch Classic Arts Showcase, a kind of MTV for classical music that one of the cable access channels (the one devoted to my son's public school system) carries in what would otherwise be off hours. This morning, my pushups were interrupted by a sequence from the 1966 film Alice in Wonderland, directed by Jonathan Miller.

The sequence I saw was haunting enough that I ordered the DVD.

I confess I'm no expert in Alice and Wonderland films (I don't think I've even heard of as much as a third of the films listed here, for example), and am not even all that much of a Lewis Carroll fan, and I've noted that not all reviews are positive.

I noted that, in the five pages that the Alice Movie site devotes to this particular production, the eventual fate of the girl who played Alice is something of a mystery:

The only major participant we know almost nothing about is Alice herself. Anne-Marie Mallik was literally plucked from obscurity just for this production and apparently returned there afterwards. Jonathan Miller relates the tale that he deliberately avoided the traditional concept a over-cheery seven-year-old Alice and preferred the serious and almost joke-proof look which Anne-Marie brought. Apart from this, there seems to be no further information at all. Are you still out there somewhere Anne-Marie? Get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

Via the magic of Nexis, I found this Oct. 31, 1986, story from the Times of London:

Alice in Wonderland' actress traced


SECTION: Issue 62603.

LENGTH: 137 words

Times have changed for Alice in Wonderland. A search for the girl who starred in a BBC television production of the story 20 years ago ended yesterday when an alert reader of The Times recognized a photograph of the missing actress (Gavin Bell writes).

Miss Anne-Marie Mallik is now Mrs Huxstep, aged 34, the wife of a Royal Navy Lieutenant-Commander and mother of four children. She lives in Southsea, Hampshire.

The BBC had been looking for 'Alice' to give her a fee for repeating the programme next Sunday during its fiftieth anniversary.

Mrs Huxstep emerged from behind the looking glass yesterday rather amused, particularly since she had never wished to pursue an acting career. 'It was just a one-off thing. I didn't actually think I was very good at it, so I went into banking instead. '

Wise woman.

Posted by Ideofact at April 11, 2007 11:55 PM