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Sleeping Beauty (1971)
"Dornröschen" (original title)

 |  Family, Fantasy
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 46 users  
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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 »


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After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies.

Director: Clyde Geronimi
Stars: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley


Credited cast:
Juliane Korén ...
Vera Oelschlegel ...
13. Fee
Helmut Schreiber ...
Burkhard Mann ...
Martin Hellberg ...
Barbara Dittus ...
12. Fee
Evamaria Heyse ...
Jaecki Schwarz ...
1. Ritter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Klaus Bamberg ...
1. Soldat
Karin Beewen ...
2. Magd
Erich Brauer ...
Wolfgang Braune ...
2. Bursche
Angela Brunner ...
2. Fee
Margot Busse ...
5. Fee
Annette Böttche ...


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 may bestow wealth and virtue on the Princess. But there are thirteen fairies, and only twelve golden plates - so the king instructs his messenger to leave one fairy out, the Fairy of Industry. Furious, she arrives at the celebration and wishes death upon the child: on her fifteenth birthday, the child will prick her finger on a spindle and die. Luckily the curse can be made milder, and one of the fairies prevents the death of Dornröschen. However, to punish the King for his obsession with wealth and his rude treatment of the 13th fairy, she proclaims that when Dornröschen pricks her finger, she and the entire court will sleep for 100 years. In an attempt to prevent this curse from taking effect, the King orders that all spindles in the kingdom be burned. But nothing can stop the fairy's curse; on her... Written by DEFA Film Library

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Magic fairy tale, with good music
5 March 2009 | by (Konstanz, Germany) – See all my reviews

Once upon a time (1949-89), there was a little country called DDR (aka East Germany). It wasn't rich nor mighty, but one the nicer things made there were DEFA movies :) The first Thursday in a month has become special for me, as on that day SuperIllu magazine comes out with a DVD carrying a good old DDR or Soviet movie, fairy tales in this season. Today I brought home Dornröschen. Some 15..20 years ago I read that fairy tale to my daughters who are grown up now, and now at age 52 I discover I can still take quite some delight in this DEFA movie of 1971.

Apart from the somewhat faded colors in some scenes, it was very enjoyable for me, especially the music - partly gently jazzy, partly ceremonial yet swinging baroque, throw in something like a folk song.. Costumes were quite something to look at, maybe eclectic between "historic" and "modern".. But they took care to express the passage of 100 years with a distinct change in fashion. Dialogues were decent enough, as was the acting (especially the ceremonies at the king's court). The only actor I knew was Jaecki Schwarz (role not credited, but I'm fairly sure he was the arrogant prince in the country inn).

The eagle's nest scene is not in the original Grimm tale, but added some mild suspense, done with good camera work.

Call me weird, but I really enjoyed this film - a welcome change in my movie nutrition. For me at least, it exudes magic (much more so than Schneewittchen). The only disappointment: the extra puppet short announced on the (downloaded) DVD cover wasn't there, but replaced by a trailer show of Soviet fairy tale movies. Still: a lovely experience out of this 2009 world. May DEFA movies live happily for their viewers ever after!

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