Table, Donkey and Stick
(c1968), Color, 79 minutes
presented by K. Gordon Murray
Adaptation from the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm
English adaptation by Reuben Guberman (as “Rubin Guberman”)
Edited by J.R. Remy
Associate Producer: Sheldon M. Schermer
Assistant Director: Thomas Finucane
Script Clerk: Diana McAtee
Produced by K. Gordon Murray
Directed by Reuben Guberman (as “Rubin Guberman”)
Voices: Paul Nagel, Marge Nagel (uncredited)
This long-lost, long-sought U.S./German fairy tale, recently rediscovered (in Indiana!), is everything you could hope for in a bizarre ’60s kiddie matinee flick: garish color, intrusive dubbing, bizarre songs, lots of goofy dancing, dialogue largely spoken in rhyme, young men chasing girls everywhere, a few jolting visuals, overall a weird scene and a memorable picture.
This film boasts a whopping 24 songs, (call them “mini-songs”: many are quite short), and some of them are wild, to be sure. The theme song also appears to be sung in muddy English, although we could make neither heads nor tails of it.
It’s fun to hear Paul Nagel’s distinctive “growl” as the narrator, and also as the Tailor (and possibly the Mayor?) Nagel’s indelible drawl adorned most (all?) of the Murray/German fairy titles, from the infernal RUMPELSTILTSKIN onward.
This faithful telling of the classic Grimm Brothers fable is both lyrical and evocative, using many picturesque period locations.
Characters talk to the audience alot, asking the kiddies to confirm what they’re thinking. An odd touch, and a nice one. And there are an unusually large number of attractive women in the film, which make it even more pleasing to the eye.
Certainly one of the oddest aspects of this queer fable is the magic donkey, which can both vomit and crap gold coins! Although there is only one brief shot, toward the end, of the latter magical function, it is enough to launch this Murray fairy tale right into psychotronic heaven!
Long-lost, now found, here is a fractured fairy tale classic to treasure and adore!
* Even after receiving our review copy of this obscure kiddie spectacle, there is still an aspect of mystery about TABLE, DONKEY AND STICK. Specifically, its original production credits remain elusive. The only foreign name mentioned in the English-language version is “Executive Producer: F.W. Schluter”, an obscure German producer of low-budget family films (including the long-running “Immenhof” series.)
Thanks to our German correspondant Mike Schneider, we now know that the Murray release of TABLE, DONKEY AND STICK is from the 1956 film directed by Fritz Genschow. And here’s another fun tidbit: the actor who plays Peter, Wolfgang Dreager, dubbed the voice of Woody Allen in his movies released in Germany!
color, fullscreen, mono, 79 minutes. DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic!