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  • adamkovic26 August 2003
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is one of the best tales ever filmed in former Czechoslovakia. It is a story of three veterans released from the army. During one night spent camping in the country they one by one wake up and meet three elvish brothers. Each of the veterans is given a magic item - one gets magic harp that provides him with servants by wish, other one endless pouch of gold and the last one owns magic hat that can create all the staff excluding money and people.

    These three guys travel, enjoy their newly acquired treasures until the time when Bumbac fells in love when he spots a picture of princess Bosana at her country's border. But king, his advisor and even the princess herself are so greedy of veterans' magic items, they decide to demand them as a dowry. When they put their hands on harp and pouch, veterans are jailed and deported from the country.

    They decide to get their staff back - elves meet them again and present them magic pears. They get back, selling the fruits as mysterious sources of beauty. Greedy princess buys them and her nose starts to ashame all the elephants. In a while the nose's tip crosses the border of tiny kingdom and pays "official" visits to Austria, Germany, ... Three veterans now turn to three sages who get hired to cure the princess. Cure is composed of changing princess's character, returning the magic staff and eating one more pear.
  • ... in other words, Monty Python a la Czechoslovakian with English sub-titles (DVD menu in Czech, but no issue). It is also a no-brainer entertainment for the family where kids could watch it as a slap-stick frivolously fun fairy tale, which adults could do likewise, or take it as satirical of the east European historical context.

    Also known as The Three Veterans, this movie was made in 1984, although it has the bygone look and innocence of a 1950s comedy, where the money is definitely incurred on costumes and sets with a good helping of eye pleasing outdoor shoots. The 'special effect' is nothing more than what a 1950s movie could muster, which in fact adds to the charm of it. Importantly, the cast seems to genuinely enjoy the silliness of it all.

    Incidentally, one of the secondary cast members, Zdenek Sverák, eventually played the main character in the 1996 Oscar winning foreign movie, Kolya (which is also another excellent movie - a drama-comedy).

    If you are into Terry Gilliam, then The Three Veterans is strongly recommended, and is additionally interesting given that it is fully an eastern European effort. Go get it!