Are you a Peter Pan fan? Want to introduce your kids to the venerable JM Barrie tale? Just won’t grow up?
If you answered yes to any of those queries, you may want to head out Sunday morning (at 11 am local time) to one of some 300 movie theaters showing a new version of Barrie’s 1904 play, from London’s National Theatre. Described as “delightful” by The Guardian, this revision has Captain Hook played by a woman (Anna Francolini) and Peter Pan by a man (Paul Hilton).
Of course, Peter Pan has long crossed gender boundaries, with Peter – the flying boy who refuses to grow up – more often than not played by a woman. The most famous of these females was undoubtedly Mary Martin, who played the role in a 1954 musical version on Broadway and then recreated it for three NBC broadcasts. Here’s one of the latter (Cyril Ritchard plays Hook):
But why stop with Mary Martin? Peter Pan has been redone numerous times in both movie and TV versions, and we’ve found a bunch more which you’re free to binge or – more likely – to spread out over several family viewing nights. Like the Martin version above, the three full-length Peter Pans below each clock in at just about one hour and 40 minutes.
We’ll continue with another version of the 1954 musical, this time starring former gymnast Cathy Rigby, which aired on A&E in 2000 (Paul Schoeffler plays Hook):
NBC revisited this same musical with Peter Pan Live! starring Allison Williams in 2014 (Christopher Walken played Hook), but that version is not available for streaming. Instead, we turn to another NBC broadcast: Mia Farrow as Peter, and Danny Kaye as Hook, in a 1976 musical with an entirely different score and Julie Andrews singing one of the songs:
There’s also a third musical version of Peter Pan of major significance: Walt Disney’s 1953 animated feature, which you can stream through Disney Movies Anywhere. Here’s a pivotal scene and song (Peter this time is voiced by a real boy, Bobby Driscoll; Hans Conried, not heard here, is Hook):
In a 1924 silent version, which boasts the personal participation of Barrie himself, Betty Bronson plays Peter (Ernest Torrence is Hook):
Then there’s Steven Spileberg’s 1991 sequel Hook, with Robin Williams playing a grown-up (!) Peter, Dustin Hoffman as Hook — and Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell. Hook is available, at no extra charge, to Amazon Prime subscribers. Here’s the trailer:
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