Prince and the Evening Star

Václav Vorlíček, 1978

Film at Filmový přehled


Nineteenth century Czech writer Božena Němcova’s fairytale O Slunečníku, Měsíčníku a Větrníku (On the Sun Man, the Moon Man and the Wind Man) kindled the imagination of director Václav Vorlíček, who in 1978 made this fairytale fantasy based on the work. The screenwriter was Jiří Brdečka: as early as 1954 he had gained some experience of Němcová’s fairytale world as a member of the film team that adapted Byl jednou jeden král… (Once There Was a King…). Whereas that film, by Bořivoj Zeman, is a comedy take on a classic story from Němcová, Princ a Večernice is a romantic fairytale. It is actually one of the few exceptions in Vorlíček’s comedy-dominated cinematic oeuvre. Unlike the other fairytale films he shot in the 1970s, such as Tři oříšky pro Popelku (Three Nuts for Cinderella, 1973) and a variation on Sleeping Beauty entitled Jak se budí princezny (The Best Ways to Wake up a Princess, 1977), the atmosphere in this work much rather resembles Kouzelný měšec (The Magic Book), Pták Ohnivák (The Firebird) and Jezerní královna (The Queen of the Lake) – lofty Czech-German fairytale coproductions which Vorlíček made much later during 1996-1998. Princ a Večernice (The Prince and the Evening Star) begins with three princesses who are simultaneously betrothed to grooms with magical powers; the Moon Man, the Sun Man and the Wind Man. However, Prince Velen, who to his father the king’s surprise has so quickly arranged for the happiness of his sisters, has far more difficulty in attempting to tie the knot with the beautiful Evening Star. The biggest nemesis he encounters on his quest full of hardships is the wicked wizard Mrakomor who wants to claim the Evening Star for himself. With the help of his brothers in-law, Velen eventually succeeds in defeating the wizard… This fairytale picture was imbued with the magical style of experienced cameraman Josef Ilík, who previously collaborated with Vorlíček on Tři oříšky pro Popelku. The strong cast is dominated by the beautiful Libuše Šafránková (the Evening Star), who puts in a very appealing performance. The Evening Star’s suitor is played by Slovak actor Juraj Ďurdiak, while proven actor Vladimír Menšík is the king. The part of Mrakomor, the lord of all bad weather, offered an interesting challenge to that favourite performer who usually plays characters on the side of good, Radoslav Brzobohatý.
Read more

Film data

About a film

Production year 1978
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres fairytale
Form feature
Duration 86 min
Director Václav Vorlíček
Cast Vladimír Menšík, Juraj Ďurdiak, Libuše Šafránková, Radoslav Brzobohatý, František Filipovský
Director of photography Josef Illík
Screenplay Jiří Brdečka
Editor Miroslav Hájek
Production designer Karel Lier
Music Svatopluk Havelka
Sound designer František Fabián