Fairytale: A True Story review

We review Fairytale: A True Story - a truly moving and sweet movie for children and adults, jam-packed with terrific actors

Fairytale: A True Story poster

Fairytale: A True Story

Certificate: U

Starring: Harvey Keitel, Peter O’Toole

Release date: 1997

4 out of 5


An utterly adorable tale, loosely based on the true story of two little girls at the beginning of the 20th century who caused controversy when they produced photos they said proved the existence of fairies. Here, during World War I, young Frances (Elizabeth Earl), whose father is missing in action, goes to live with her cousin Elsie (Florence Hoath) and the pair discover fairies in the garden and photograph them to show Frances’s parents. Their evidence leads them to London, where they are championed by none other than Harry Houdini (Keitel) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (O’Toole).

Fairytale: A True Story is a film about belief and faith rather than twinkly winged creatures, this is truly moving and sweet for children and adults, and is jam-packed with terrific actors, including Paul McGann, Bob Peck, Peter Mullan, Bill Nighy and, in an uncredited performance, Mel Gibson. A must-see (with tissues in hand, of course).

Is Fairytale: A True Story suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...


If you like this, why not try: A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Madeline, Nanny McPhee, Pollyanna,