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Modern Interpretations of Bearskin

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Bearskin and other folktales of type 361
by D. L. Ashliman


The story of Bearskin and its themes have appeared in literature and other forms of art. This page provides a small discussion of some of the better known treatments by authors and other artists.

Literature   Poetry   Music   Film   Theatre

Literature: Novels

Bearskin illustrated by Gareth Hinds

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Literature: Short Stories

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I have listed primarily classical compositions of music using the themes of this fairy tale in either ballet, opera or some other musical style. I have also provided links to popular recordings of the music when available at Amazon.com. The advantage to these links is that you can listen to samples of the music at no charge.

None so far!

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To learn more about these films, please visit the
Internet Movie Database.

Davenport Films:  BearskinBearskin by Davenport Films

Bearskin (1982). Tom Davenport, director. Davenport Films Production.
Amazon.com: Buy it on DVD or VHS.

Davenport Films, an independent film company, has a wonderful short film titled Bearskin. This is the same film company that produced Willa: An American Snow White which has appeared on PBS. Please follow these links or click on a photo still to visit their website and learn more about this film. These movies are some of the best renditions of folklore on film.

You can also preview this film on YouTube at From the Brothers Grimm: Bearskin.

Bearskin: An Urban Fairy Tale (1989). Ann Guedes and Eduardo Guedes, directors.
Amazon.com: Buy the movie on DVD (Region 2).

Tom Waits .... Silva
Damon Lowry .... Johnny Fortune
Charlotte Coleman .... Kate
Júlia Britton .... Laura
Bill Paterson .... Jordan

Storybook International DVD Set

"The Soldier Who Didn't Wash." Part of the Storybook International series. 1985.
Amazon.com: Buy the movie on DVD.

LIVE ACTION: Based on a Russian variant of the Bearskin tale. A poor, lonely soldier makes a deal with the Devil. In exchange for great wealth, the soldier agrees not to wash for fifteen years. The soldier becomes a social outcast but ultimately comes to the aid of a money-strapped king on the condition that one of the princesses becomes his wife. This tale is often known as Bearskin in its American variants.

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The Bearskinner: A Tale of the Brothers Grimm by Laura Amy Schlitz (Author), Max Grafe (Illustrator)

Bearskin illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

Complete Grimms translated by Jack Zipes

©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
Page created 1/2006; Last updated 7/5/07