A Dark Story Retold: Adaptation, Representation and Design in Snow White: A Tale of Terror

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Film adaptations of popular fairy tales have regularly been produced for a family audience, consequently ensuring that the cinematic and televisual translations of the stories which exist most prominently in the public consciousness do not indicate the sometimes dark and unsettling nature of their oral and literary predecessors. For instance, in adaptations of the Brothers Grimm 1819 version of Schneewittchen, the malevolence of Snow White’s stepmother is apparent, but her cannibalistic intensions for the girl’s liver and lungs are rarely referred to. However, Michael Cohn’s 1997 retelling of Snow White as a ‘tale of terror’ visually and thematically recaptures and enhances the sinister nature of the Grimm’s story. In this film, gender representation, in conjunction with a visual style which combines historical, romantic, fairy tale and Gothic tropes, generates a truly dark and nightmarish fantasy. This chapter explores adaptation, aesthetics and representation in Cohn’s work, and it will be argued, with particular reference to the representation of women, that this made-for-television movie is innovative and unconventional.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationChanneling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television
    EditorsP. Greenhill, J. Rudy
    Place of PublicationDetroit
    PublisherWayne State University Press
    ISBN (Print)978-0-8143-3922-0
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

    Publication series

    NameSeries in Fairy-Tale Studies


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