Have you heard the story of the mistreated girl who finds love at a ball and leaves a glass slipper behind? Cinderella‘s story appears to be as ancient as time, yet there is a reason why it has survived. It has somehow transmitted the same sort of dreaming enchantment across eras and media of entertainment. It’s easy to think just of Disney’s animated version of the popular narrative; yet, the live-action renditions of Cinderella also have the same essence and spirit that connects us to it. All of these live-action versions are deserving of the glass slipper, but which one is the most beautiful?
12. Into the Woods (2014)
This entry is not exactly a Cinderella film; but, this Cinderella, performed by Anna Kendrick, is one component of the renowned Stephen Sondheim’s musical take on fairy tales. Her story is intertwined with the stories of Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), and a childless couple who wish to change their fates due to an evil witch (Meryl Streep).
Unlike earlier Cinderella remakes, this Cinderella understands her aspirations would not bring her the bliss she expected. Although her Prince Charming – Chris Pine is distraught about the invention of his mystery princess, she determines that her “happily ever after” doesn’t include him.
11. Cinderfella (1960)
Cinderfella, a comic gender-reversed rendition of the fairy tale, stars Jerry Lewis. He portrays a hardworking man who is harassed by his stepmother and stepbrothers, who are primarily concerned with discovering his late father’s riches.
While Fella meets his Princess Charming (Anna Marie Alberghetti) during a ball, he is more concerned with being happy with his family. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of fun and terrific music to be experienced in this adaption, including Lewis’ band.
10. Cinderella (2021)
Camila Cabello featured in the most current Cinderella remake. Cinderella in this musical aspires to be a fashion designer. She is eager to make her fantasies come true with the assistance of her Fabulous Godmother (Billy Porter), despite the intentions of her nasty stepmother (Idina Menzel).
Though this rendition takes the traditional narrative in a fresh new direction, some of the enchantment of the love story is lost in the mix. With a strong cast and catchy melodies, it’s an easy watch for a familiar story.
9. Ella Enchanted (2004)
Based on the novel of the same name, Anne Hathaway plays Ella, a girl with the ability to obey whatever command she is given. On her mission to find her fairy godmother and break the enchantment, she encounters Hugh Dancy’s character, the prince. They don’t get along at first, but they finally fall in love during the course of their voyage.
This Cinderella retelling, one of the more comic and musicals on the list, deconstructs the basic cliches of the story. Ella is empowered by the jukebox musical to be her own hero and find her love.
8. The Glass Slipper (1955)
When glass slippers collide with ballerina shoes! The Glass Slipper blends the Cinderella narrative with ballet, and its magnificent coordinated performances set it apart.
In addition, Leslie Caron plays Ella with a more infantile simplicity. This rendition focuses on the characters’ different characteristics rather than “love at first sight” during a ball.
7. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1957)
This is the original Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella narrative. The music and lyrics pair collaborated to produce memorable music that will be sung in future editions.
Cendrillon, the live TV musical based on the French version of the story, starring Julie Andrews as the title Cinderella. This brought Andrews’ Broadway popularity to a wider audience, launching her career in films such as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.
6. A Cinderella Story (2004)
Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray appeared in a modern retelling of the classic tale in the mid-2000s when Lizzie McGuire and One Tree Hill were at the height of their popularity. Instead of pumpkins and glass slippers, it’s the story of two high school students who fell in love after exchanging SMS (and losing a cell phone). It features standout performances by Jennifer Coolidge as the evil stepmother and Regina King as the contemporary fairy godmother.
It’s an amusing twist on the Cinderella narrative, updating the technology for its intended adolescent audience; also, it makes the film about self-confidence and the fortitude to pursue what you desire. Don’t allow your fear of hitting a home run keep you from seeing this young romance.
5. The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella (1976)
The musical retelling, one of the longest versions of the Cinderella story described, increases the humor and charm. Gemma Craven plays a Cinderella who is both outspoken and romantic.
This musical has stood out for Cinderella fans as well as movie musical enthusiasts, thanks to the irresistible music of the Sherman Brothers, the pair behind the tunes of Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book. In reality, The Slipper and the Rose was nominated for two Academy Awards: Original Score and Original Song.
4. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1965)
The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic was remade with minor alterations from the original, most notably the addition of Lesley Ann Warren to the cast. The made-for-TV musical gained popularity throughout the decades due to the benefits of being a taped version of the stage show.
Despite a few changes, the plot kept true to the original fairy tale of love at first sight. This rendition finds a place in its own nook among Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella adaptations.
3. Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
In this unusual take of the fairy tale, Drew Barrymore climbs into the legendary glass slippers and makes them her own. When Danielle knocks the prince (Dougray Scott) from a horse with an apple in Renaissance-era France, love does not blossom at first sight. However, from then, she battles for her own happy ending with her prince, battling her stepmother’s brutality (Anjelica Huston).
Where it lacks the renowned narrative’s music and fairy godmothers, it makes up for it with historical appearances and a more realistic love story that roots and distinguishes its rendition.
2. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997)
The most recent rendition of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical adaption has some of the greatest costumes and choreography on our list. Not to mention, Brandy Norwood shines as Cinderella, portraying the character’s softness while still demonstrating her might.
The all-star cast is breathtaking: Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, and Bernadette Peters are just a few of the celebrities who have joined forces in this Cinderella tale. However, it doesn’t get more famous than Whitney Houston as the fairy godmother who grants all of our wishes. With an amazing cast and wonderful soundtrack, it’s difficult to not include this remake!
1. Cinderella (2015)
Kenneth Branaugh injects vibrant hues and charm into the Disney live-action version. Lily James shines in her portrayal of Cinderella, reflecting the sweet spirit we’ve grown to love. Her connection with Richard Madden’s Prince is apparent and so lovely that it could give you pain. Cate Blanchett is a delectable Disney villain, relishing the part of the evil stepmother with every theatrical flourish (which she later utilizes in Thor: Ragnarok).
While it lacks the musical aspect that many of the adaptations on this list have, it catches the essence of the ageless classic, inspiring audiences to be brave and compassionate. It towers over a forest of outstanding Cinderella retellings.