WTF is this ?
A comic take on the Golem myth, merged with your usual clone story…Remember the unknown barber looking like some famous dictator ? Here, we have Jan Werich starring as a humble baker who happens to be the exact double of a powerful European emperor (Rodolphe II as the alchemist addict). The two men decide to switch identities, and have a wonderful time indulging in their respective new lifestyles. The fairy-tale costume designs were handled by famed Czech animator Jiri Trnka
Has this something to do with previous golem versions ?
Well, sort of :
Jan Werich saw Wegener’s Golem when he was a child an, since then became obsessed with the story. Some years later, he met Jiri Voskovec and they launched a theater company together…One of the first plays they wrote was an humoristic version of the Golem (something like 20 years before this film). It was so successful they thought of making a film, so they looked for an experienced director and found… Julien Duvivier.
Duvivier took the project…but rewrote everything, removed the 2 characters played by Werich & Voskovec and hired Harry Baur as Rodolphe II instead. Although the film was done, they sued Duvivier (&won)
…but it was already 1937, (you know, troubled times…) and the pair emigrated to U.S.
So it took another 10 years before Werich came back to Checkoslovakia, and relaunch the project, this time with… Jiri Krejcik as director. Strong disagreements followed , Martin Fric replaced Jiri Krejcik, and film was finally done as Werich intended.
…Well, amost, because he had also to compose with some socialist realism constraints…
Subtitles:French .srt,English .srt