Once upon a time, there was a lazy miller, who spent all his time drinking wine and telling lies. When the king's treasurer demands payment of taxes, the miller lies that his daughter Marie can spin straw into gold. The father and daughter are told to report to the palace, where Marie is locked into a tower room full of straw. She is to spin all the straw into gold by the next morning. Of course she does not know how to spin straw into gold, as she tries to explain, and, once left alone, begins to cry. At that moment a little man appears, who says he will spin the straw if Marie gives him something of value. She agrees, gives him her necklace, and he fulfills his part of the bargain. The next morning, the king finds the gold and is delighted. The greedy treasurer makes Marie spin again. Marie must spin three times, and each time the little man comes to the rescue. On the third day, however, she has nothing left to give him, and promises him her first-born child. The little man spins all the straw into gold, and the next morning the king marries Marie. The second part of the tale begins when Marie's child is a year old. The little man returns, demanding his payment. But because he likes Marie and sees that she is kind-hearted, he gives her one chance to save her child: she must guess his name in three days.
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DEFA Film Library
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