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DAS FEUERZEUG (1959) * with switchable English subtitles *

Siegfried Hartmann Writers: Hans Christian Andersen (story), Siegfried Hartmann | 2 more credits » Stars: Rolf Ludwig, Heinz Schubert, Rolf Defrank
$9.99

A young soldier, recently released from his service to the King after fighting a war, is met by an old witch on the road. She can tell he's a good soldier, but she also sees that he hasn't a penny to his name and that his stomach's as empty as his wallet. She directs him to a nearby oak, dead and hollowed-out, and tells him if he climbs into the tree, he'll find all the money he wants at the bottom. Expecting he'll have to split the money with the old bag, he's surprised to hear that she only wants an old tinder box "her grandmother left in the tree the last time she was in there". And indeed, he finds not only the old tinder box, but all the copper, gold, and silver he could possibly want! It doesn't take him long to deduce, however, that the tinder box must somehow be much more valuable than all the rest, since the old hag wants it so badly. Dispatching the witch to her rightful place, the soldier marches into a nearby town, filled to the brim with poor people and their plentiful brood, because there's no government funding of Planned Parenthood there. Being as good a man as he is rich, the soldier buys candy and toys for all the children and some vegetables for a poor, old woman whose food stamps have been cut by the same, aforementioned government.

Eventually, word gets around there's a walking wallet strolling about the town and when the soldier goes to the best inn to find a comfy bed and some good food, every adult within earshot starts acting as nice as they can be to the soldier; no doubt impressed by his good looks, kindness, and not at all because he has more money than any of them will ever see in their lifetime! In fact, some of the more "honest" citizens invite themselves to eat, drink and party around town at the good natured --- but incredibly naive --- soldier's expense. Naturally, it comes only as a surprise to our charitable friend that they all seem to have obligations to attend to once the money runs out.

Having nothing left of his former possessions but a pipeful of tobacco, the soldier's uses the old tinder box to light his pipe. When he does so, three huge dogs appear, which he first saw in the hollowed-out tree guarding the copper, silver and gold. They've come now to serve and help him in his quest to free a princess imprisoned by her father the King in the castle's tower. She's distressed by the government's treatment of the people and their being left without medical insurance while the King and his rich buddies live the high life. Outraged that the princess would even want to mingle with the unwashed masses, the King and Queen lock her away and promise her to a prince in a neighboring, red state. Unfortunately, while they are loveable, it should’ve been obvious even to the soldier, that the dogs’ inability to protect the treasure from being stolen by him shouldn't have engendered any confidence in their ability to be helpful. Sure enough, the next day, the soldier ends up being caught by the King’s men when he makes a rather lame attempt to break into the princess' prison, while the three huge dogs roam the town searching for three not-so-huge female partners. They're going to hang him the next morning. But then, for some reason, the dogs get really smart and manage to chase off the evil royalists and their clueless lackeys. Overjoyed, the people cheer; the princess and soldier embrace; and plans for a big wedding the next morning are proclaimed (even though you can be sure not one of the guests from town will be able to scrape together enough shekels to buy the happy couple a gift card at Walmart).

They'll all live happily ever after and everyone will get the government benefits they were previously denied (which all will take, but none will pay for). The End (in more ways than one). 

Ein junger Soldat entdeckt in einer hohlen Eiche ein altes Feuerzeug, Kupfer, Silber und Gold. Und zwar in dem Moment, als er sehnsüchtig darüber nachdenkt, wie er endlich den knurrenden Magen zum Schweigen bringen kann. Jetzt ist er reich, so reich, wie er es nie zu träumen wagte. Er kann sich nicht nur satt essen, er kann auch von seinem Überfluss an Kinder und Arme abgeben und kann bewirten, wenn er will. Stolz und glücklich blickt er auf seine neuen Freunde, vornehme Herren, die mit ihm tafeln. Wo aber sind die reichen Freunde, als das viele Geld eines Tages verbraucht ist? Ein Pfeifchen Tabak ist alles, was dem Soldaten geblieben ist. Als er es mit dem gefundenen Feuerzeug anzünden will, erscheinen zu seiner Verwunderung drei große Hunde die ihm ihre Dienste, anbieten. Mit ihrer Hilfe kann er die schöne Prinzessin befreien, doch als Dank dafür soll er gehenkt werden. Wieder helfen die Hunde und der dumme König wird samt seinem Hofstaat zum Teufel gejagt. Jetzt endlich kann die Prinzessin den tapferen Soldaten heiraten und für das Land beginnt eine glückliche Zeit.

 DVD-R is in German with switchable English subtitles. Approx. 78 mins. See film sample for audio and video quality!

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