10/09/2019 Update – English Subtitles Added.
Hans Roeckle und der Teufel 1974
Hans Röckle und der Teufel (original title)
1h 15min | Family, Fantasy | 5 July 1974 (East Germany)
This movie is based on a contemporary children’s book, not the usual Grimm Brothers stock. Hans Röckle is a puppeteer, inventor, blacksmith and more. He is challenged by the Devil (in almost a dozen fancy costumes) who offers him even more inventiveness, against his soul should he ever make money with an invention, build something twice, or cease inventing for 7*7 hours.
The inventions help his fellow men: an automatic sewing kit (fancy animation), a weather-controlling flute. However, the contract with the devil had a clause that the devil can take any invention as plaything for his mother. But even without devil’s intervention, the things often have less than desirable effects on people’s lives. Roeckle has seen the country of “Tomorrow & Aftertomorrow” in a magic telescope, where poverty and illness are overcome, somehow a communist paradise… so he brings his inventions there, with his amazing Time Boots.
While leaning on fairy tale standards, this story unfolds quite nicely and somewhat surprisingly. I found it very worthwhile watching. Pity the bizarre puppets weren’t shown more often :^)
Director: Hans Kratzert
Writers: Gudrun Deubener (scenario), Ilse Korn (fairy tale “Meister Hans Röckle und Mister Flammfuss”)
Stars: Rolf Hoppe, Peter Aust, Simone von Zglinicki
Country: East Germany
Release Date: 5 July 1974 (East Germany)
Filming Locations: Wernigerode, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany