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PUSS N BOOTS 1955 1967 CHILDHOOD PRODUCTIONS WEST GERMAN CAT COSTUME DVD!!

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Puss 'n Boots

(aka DER GESTIEFELTE KATER)
(1955, West Germany) color 67 minutes
Forster Film
Story: Charles Perrault
Story: Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm, Wilhelm Carl Grimm
Screenplay: Christof Schulz-Gellen
Music: Richard Stauch
Cinematography: Ted Kornowicz
Produced by Alfred Forster
Directed by Herbert B. Fredersdorf

With: Margitta Sonke (Puss n' Boots), Harry Wustenhagen (Henry), Christa Oenicke (Princess Rosanne), F.W. Schroder-Schrom (King Wonderful), Helmut Ziegner (Neversober)

English-Language Version:
(1967) Childhood Productions (January release)
National Screen Service #67-60
Music: Milton & Anne Delugg
Orchestrations: George Brackman
Musical Director: Lehman Engel
Narrator: Paul Tripp

Synopsis (from the pressbook): Once there were three brothers, Frank, John and Henry. When their father died, Frank, the eldest, divided the small inheritance. Am the eldest, he took the mill for himself, gave the father's donkey to John, the second brother, and gave to Henry, the youngest and most handsome, only the father's mouse-catcher, the cat. And each got 10 of the father's 30 thalers. Frank said the other two must go and seek their fortunes. John went willingly, but Henry said he thought Frank had not been fair. Frank was angry and told Henry to take the cat and go or he, Frank , would make it into a fur hat for himself.

Henry left, downcast, and suddenly he realized, when he spoke a thought aloud, that the cat had answered him--that Puss could talk. Puss told him that Henry's father had taught him to speak, had told him how Frank probably would divide the property and had told him to help Henry if Henry were turned out of the house empty-handed, as had happened indeed. And the cat said he would serve Henry as though he were a Duke, and the young man laughed and said he was a Duke indeed with no place to sleep and a slice of dry bread in his pocket.

Later they came to a castle, which, they learned, was the castle of the wicked magician, Neversober, who had started to turn a small boy, Fritz, into a tree, but stopped for another drink, and never finished the job. Next day, Puss tells Henry to buy him a hat with a pretty feather, a sack, and a pair of boots, and he will see to it that Henry becomes a Duke. Henry laughs, but decides to humor the cat and parts with six of his ten thaler to supply Puss with his outfit.

Puss next day leaves Henry and goes to make friends with the Frontier Guard of King Wonderful, who has a beautiful daughter, Rosanne. 'Puss learns that the King has stomach trouble, and needs a pair of rabbits for his dinner, since his doctors cannot find the right food for him. And Puss brings the rabbits to the King, saying they are a gift from his master, The Duke of Carabas. He refuses the King's reward, but takes a sword and armor, as a gift for his master, he says. Next day, he does the same thing, this time bringing the king two wild pigeons for his dinner. Again, he tells the King they are a gift from his master, the Duke of Carabas.

Next, when he hears that the King and his daughter will visit the lands at the edge of his kingdom, he persuades Henry to go swimming takes away his clothes, and when the King and his party come by calls out that the Duke of Carabas is drowning, and someone stole his clothes. So he is rescued and clothed by the King's man, and greeted by the King and his lovely daughter.

Meanwhile, Puss In Boots has gone to the castle of Neversober, and persuaded the magician to show him his skill. By flattering him, Puss makes him change himself into various animals, then challenges him to make himself into a tiny mouse. As soon as the magician does that, Puss pounces on it, eats it, and that to the end of the wicked magician. So, of course, the castle and everything in it belongs to the Duke of Carabas. And of course the beautiful Rosanne and Henry, the Duke of Carabas, will be married, and Puss In Boots will always have a quiet place to lie in the sun, and anything also he could want.

***

PUSS 'N BOOTS is a pleasant, if unexceptional example of postwar fairy tale cinema. The production design is handsome, utilizing real Bavarian locations including a majestic castle and lush green forests. Sets, including the king's guardhouse and a traveling coach, are well-mounted.

Puss is played by an actor in a fairly mangy cat-suit right from the beginning, even when he is a lowly house cat. Puss' human companion comes across as a bit too old and fey for the part. The good-hearted King Wonderful, and his lovely daughter, Princess Roseanne, are both effective, as is the evil magician, a creepy bearded drunk named "Neversober".

The fantastic elements of the film are spare, but convincing; Puss turns a "tree-boy" back into a real boy, and there is a talking moosehead. To prove his powers to Puss, Neversober turns into both a poodle and an elephant (before turning into the mouse which Puss devours).

As in many of the Childhood Productions fairy tales, there are only two songs: "Clever Cat" "Ping! Pang! Pong!". The delightful musical score by Anne & Milton Delugg was released on an original soundtrack album by RCA/Camden records.

There are some noticable differences between this German film version of "Puss in Boots", and the 1961 Mexican filming. In the Mexican PUSS N' BOOTS, Puss starts out as a real cat, before changing into a decidedly expressionist man-in-suit. His companion, Randy, is a small boy. Puss' nemesis is an evil Ogre. The Ogre turns into both a dragon and a lion. And most tellingly, Puss does not retain the magician's powers after vanquishing him, as he does here.

(For an overview of Roberto Rodriguez' PUSS N' BOOTS, filmed in Mexico in 1961 and released in the U.S. by K. Gordon Murray in 1963, please visit THE WONDER WORLD OF K. GORDON MURRAY.)

This PUSS 'N BOOTS is an excellent example of quaintly literal storytelling, before cinema fairy tales were forced to be "updated" (i.e. smarmy, modern, satirical or tongue-in-cheek).

Video/DVD availability: VHS (Goodtimes, United American Video, Kid Rhino), DVD (???)

Childhood Productions presents Puss n Boots, in color, fullscreen, mono, dubbed in English. DVD purple disc comes in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic, ready to ship to you via USPS First Class!


PUSS N BOOTS 1955 1967 CHILDHOOD PRODUCTIONS WEST GERMAN CAT COSTUME DVD!!
PUSS N BOOTS 1955 1967 CHILDHOOD PRODUCTIONS WEST GERMAN CAT COSTUME DVD!!


$13.99

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Asking Price: $13.99 (Fixed) US Dollars
Quantity: Always in stock.
Location: United States San Francisco, CA [United States]
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Date Posted: 3 weeks ago



 
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