The Best Way of Waking Up Princesses

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1977

Production year

1977

Premiere

24 March 1978

Runtime

83 min

Category

film

Genre

fairytale

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Jak se budí princezny

Czech title

Jak se budí princezny

English title

The Best Way of Waking Up Princesses

Summary

While the most popular fairy tale in Václav Vorlíček’s filmography remains Tři oříšky pro Popelku (Three Nuts for Cinderella, 1973), the successful director also employed his experience of the fantasy genre to good effect in Princ a Večernice (The Prince and the Evening Star) (1978), a fairy tale about the power of familial love, and the romantic tale Jak se budí princezny (Best Way to Waking Up Princesses) (1977), inspired by the classic Sleeping Beauty narrative. The screenplay for the latter was written by Bohumila Zelenková; primarily a TV screenwriter and dramaturge, she was the wife and close collaborator of the better known Otto Zelenka. Zelenková had worked with Vorlíček on Three Nuts for Cinderella, on which she used her name to cover up the authorship of the then banned František Pavlíček... As the heroine is rather inactive when it comes both to selecting a groom and breaking her evil curse, and sleeps for most of the well-known fairy tale, Zelenková amended the plot. In her rendition, the comely princess has a jealous older sister Melánie; fortunately, the curse causes the old maid to soften. While the smug prince Jiří is keen on the princess, she loves his younger brother Jaroslav. When the curse is fulfilled and the princess pricks her finger, Jaroslav has to overcome various adversities in order to awaken his love and the entire kingdom… The lead in the stylish, engaging fairy tale was performed by the then 18-year-old Marie Horáková, who had previously only been seen in small parts. Jaroslav was played by Jan Hrušínský, who had already proven the ideal beau in Vorlíček’s Dívce na koštěti (The Girl on The Broom, 1971). Jan Kraus, popular for his portrayals of hooligans, also appeared in that picture and here played prince Jiří. Jaroslav’s valet Matěj, played by Vladimír Menšík, became a popular character in the movie.

Synopsis

The king Dalimil and the queen Eliška waited to see a longed-for offspring - a daughter Růženka. But Eliška's envious and bad sister Melánie curses her. When Růženka becomes 17 years old she will prick her finger and she will fall asleep for ages together with the entire kingdom. Only the old maid makes the curse milder when she reminds to the heart-broken parents that love is stronger than death. The king had better removed all plants with thorns. Růženka became beautiful. Jiří, the crown prince of the Midnight kingdom came together with his parents and his younger brother Jaroslav to woo her. The self-sufficient young man is taught by his parents how to be self-confident as a future king rather in a bad way. They let him win games and competitions and they keep back that the bear with which he likes to fight successfully is the servant Matěj disguised as a bear. But Růženka falls in love at first sight to Jaroslav. In a horse race Jaroslav better falls into the pond in order not to run over a child. Also Jaroslav loves the princess and still he leaves the kingdom before the engagement party. He believes to his brother's lie that Růženka wishes so. The following day Růženka will refuse Jiří in front of all guests because she does not love him. Melánie lures on Růženka and the girl pricks her on a rose thorn. The princess and the kingdom fall asleep. Gardener Jakub calls in Jaroslav to help. The prince overcomes the obstacles and learns many things before he hews his way through the thorns to the princess. Then his affectionate kiss awakes her and the entire kingdom.

Cast

Jiří Sovák

král Dalimil I.

Milena Dvorská

královna Eliška

Marie Horáková

Dubbing Naďa Konvalinková
princezna Růženka, dcera Dalimila a Elišky

Vladimír Menšík

sluha Matěj

František Filipovský

baron, první ministr

Jan Hrušínský

princ Jaroslav

Jan Kraus

princ Jiří

Stella Zázvorková

královna Anežka, matka Jiřího a Jaroslava

Oldřich Velen

Dubbing Lubor Tokoš
král Vendelín

Libuše Švormová

Melánie, Eliščina sestra

Václav Postránecký

zahradník Jakub

Slávka Španková

Bětka, Jakubova žena

Marie Brožová

stará služka u Melánie

Vlastimil Hašek

sluha prince Jiřího

Miloš Vavruška

hajný Tomáš

Evelyna Steimarová

komorná Růženky Miroslava

Jana Bittlová

dvorní dáma

Marie Crhová

dvorní dáma

Dana Kubálková

dvorní dáma

Helena Mojžíšová

dvorní dáma

Vladimír Pospíšil

velitel granátníků

Oskar Hák

vousatý granátník

Jan Houdek

dvořan

Václav Hrůza

dvořan

Alois Klejzar

dvořan na stráži

Jan Valihrach

dvořan na stráži

Ladislav Sýkora

velitel stráže Půlnočního království

Vlastimil Slezák

strážný Půlnočního království

František Švihlík

strážný Půlnočního království

Pavla Maršálková

selka na trhu

Lubomíra Willigová

porodní bába/selka

Blanka Křížová

švadlena

Stanislav Benda

strážný

Jiří Kraus

strážný

Karel Fiala

spící strážný

Josef Kubín

spící číšník

Přemysl Přichystal

pomocník zahradníka

Bohuslav Pucherna

Kubík, zahradníkův syn

Taťána Schottnerová

komorná

Josef Střecha

strážce pokladu

Vlastimila Vlková

babka s nůší

Vladimír Volf (2)

švec

Jindřich Sejk

dubl za Menšíka

Josef Hrabálek

dubl za Hrušínského Jana

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jaroslav Pour

Assistant Director

Bohumil Koška, Olga Hrčková

Based on

Božena Němcová (O Šípkové Růžence – pohádka)

Shooting Script

Václav Vorlíček

Director of Photography

František Uldrich

Second Unit Photography

Vladimír Smutný

Camera Operator

Jiří Pechar

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Set Designer

Miloslav Dvořák, Martin Růžička, Richard Staněk, Jiří Žůček

Costume Designer

Theodor Pištěk ml.

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

František Fabián

Special Effects

František Uldrich

Production Manager

Jiří Krejčí

Unit Production Manager

Vlasta Mathauserová, Věra Winkelhöferová

Unit Production Manager

Ladislav Hanousek

Music

Music Composed by

Karel Svoboda

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Štěpán Koníček),

Songs

O šípkových růžích

Songwriter Karel Svoboda
Writer of Lyrics Zdeněk Borovec
Singer Helena Vondráčková

Jdi za štěstím

Songwriter Karel Svoboda

Production info

Original Title

Jak se budí princezny

Czech Title

Jak se budí princezny

English Title

The Best Way of Waking Up Princesses

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

fairytale

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1977

Production Year

1977

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 3 February 1976
start of filming 1 February 1977
technical Screenplay approved 18 March 1977
end of filming 17 November 1977
projection approval 28 November 1977

Premiere

premiere 24 March 1978

Creative Group

Dramaturgická skupina Oty Hofmana, Ota Hofman (vedoucí dramaturgické skupiny), Výrobní skupina Věry Třeškové, Věra Třešková (vedoucí výrobní skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

83 min

Original length in metres

2 372 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,66

Colour

colour

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 3. mezinárodní festival filmů pro děti a mládež Štrasburk

1979
Štrasburk / France

Vítěz

Exhibition: 20. přehlídka avantgardních a neorealistických filmů Avellino

1979
Avellino / Italy

Vítěz

Festival: 18. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1978
Zlín / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 16. festival českých a slovenských filmů České Budějovice

1978
České Budějovice / Czechoslovakia
Karel Svoboda