Film Reviews:

The 3 Golden Hairs of the Sun King

(?, Czech, 1982)

It is a medieval time. On a remote farm, a baby boy is born on the same night as the Queen gives birth to a Princess in the castle. The King demands a handsome, brave and rich Prince to marry her. However, the royal astrologer believes that the poor boy born on the farm that same night is destined to marry the Princess. The King will not allow this and tells the astrologer to find the child and kill him. Unable to kill the baby, he drops him in a basket and puts him in a river. The boy floats downstream to a couple who adopt him and raise him as their own. Years pass and the Princess is 17 years old. The boy and Princess meet and fall in love. They marry just as the King discovers this is the grown child he ordered to death years before. The King orders the boy on a quest, hoping he'll die on the way. He must recover three golden hairs of the mysterious Sun King Wendling in the next kingdom, something nobody has ever managed.

This is one of a series of Czechoslovakian films based on a number of Grimm Fairy Tales. Unfortunately, in complete contrast to the Grimm stories, this dire affair is devoid of all menace. As expected, the dubbed voices and sound effects are awful. The out-of-place, repetitive music is original, but it's a shame they didn't decide to re-score that as well. At one stage on his journey, our 'hero' is attacked by a rubber snake that would even look tacky in Doctor Who. The director seems happy to just let everything ramble on and the result lacks any drama or tension. With choppy editing and (sub-live action Disney at its very worst) acting at pantomime level this might just be of interest to undemanding 4 year olds, but all others should avoid this like the plague.

Rob Dyer