The Devil's Three Golden Hairs
(Wer reißt denn gleich vor'm Teufel aus)
Wer reißt denn gleich vor'm Teufel aus © DEFA-Stiftung, Heinz Wenzel
In this classic German fairy tale by the brothers Grimm, poor Jacob must get the Devil's three golden hairs in order to save his own life and marry the beautiful princess.
When the king hands Jacob his death sentence in a sealed letter, Jacob luckily falls into the hands of friendly robbers, who summarily alter the letter. The next day, he is envisioning himself as the princess's bridegroom, but this joyful moment doesn't last long. The duped king now hopes to get rid of Jacob for good and sends him to get three golden hairs from the Devil. On the way, Jacob promises the king's exploited subjects to ask the devil how they can escape their misery.
Once he has arrived in hell, he takes advantage of the She-Devil's absence by disguising himself in her clothes. Absolutely fearless, he snatches three of the Devil's golden hairs and discovers the solution to the farmers' suffering. He returns home a hero and there is no longer any reason why he should not marry the princess.
"Admittedly, the beginning is somewhat awkward and involved and not easily comprehensible. One doesn't really know where the story of clumsy young Jacob is going. At the latest, however, when Jacob moves into the castle of the alcoholic monarch (a convincing performance by Rolf Ludwig!), the film becomes entertaining, increasingly so with every scene. Egon Schlegel has succeeded in achieving something most remarkable, namely, a poetic and satirical transposition. The two absolute highlights of the film are hell and the divine devil Dieter Franke."
— Renate Holland-Moritz in the Berlin Eulenspiegel, 2/1978
"The scenes set in hell are imaginative and funny. This film can easily compete with the latest inventions of Hollywood's fantasy wave."
— R.T. in the Berlin Der Tagesspiegel on April 9, 1982