Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

I had hoped to post more on Fairy Tale Month, but a research trip in the middle of October stalled that plan. However, we'll have many more opportunities to talk about movies with fairy tale themes.

This week I'd like to spotlight the movie that started me on my writing journey, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, made in 1962, featuring Laurence Harvey as Wilhelm Grimm and Karlheinz Bolm as Jacob Grimm. Other names you may have heard of are Barbara Eden of I Dream of Genie fame, Jim Backus, who was Thirston Howell III in Gilligan's Island, and Buddy Hackett, a popular pudgy comedian in tons of '60s movies (remember Disney's Love Bug?)

Although not particularly accurate, this movie chronicles the lives of the Brothers Grimm and how they started writing fairy tales. It's sprinkled with vignettes from the tales themselves, creating a delightful fantasy montage that absolutely thrilled me when I was seven.

One scene from this movie stands out. If you're a writer, I hope what I'm about to share rings with you as much as it has with me for over four decades. Wilhelm is ill, lying on what is sure to be his death bed in his room. It's at the end of the movie, so we've seen all of the stories in the afore mentioned vignettes. Now, all of those characters come to life and climb through his window and surround his bed, except for the beanstalk Giant who peers into the window. They all entreat him to not die because if he does, they will die with him.

As a writer, this truth has clung to me through the times I wanted to give up. Through the times that writing was just too hard, or publication seemed an impossible mountain to climb. I've found at the times of my greatest discouragement, that my characters yet to be written seek me out in my home office, standing near my chair, their hands on my shoulders. "You can't quit, Kathy, because if you do, no one will know about us." And as a Christian author, I hear God, (who is very real!) saying, "You can't quit, because if you do no one will know the truths I've placed in your words. That one person I've chosen to finally grasp eternity, will not do so through unwritten words."


Our profession is powerful. If I can gain inspiration through the words of a fairy tale movie, how much more so can my readers gain insight into God's truths. He and I work together to craft not only an entertaining story, but inspiration and insight into the character of God. In truth, I learn as much about God as my readers when I see those words form on my screen.

So I encourage you, dear writers, to continue the task you have set out to do. Or, as the theme in our first Craft Cinema feature, Galaxy Quest, stated, -- "Never give up, never surrender."

Powerful words to live by.


If you'd like to learn more about this movie, go to

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