Red Riding Hood (1989 film)

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Red Riding Hood
Red Riding Hood FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Adam Brooks
Produced by Yoram Globus
Menahem Golan
Written by Carole Lucia Satrina
Based on Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault and by Brothers Grimm
Starring Amelia Shankley
Isabella Rossellini
Craig T. Nelson
Rocco Sisto
Helen Glazary
Music by Stephen Lawrence
Cinematography Yuri Neyman
Ye'ehi Shnegur
Edited by David Tour
Distributed by Cannon Releasing Corp.
Release date
May 1987
(at Cannes Film Market)
15 March 1989
(video premiere)
Running time
84 minutes
Country Israel
United States
Language English

Red Riding Hood (officially: Cannon Movie Tales: Red Riding Hood, alternatively: Caperucita roja in Venezuela, Cappuccetto Rosso in Italy, Le petit chaperon rouge in France, Pieni Punahilkka in Finland and Rotkäppchen in West Germany) is a 1989 American/Israeli fantasy film by Golan-Globus based on the fairy tale of the same name and part of the film series Cannon Movie Tales. The taglines were: "CANNON MOVIE TALES: Lavish, feature-length new versions of the world's best-loved storybook classics!" and "Rediscover the magic".


The story opens with Linet (Amelia Shankley) chasing something she believes to be an elf fairy. Meanwhile, a Wolf tracks her. Linet climbs a tree over a river and nearly falls. She calls for help. but recovers and makes it back to land. As she senses the Wolf watching her, she is discovered by a woodsman, Peter, who scolds her for being foolish. As they walk back, Peter asks Linet why she can't stay home and be a good little girl. Linet answers how good little girls hardly ever see the world (Lost in the Woods).

When they arrive at the house, Lady Jean (Isabella Rossellini) raises an eyebrow at Linet's disheveled condition. Linet apologizes, but tells her mother how she came close to actually seeing an elf; and if she doesn't look, then she'll never know for sure. As Lady Jean sends her inside to change, Peter comments to her how Linet is growing up and shows no fear. They then talk about how when her husband, Lord Percival, was in the castle, there was no danger. But since Percival's disappearance, his evil twin brother, Lord Godfrey, has taken over, and no one in the castle is safe, which is why Jean and Linet live in the country. As Jean stands, she suddenly sees Godfrey approaching, and Peter leaves.

Godfrey (Craig T. Nelson) notes to Jean that today was the day her husband went off to war, and it has been seven years since, meaning that she is legally free to remarry. He sternly implores that it is the right thing for Jean to marry him, but Jean flatly refuses and explains she still loves Percival. Godfrey wonders, as Percival's exact twin, how Jean could not love him when it is clear she doesn't. He offers her riches and beauty, by proposing to enable her to resume her role as lady of the castle, but she refuses. Godfrey loudly proclaims that, as far as he is concerned, she is the only candidate for lady of the castle, meaning that she WILL be his wife.

Later in the castle, Godfrey imprisons a peasant farmer, Allen Owen, for back taxes. As he is led away, Allen yells how Godfrey has no heart, something that enrages Godfrey. He orders Allen to be hanged in the morning and storms out. Godfrey goes to his chambers where the same Wolf from the beginning is lounging on a sofa. Godfrey orders: "Wolf into Man, as fast as you can." The Wolf then transforms into his human form, Dagger (Rocco Sisto). Godfrey repeats how Allen said he had no heart, and wonders aloud if the truth is really known, how he gave up his heart and soul to possess Dagger, the Power of the Wolf. Godfrey asks Dagger what the people are saying about him. Dagger says that the people are afraid of him, but not all. He remarks how Linet, however, his own "flesh and blood", has no fear. Godfrey replies that soon she will, like everyone else. After he leaves, Dagger sings how he's good at only one thing (Good at Being Bad). He then goes into the village to spy around, and villagers speaking about Godfrey rapidly become quiet in his presence.

Linet awakens from a nightmare about her running through the woods and being chased by a large wolf. Lady Jean comes to comfort her and tell her there is nothing to fear. Linet asks how when there are things to fear. Jean tells her that the night will pass (You Won't Be Here in the Morning).

The next day, Lady Jean takes a loaf of bread and goes to beg Godfrey for Allen Owen's life. Godfrey cruelly agrees, but still has Allen whipped while Jean watches. Lady Jean's servants carry him out of the castle, and Jean speaks about sending for her mother, Nanny Bess.

Linet skips down the road and arrives at Nanny Bess's country house. She tells Nanny Bess about Allen's wounds, and Nanny gathers some ointments and sneaks a red bundle into her basket. As they walk, they are watched by the Wolf. Nanny makes Linet wait outside, promising her a surprise later. Nanny and Lady Jean attend to Allen while Dagger watches from a window. Linet tries to sit still but sees a goose out of its pen. She chases it near Dagger, causing him to fall into some mud. He tries another window, but falls into the river trying to avoid Linet. She goes back into the house as Nanny massages in the ointment, which miraculously removes Allen's pain.

Nanny then holds a 'ceremony' involving a circle of rocks, and adorning Linet with a beautiful hooded cloak, saying it will protect her, and help her see a fairy. The next day Linet and Lady Jean bring bread to a healed Allen and farm workers. Refusing the food, Allen laments to Linet about working so hard only to gain so little, referring to the poor harvest and telling her how the land was fertile (Green in the Blue). Everyone joins in singing and dancing, but the mood changes suddenly when Lord Godfrey appears. In an attempt to quell the situation, Lady Jean speaks to Godfrey, who repeats his marriage request. Jean speaks again of her love for Percival, whom Godfrey declares is dead. Linet speaks up to her uncle, saying her father is alive; Godfrey doesn't want to hear this and starts yelling. He tells Jean this will be the last time he asks. As he rides away, Linet chases him on foot saying her father is alive, before running into the woods.

