Alice in Wonderland is a 1933 American pre-Code fantasy film adapted from the novels by Lewis Carroll. The film was produced by Paramount Pictures, featuring an all-star cast. It is all live-action, except for the Walrus and The Carpenter sequence, which was animated by Harman-Ising Studio.
Stars include W. C. Fields as Humpty Dumpty, Edna May Oliver as the Red Queen, Cary Grant as the Mock Turtle, Gary Cooper as The White Knight, Edward Everett Horton as The Hatter, Charles Ruggles as The March Hare, Baby LeRoy as The Joker, and Charlotte Henry in her first leading role as Alice.
This adaptation was directed by Norman Z. McLeod from a screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and William Cameron Menzies, based on Lewis Carroll's books Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Alice Through the Looking-Glass (1871). It also drew heavily from Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus's then-recent stage adaptation.
When Paramount previewed the film in 1933, the original running time was 90 minutes. By the time it was shown to the press, it was truncated to 77 minutes. Many reviews, including the savage one in Variety, made a point of how long it seemed at an hour-and-a-quarter. Though being released at this shorter time, it is often mistakenly reported that Universal Pictures edited it when it bought the television rights in the late 1950s. Universal released the film on DVD on March 2, 2010, as the first home video release.
It is the only major live-action Hollywood theatrical production to adapt the original Alice stories. The next major live-action Hollywood production to do so was a two-part adaptation for television in 1985, and the second major live-action Hollywood production for movie theaters to use the same title was made by Tim Burton for Disney in 2010 as a sequel to the original story.
Alice (Charlotte Henry) and Dinah live peacefully in their home, until chasing a White Rabbit into a hole. Falling in, Alice is transported to various doors. She drinks a bottle that reads "Drink Me, Not Poison" which makes her grow big. Her tears flood the room while weeping. She eats a cookie and turns tiny. Swimming in her tears, she meets a couple of odd men named Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. She encounters a tea party, where the Mad Hatter and March Hare live. She meets the Cheshire Cat, then she meets Humpty Dumpty who tells her what a unbirthday is. She leaves and meets a caterpillar and changes size again. Alice returns to her normal size and runs away from the caterpillar and meets the Queen of Hearts. They play croquet by grabbing a flamingo by the neck. Alice is welcomed to a castle, realizing that she is Queen or Princess of the land. The people of Wonderland start to go crazy. Alice gets choked by the Queen, wakes up in her room, and continues her normal life.