The fairytales of Božena Němcová have seemingly inspired filmmakers on countless occasions. It was her romanticised version of classic folk tale The Two Brothers that proved inspirational for screenwriter Ota Hofman, even though he was more of a maker of modern stories based on his own screenplays (first and foremost they were tales about the near-silent gentleman with a magical bowler hat, Pan Tau, or “Mr Tau”, the star of a 1970s Czechoslovak children’s television series). Besides writing the screenplays for Malá mořská víla (Little Mermaid, 1976), directed by Karel Kachyňa, and Panna a Netvor (The Virgin and the Monster, 1978) which had Juraj Herz in the director’s chair, Hofman scripted Třetí princ (1982). For its director, Antonín Moskalyk, this encounter with the fairytale genre was rather unusual. In this sphere, he only had a television adaptation of the theatrical play Kráska a Zvíře (Beauty and the Beast, 1971) on his resumé. Třetí princ (The Third Prince) is a narrative film in which the hero, Prince Jaroslav, sets out into the big wide world to find his lost brothers: his older brother Jindřich and twin brother Jaromír. Both siblings had fallen in love with the portrait of a mysterious beauty. In searching for this unknown princess, they had become hopelessly lost. Jaroslav discovers that Princess Milena and her identical twin sister have cursed his brothers. He is set three tasks that he must overcome to save them and ensure their marriage to the beautiful twins... Starring in the female dual role is that most popular interpreter of storybook beauties, Libuše Šafránková. She had appeared in Malá mořská víla, an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale The Little Mermaid. The motion picture also featured her sister, Miroslava, in the lead role. Libuše Šafránková had also performed in the fairytale Sůl nad zlato (Salt and Gold, 1982) as the humble daughter of the king, Maruška, and in the narrated fairytale Princ a Večernice (The Prince and the Evening Star, 1978), in which she played the female title role. In Třetí princ, the twins Jaromír and Jaroslav are played by the popular Pavel Trávníček, who had already starred alongside Šafránková in the fairytale picture Tři oříšky pro Popelku (Three Nuts for Cinderella, 1973). The part of Jindřich is performed by Jiří Bartoška.
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