Once Upon a Time, There Was a King

Direction
Year
1954
Country
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia
Duration
97min
Audio Tracks
Subtitles

Having to his credit the fairytales Pyšná princezna (The Proud Princess, 1952), Byl jednou jeden král... (Once Upon a Time, There Was a King, 1954) and Šíleně smutná princezna (The Incredibly Sad Princess, 1968), as well as a pair of comedies featuring a grumpy public transport ticket conductor from Prague (Dovolená s Andělem [Holiday with Angel, 1952], Anděl na horách [Angel in the Mountains, 1955]), Bořivoj Zeman goes down as one of the most popular filmmakers of Czechoslovak film history to date.

This playful fairytale comedy, inspired by the classical story Sůl nad zlato (Salt Above Gold) written by Božena Němcová, explores the troubles of a preposterous ruler going by the name “Myself, First” as he plunges his kingdom into a state of gastronomic tragedy. To spite his loving youngest daughter Maruška, who claims to love her father like salt, the king has all the salt in his realm destroyed… Yet even despite all the royal endeavours at altering the course of the culinary art, the seemingly valueless mineral proves indispensable to life in the kingdom…

Regardless of the ideological bias resulting from the period of its origin, the film continues to deliver timeless entertainment. Admired Jan Werich, who is cast in the role of the king, is paired on screen with another highly popular comedian, Vlasta Burian (king’s counsellor Atakdále, aka “Et cetera”).

Collections

Details

  • Original title
    Byl jednou jeden král
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Jiří Brdečka, Jan Werich, Bořivoj Zeman
  • Cast
    Jan Werich, Vlasta Burian, Irena Kačírková, Stella Májová, Milena Dvorská, František Černý, Miloš Kopecký...
  • DOP
    Jan Roth
  • Editing
    Josef Dobřichovský
  • Music
    Václav Trojan
  • Sound
    Milan R. Novotný
  • Duration
    97 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
    1954
  • Country
    • Czech Republic
    • Slovakia
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Distribution

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