At first she ignores her mother's calls, but eventually Linet returns to Jean and they sadly walk home. Meanwhile, a very much alive Percival (also played by Craig T. Nelson) travels the road on foot and sings (You Won't Be Here in the Morning). He arrives at Nanny Bess's house and they exchange banter before she warmly welcomes him home. Over dinner, he tells her how he has seen the fear in people's eyes, but he did not reveal his identity. Nanny Bess warns him how Godfrey has used black magic to gain power. Percival refuses to believe his brother is that cold and cruel, but Nanny explains how Godfrey gave up his heart for power and is incapable of loving anything or anyone.

Meanwhile, in the castle, Godfrey sings how Jean cannot break his heart, since he was without one (Man Without a Heart). He and Dagger briefly talk about love before he mentions how Allen had been healed. Dagger doesn't understand how that is possible, and Godfrey postulates someone in the village is capable of magic. He sends Dagger to find out the source of the magic and to eliminate it. He also says Lady Jean will be his, and Linet is becoming a nuisance.

Dagger tries first to talk to Lady Jean, but she knows of his connection to Godfrey and avoids the subject. He then tries to talk to Badger Kate, the maid, and Allen's brother, but she pushes him into the wash bin. Frustrated, he follows Kate and transforms into the Wolf. She spots him and screams for help. The villagers chase the Wolf and shoot bows and arrows. Peter joins the chase and throws his axe. When he catches up, he sees Dagger in human form with a sleeve pinned to a tree by the axe. Dagger sends Peter off in another direction, and grimaces.

Percival and Nanny Bess watch Linet from afar, and Nanny Bess keeps him back, warning of Godfrey's spies. They meet up with the villagers looking for the wolf, and Peter recognizes Percival, and they embrace in friendship. Peter is happy that Percival has returned to lead the people, but all Percival wants is to see Jean and Linet. Nanny Bess warns that Godfrey watches Jean too closely, but she will send for Linet to come to her house.

Jean gives Linet a basket to take to Nanny Bess. Linet promises to go straight there, but of course gets distracted when she runs into Dagger. They talk about people and how they tend to lie and mislead others (Never Talk to Strangers). Afterwards, Linet does reveal it was Nanny Bess who healed Allen. Dagger distracts her into picking flowers and goes ahead to Nanny Bess. He arrives at the house and tries to attack her, but she escapes. Dagger then hears Linet approaching, so he darts inside and dons Nanny Bess' cap and nightgown.

Linet arrives at the house, where Dagger, disguised, convinces her to drink a potion. She does and it blurs her vision, while she dreamily goes into the bedroom. Linet looks at Dagger in the nightcap and gown and utters the famous line: "What big eyes you have." When she notes the big teeth, Dagger says: "The better to eat you with." He then bites Linet's hand. Linet backs away in fear as Dagger transforms into the Wolf and pounces on her.

Percival is talking to the villagers and reveals a secret entrance which Godfrey doesn't know about. They start to plan their attack when Nanny Bess runs up to him, screaming for help. Meanwhile, castle guards lead Lady Jean, her wrists tied, to a waiting Godfrey on horseback. He reminds her that he said he was done asking, before taking the rope and leading her back to the castle.

Percival and the villagers return to the house and see in the bed a half wolf/half human form with a bloated stomach. Percival raises his bow, but Nanny Bess stops him when she sees something moving inside the Wolf's stomach. She orders Percival to cut open the stomach, and when he does Dagger/Wolf dies, and an unharmed Linet emerges from within. She see Percival and timidly asks: "Father?" Both father and daughter embrace.

Percival leads the angry villagers towards the castle. Godfrey pulls Lady Jean along, and screams for Dagger. As Percival enters the castle gates, Godfrey reacts in fear; and his guards and Lady Jean shrink away in horror. The villagers storm the castle and Percival and Jean are reunited. Everyone finds Godfrey cringing and groaning on his throne. He is twisting in pain and starting to take on an animal-like appearance. Percival throws the Wolf's skinned hide at Godfrey, and orders him to leave.

As he staggers past the stunned villagers, Godfrey grimaces in pain. He eventually changes into a wolf and runs out of the castle gates.

As Nanny Bess, Percival, Lady Jean, and Linet walk home, Linet is distracted by pretty flowers. As she picks them and sings, a fairy appears. They look at one another for a moment, but when Linet turns to answer her father, the fairy disappears. Linet smiles and runs to catch up to her family.



  • "Lost in the Woods"
Performed by Amelia Shankley
Music by Stephen Lawrence
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Barclay Productions
  • "Good at Being Bad"
Performed by Rocco Sisto
Music by Stephen Lawrence
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Barclay Productions
  • "You Won't Be Here in the Morning"
Performed by Isabella Rossellini
Music by Stephen Lawrence
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Barclay Productions
  • "Green in the Blue"
Performed by Julian Chagrin
Music by Stephen Lawrence
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Barclay Productions
  • "You Won't Be Here in the Morning"


Performed by Craig T. Nelson
Music by Stephen Lawrence
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Barclay Productions
  • "Man Without a Heart"
Performed by Craig T. Nelson
Music by Stephen Lawrence
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Barclay Productions
  • "Never Talk to Strangers"
Performed by 'Amelia Shankley' and Rocco Sisto
Music by Stephen Lawrence
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Barclay Productions


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