of Little Match Girl 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.
Lisle, Janet Taylor. A Message from the Match Girl. New York: Orchard Books, 1995. Amazon.com:Buy the book inpaperback.
MIDDLE READERS NOVEL: Card catalog description: "Georgina and Poco try to help their friend Walter who is suffering from an identity crisis and receiving strange messages from his dead mother."
Maguire, Gregory. Matchless: A Christmas Story. New York: Orchard Books, 2009. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcover.
NOVELLA: Publisher's description: "Every year, NPR asks a writer to compose an original story with a Christmas theme. This year, Gregory Maguire reinvents the Hans Christian Andersen classic "The Little Match Girl" for a new time and new audiences.
When it was first translated from Danish and published in England in the mid-19th century, audiences likely interpreted the Little Match Girl's dying visions of lights and a grandmother in heaven as metaphors of religious salvation. Maguire's new piece, entitled, "Matchless," re-illuminates Andersen's classic, using his storytelling magic to rekindle Andersen's original intentions, and to suggest transcendence, the permanence of spirit and the continuity that links the living and the dead."
Bishop, Anne. "Match Girl." Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 1996. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcover orpaperback.
Davis, Russell. "The Last Day of the Rest of Her Life." Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City. Martin H. Greenberg and John Helfers, eds. New York: DAW, 2004. Amazon.com:Buy the book inpaperback.
Mayer, Gloria Gilbert and Thomas Mayer. "The Little Match Girl." Goldilocks on Management: 27 Revisionist Fairy Tales for Serious Managers. New York: American Management Association, 1999. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcover.
Oates, Joyce Carol. "You, Little Match Girl." Black Heart, Ivory Bones. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 2000. Amazon.com:Buy the book in paperback.
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.
Lachenmann, Helmut. Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (The Little Match Girl). 1988-96. ECM Records, 2004. Amazon.com: Buy the it on CD.
Connors, Loren Mazzacane. The Little Match Girl. Road Cone, 2001. Amazon.com: Buy the it on CD. (Song samples are also available on Amazon.)
From Amazon.com: "The term outsider art often brings with it whiffs of exoticism and condescension, of jaded sophisticates turning to untutored oddballs to provide new sensations for their numbed palates. Electric guitarist Loren Mazzacane Connors is every inch the outsider, but he caters to none of the label's stereotypes. He records most of his music alone at home, crafting perfectly shaped miniatures and arranging them into sequences that depict literary and historical themes. Then he packages the albums with his own stark photographs and drawings and releases them without fanfare on microlabels around the world. Connors imbues his improvisations with a refined compositional consciousness; each piece is assembled from one or two tracks of sparse, ringing notes that shine light on the soul's darkest recesses.
"'The Little Match Girl' comprises two suites. The first, titled after Hans Christian Andersen's sentimental fable, uses gentle contrapuntal melodies to evoke an air of transcendent serenity. The latter is called "The Art Of The Blues," but it's not a formal exercise in 12-bar riffing; instead Connors plumbs the blues' emotional depths in a succession of pithy tunes that are as spacious and haunting as Neil Young's soundtrack for the film "Dean Man." My only complaint is with the murky live recording of the second suite's beginning and ending segments, which distorts guest percussionist Neel Murgai's daf (a Persian drum). Otherwise, this record is an excellent addition to Connors' swelling discography. --Bill Meyer"
Enna, August. The Little Match Girl. CPO Records, 2003. Amazon.com: Buy the it on CD.
Striking 12. The New GrooveLily Musical. PS Classics, 2004. Amazon.com: Buy the it on CD.(Song samples are also available on Amazon.)
MUSICAL: Soundtrack for Striking 12's off-Broadway musical featuring The Little Match Girl.
La Petite marchande d'allumettes (1928). Jean Renoir & Jean Tédesco, directors. France.
SILENT SHORT: From IMDB: "Although this version hits on many of the points in the original story, there is no doubt that this is director Jean Renoir's very own interpretation. He perhaps outdoes Hans Christian Andersen in conveying a harsh reality with little or no recompense. The finale is heavy laden with symbolism of which might have been some influence to Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane". Renoir himself seems to have been influenced by Andersen's "Steadfast Tin Soldier" and Victor Herbert's "Babes in Toyland (1903)". And the life size dolls remind one of Maria in "Metropolis (German, 1927)". The New Year's story should be familiar to most- one sorrowful day in the life of a poor girl, without happiness at home nor on the job. This particular adaption presents a girl much older than seen elsewhere and is set in the present. Ranks a close third behind the 1937 cartoon and the near perfect 1986 British musical film." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
The Little Match Girl (1937). Arthur Davis, director. USA.
ANIMATED SHORT: Nominated for an Oscar. Read more about it on IMDB.com.
Hansu Kurushitan Anderusan no sekai (1971). Al Kilgore & Chuck McCann, directors. Japan/USA. Also known as: The World of Hans Christian Andersen (USA).
ANIMATED FILM: From IMDB: "Come along and meet UNCLE OLIE, HANNIBAL MOUSE, a Crazy Cat named CASPER, THUMBLELINA, THE UGLY DUCKLING, THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL, and THE RED SHOES ." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
The Little Match Girl (1974). Richard Bramall & Tom Robertson, directors. UK. Made for TV.
