THE MAGIC FOUNTAIN (1961)
Article 2363 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-14-2007
Posting Date: 1-31-2008
Directed by Allan David
Featuring Peter Nestler, Helmo Kindermann, Joseph Marz
Three brothers set out on a quest to find a magic fountain whose water can heal their ailing father, the king. Two of the brothers are selfish and evil, and when the good brother manages to find the fountain, they plot to frame him, and take the water from the magic fountain for themselves.
This fairy tale is based on a story from the Brothers Grimm. IMDB claims that the movie is from the United States, but despite the narration by Cedric Hardwicke and voices by Hans Conried (as an owl) and Buddy Baer, this looks like a dubbed foreign movie. It’s probably German, as it was filmed in the Black Forest of Germany. It has its charms; the story makes for a decent fairy tale, and the presence of the above listed stars adds a bit of appeal, but the movie is rather tepid and static. In particular, a fight scene where the good prince defeats the army of a tyrant is incredibly unconvincing. It helped a little that this story was unfamiliar to me, rather than a rehash of an overly familiar one. Oddly enough, one of the alternate titles of this is SANTA’S MAGIC FOUNTAIN, and though there are two major characters that have long beards (the king and the dwarf), there’s no Santa to be found; perhaps there is another version with bumpers added featuring Santa Claus telling the story, which is something I’ve seen before. At any rate, this is fairly minor children’s fantasy.