Davenport, Tom. Rapunzel, Rapunzel. Davenport Films, 1979. 15 minutes. This live-action film, the second short film in Davenport's From the Brothers Grimm series, sets the European tale in turn-of-the-century America. See AppLit's Bibliography of Davenport's Fairy Tale Films and information with photos at DavenportFilms.com.

Davenport, Tom, and Gary Carden. From the Brothers Grimm: A Contemporary Retelling of American Folktales and Classic Stories.  Fort Atkinson, WI: Highsmith, 1992. Foreword by Jack Zipes. Storybook versions with photos from the films.

"Reptensil," in Leonard Roberts, South From Hell-fer-Sartin': Kentucky Mountain Folk Tales. U of KY Press, 1955. Rpt. Berea, KY: The Council of the Southern Mountains, 1964, pp. 25-26. Roberts collected the tale from a school girl of 13, who said she had heard it from a nurse. This is a bare-bones telling of the traditional Rapunzel tale. An old man takes cabbage for his sick old wife from a witch. Later the witch takes their little girl, names her "Reptensil, because she had long hair," and keeps her in tower until a prince starts to visit her. The witch blinds the prince by scratching his eyes out and throws him in the briars, but she also makes Reptensil's tears able to restore his sight. Reptensil does not wander for a time before the prince finds her or have children. What is most noteworthy in this version is that Reptensil, after healing the prince, chases the witch over a cliff. Then they take Reptensil's parents to live in the prince's castle and live happily ever after. Roberts identifies the tale as type 310, The Maiden in the Tower. Audio recording of this 1949 tale, from Berea College archives, is available online at Digital Library of Appalachia, Appalachian College Association.

See also:

Mutsmag's defeat of a witch and giant who try to kill her and her sisters

The jealous stepmother in Snow White might be compared with the possessive foster mother/captor in "Rapunzel."

In variants of many Appalachian tales, such as Old Fire Dragaman, Jack and the King's Girl, and Hardy Hardhead, girls are rescued from witches or giants, sometimes assisting bravely or cleverly in the escape. See Noteworthy Girls in Jack Tales.

Compare with:

Rapunzel. Annotated text (from Grimm Brothers and Andrew Lang) with background, illustrations and links to related tales and literature, at Sur La Lune Fairy Tales by Heidi Anne Heiner.

The Italian tale Petrosinella by Giambattista Basile is also reprinted at Sur La Lune Fairy Tales by Heidi Anne Heiner. In this version the father takes parsley from an ogress. The prince and heroine escape by running away and stopping the pursuing ogress with violent animals that spring up from magic gallnuts the heroine has taken from the ogress.

Another list of novels based on Rapunzel is at Once Upon a Time . . . a personal web site with a list of novels based on fairy tales and synopses of individual tales with lists of novels and blurbs on each one. Sur La Lune Fairy Tales has similar lists with other genres in addition to novels.

Miranda, in Shakespeare's last complete play, The Tempest, lilves in a fairy tale world where, like Rapunzel in her tower, she has never seen a young man until Ferdinand, a price, is shipwrecked on the island where her father has been exiled for twelve years.


Zelinksky, Paul O. Rapunzel. New York: Dutton Books, 1995. This is a stunning picture book with lavish paintings and an Italian setting, which won a Caldecott Medal.


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