The widow has an ugly and lazy daughter, Pechmarie, and a beautiful and hard-working step-daughter, Goldmarie. Because Pechmarie is her real daughter, the widow clearly favors her and makes...
See full summary »
In an enchanted forest, the princely brothers Michael and Andreas get lost and are transformed, by a mountain spirit who jealously guards his underground treasure, into animals until the ... See full summary »
The King and Queen plan an opulent feast to celebrate the birth of their long-awaited child, Dornröschen. They invite not only the members of the court, but also the fairies, so that they ... See full summary »
An old man living in an oriental city tells the story of his life to a group of kids: He too was once a young boy by the name of Little Muck - much like them, but with better manners and a ... See full summary »
Hated by her jealous and bloodthirsty stepmother, Snow White flees a murder attempt and seeks shelter in the woods with seven kindly dwarfs. Feeling she is safe from harm, Snow White ... See full summary »
Marianne Christina Schilling,
Peter Munk, a poor charcoal burner, lives with his mother in The Black Forest. Poverty prevents him from marrying Lisbeth, the girl he loves. When he comes across the Little Glass Man, the ... See full summary »
Since the death of villager Weber, his widow lives from weaving. Docile daughter Marie helps her with spinning and all other chores, inseparable from pouch Strupi, while her sister Louise ... See full summary »
Klaus lives with his two brothers Kunz and Franz in a little village. Together, they ply their trade as cobblers in a small workshop. But the workload rests mainly on the shoulders of ... See full summary »
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Rotkaeppchen. She lived with her father and mother at the edge of a village, and often visited her grandmother on the other side of the woods.... See full summary »
The widow has an ugly and lazy daughter, Pechmarie, and a beautiful and hard-working step-daughter, Goldmarie. Because Pechmarie is her real daughter, the widow clearly favors her and makes Goldmarie do all the work. Poor Goldmarie must also sit and spin all day by the well until her fingers bleed. When she tries to rinse out the spindel, it drops into the cold water. Her unsympathetic step-mother tells her to jump in after it. Goldmarie does as she is told, and then wakes up in the middle of a beautiful field of flowers. This is the land of Frau Holle, who welcomes Goldmarie and invites her to stay, as long as she will help with the housework. Marie stays and serves Frau Holle gladly, until she suffers so terribly from homesickness that she asks to go home. Before bringing her back, Frau Holle rewards Marie with a shower of gold. Upon her return, Goldmarie and her gold are welcomed by her greedy step-sister and -mother. Hoping for the same kind of reward, the step-mother sends ...Written by
DEFA Film Library
The twenty fourth story from the first volume of Brothers Grimm's 'Kinder- und Hausmärchen', 'Frau Holle' may not be one of my favourite stories or fairy-tales, being one that was introduced to me when quite a bit older rather than being one of those growing-up-with stories. It is however a very interesting story from a thematic standpoint and teaches good and important lessons that are valuable and relevant today still. Do like it very much, especially for the titular character who is very memorable and iconic.
DEFA's 1963 version of 'Frau Holle' is one of a number of a fairy/folk tale adaptations made in East Germany, some better and more popular than others but they are worth the look and better done than most fairy/folk tale adaptations, regardless of their age. 'Frau Holle' is not one of the best of them, do prefer 'Heart of Stone', 'Three Wishes for Cinderella' and 'The Singing Ringing Tree' for examples, but it is still nicely done and follows the original closely and with respect.
It takes time to get going and there are times where it did feel on the stagy side, sometimes feeling more of a filmed stage version.
Although suitably spiteful, Katharina Lind overdoes it a little as Pechmarie.
However, it is a nice-looking, if very simple, adaptation of 'Frau Holle'. The production design is suitably rustic and colourful and didn't look simplistic, while it is beautifully shot in colour that never looked too drab or garishly gaudy. Budget limitations show at times but not in a way that looks amateurish. The music didn't feel at odds with what was going on and fitted while not always enhancing.
Writing doesn't become too cheesy or camp, while being fun enough to stop the treatment of the story from being taken too seriously. When it got going, the story had immense charm and was engaging, it was easy to follow without being too simple and nothing childish or too scary. It is a respectful as an adaptation as is the spirit, even if at times dramatically it could have had a little more kick in spots. Generally it didn't feel too long, with 'Frau Holle' not being as slight as other fairy-tales so there is more story in it, and scenes didn't feel padded out.
'Frau Holle's' characters are immensely engaging. Identified every step of the way with Goldmarie and Frau Holle herself is both benevolent and mysterious. Much of the acting serves the adaptation well, especially Karin Ugwoski as Goldmarie with Mathilde Danegger also the embodiment of Frau Holle. Elfriede Florin is an appropriately nasty step-mother and doesn't overplay too much.
Summing up, a worthwhile watch and a good way to introduce one to the story if one doesn't know it already. 7/10
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this