22 September 2004 | david-golias
unforgettable fairy-tale, one of the best made in Czech rep ever
Old but still moving tale, integral part of the Czech TV's Christmas for several generations and still is being discovered by young spectators.
It's very human and nice story about lofty princess (her father is amiable but incapable - unforgettable performance of S. Neumann) and good, nice, kind and well-principled young king (prince) who tries to make tender her calm heart to get married with her. After being refused (she's very capricious), he conclude to make her better. He start to work as a gardener at her castle (in secret) and successively bring she to her senses...The story continues when already reformed princess and the young king (she learn about his real identity later) have to take refuge from troops, that princess father (old king) has sent (of course he took a bad and mean counsellors advice). They have to take shelter by several ordinary and poor families, which are always very friendly and give them a help... Of course the tale has happy end.
Considering the fact that film was make in 1952 when the communist regime in Czechoslovakia was very rigid, you can feel a bit of labour ideals in the story (at the castle lives incapable king controlled by a mean counsellors, the well-principled people come only from "extramural settlement" and all are hard-workers exploited by aristocracy, the only exception is good king, but he's a worker as well - gardener - and his own serfs loves him...and so on). But there is no significant stress in this sense so the film remains dateless. The main thing that makes this film unique is fine film art and splendid story finesse with humour. It's the czech classical masterpiece and most favourite film in our film history ever (over 10 millions visitors in cinema so far - that's absolute record, the czech rep has 10 mil inhabitants today - and countless TV spectators), hardly could be overcome.