Lynsey Baxter .... Little Match Girl
David Howe .... Arthur
Robert Gray Jones .... Father
Georgina Kean .... Harriet
Annabelle Lanyon .... Charlotte
LIVE ACTION: From IMDB: "As a little girl is daydreaming out the window, her wicked father comes home. It's Christmas Eve. She tells her father that she was thinking about her Grandmother and of how nice Christmas was when she was alive. The father, angry and bitter, tells the girl that she must be out early to sell the matches or she can think about a beating. He tells her she needs to keep her mind on selling the matches and that she cannot come home until every one of them is sold. Then he laments about how, since her momma died, she is more than pain and trouble and is always in the way." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
The Little Match Girl (1983). Wally Broodbent & Mark Hoeger, directors. USA. Amazon.com: Buy the film on VHS.
LIVE ACTION: From IMDB: "Before she dies, a young girl's grandmother tells her a secret: the matches that the family sells are magic. After the grandmother passes away, the girl gets so wrapped up in the magic of the matches she neglects to sell them, putting her family in jeopardy." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
The Little Match Girl (1987). Michael Custance, director. UK.
Christina Avery .... First Tart
Fanny Carby .... Washerwoman
Roger Daltrey .... Jeb Macklin
Paul Daneman .... Mr. Fairbrother
Nicola Dawn .... Lisa Fairbrother
Kelly George .... First Urchin
Pearl Hackney .... Mrs. Prothero
Eithne Hannigan .... Second Tart
Ian Hooper .... Second Urchin
Jimmy Jewel .... Butler
Stratford Johns .... Rich man
Patricia Lawrence .... Maud
Jennie Linden .... Mrs. Fairbrother
Natalie Morse .... The Matchgirl
Russell Lee Nash .... Arthur
Twiggy .... Josie Roberts
MUSICAL/LIVE ACTION: From IMDB: "The story of a little matchgirl (Morse) who lives with her alcoholic dad (Daltrey) and his piece of stuff (Twiggy). She spends all day living on the streets selling matches when one day she meets a gorgeous guy (Nash). They have this sort-of friendship that she would like to take further. . . Until one night, she lights one of her matches to find that it takes her into a different world." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
The Little Match Girl (1987). Michael Lindsay-Hogg, director. USA. Made for TV.
Maryedith Burrell .... Rita
William Daniels .... Haywood Dutton
William B. Davis .... Dr. Sam Easton (as Bill Davis)
Hallie Foote .... Mary-Margaret Dutton
Keshia Knight Pulliam .... Molly
Rue McClanahan .... Frances Dutton
Jim Metzler .... Joseph Dutton
Stephen E. Miller .... Coffee & Doughnut Vendor
John Rhys-Davies .... Police Chief Murphy
LIVE ACTION: From IMDB: "'The Little Match Girl' stars Keshia Knight-Pulliam, Rue McLanahan, William Daniels, and John Rhys-Davies. It's a wonderful story and has excellent performances by both Keshia Knight-Pulliam and Rue McLanahan. If you've read the story by Hans Christian Anderson then you know the story if you don't then here it is. Heywood Dutton has been torn from his son because of a feud that has happened a few years prior. Rue McLanahan stars as Frances Dutton who is trying to bring the two together one magical Christmas. Pulliam is Molly, the match girl who every time she strikes a match something good happens. This is a wonderful story and young as well as old will enjoy this." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
The Little Match Girl (1991). Michael Sporn, director. USA.
F. Murray Abraham .... Narrator
Perry Kiefer .... Jazzman
Theresa Smythe .... Angela
Heidi Stallings .... Aunt Fritzi Ritz
La Vendedora de rosas (1998). Víctor Gaviria, director. Colombia. Also known as: The Rose Seller (USA).
Lady Tabares .... Mónica
Marta Correa .... Judy
Mileider Gil .... Andrea
Diana Murillo .... Cachetona
Liliana Giraldo .... Claudia
From IMDB.com: "13-year-old Monica leads a street life, making her living by selling flowers to couples in local nightspots, she is joined by 10-year-old Andrea who runs out of her house after her mother beats her." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
Sungnyangpali sonyeoui jaerim (2002). Sun-Woo Jang, director. South Korea.
Also known as: Resurrection of the Little Match Girl (International: English title).
Eun-kyeong Lim .... Little Match Girl
Hyun-sung Kim .... Ju
Jin-pyo Kim .... Lee
Sing Jin .... Lala
LIVE ACTION: From IMDB: "To Chinese restaurant delivery boy 'Ju', the only joy in life is spending time at the electronic game room. One day, 'Ju' who was engrossed in an electronic game as usual, is advised to log-on to a game called RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL. The match selling girl of Andersen's fairytale is revived through the game, and 'Ju' is drawn into the little girl's virtual reality. As reality and cyberspace interchange, 'Ju', like in the famous fairytale, is given the mission to save the little girl from danger and lead her to a peaceful death. However, the two are not only confronted by a gigantic force called the System, that attempts to stop them, but other obstacles that place their lives in danger..." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
The Little Match Girl (2004). James Ricker, director. Canada.
Nikki Barnett .... Little match girl
LIVE ACTION SHORT: Read more about it on IMDB.com.
H.C. Andersens eventyrlige verden: Den lille pige med svovlstikkerne (2005). Jørgen Bing, director. Denmark.
Also known as: H.C. Andersen: The Little Match Girl (International: English title).
Striking 12. The New GrooveLily Musical. Amazon.com: Buy the the soundtrack on CD.
From Striking 12's website: "Ever had the end-of-year blues? Who hasn’t? Come take a hip little trip with one of the most acclaimed bands in the country, GrooveLily, as they spread some warmth on the cold winter nights, performing their wacky rewiring of Hans Christian Andersen’s THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL. Their festive fairy tale is a clever mix of musical comedy, pop-rock tunes and old fashioned uplift that will ignite your holiday spirit and illuminate your New Year in a rockin’ performance that cannot be matched!"