This 'fairy film in shadow show' is an early film by Lotte Reiniger, who pioneered the technique of silhouette animation, influenced by the ancient art of shadow-plays as perfected in China and Indonesia. An animated pair of scissors opens the film, mimicking the creation of the cut-out figures. Originally produced in Germany, this English version of the Grimms' story came to London in 1927.
The film opens with a logo of 'The Film Society', a group founded in 1925 to encourage 'the production of really artistic films'. The governing council included the director Adrian Brunel and the exhibitor Sidney Bernstein. Over 14 seasons the Society staged eight monthly programmes from autumn to spring on Sunday afternoons, notoriously screening Sergei Eisenstein's Soviet masterpiece Battleship Potemkin in 1929. Directors Carol Reed and Michael Powell were members, and Alfred Hitchcock is believed to have attended screenings.