Metal is useful, it makes for great tools and weapons. But if you're not careful metal can take over your town and steal your women. 1950's The Magic Sword (Чудотворни мач)
shows us what happens when a horde of metal men are unleashed on humanity. A charmingly straight forward adaptation of Serbian folk tales there's also just a hint of influence from Errol Flynn Hollywood.
Mostly it breezes along the way folk tales do without pausing to marvel for special effects. As the film opens, a little boy and his grandfather are hunting. The old man misses a shot but refuses to admit it and so sends the boy and the dog off to retrieve the kill.
The boy and dog roam far and wide eventually hearing a voice crying for help the boy mistakes for his grandfather. Instead it's the voice of someone or something held captive in a barrel in the dungeon of an abandoned castle.
This episode serves to emphasise the threat of the film's villain when the boy, Nebojsa, grows to be a man now played by Rade Markovic whose life is spared once by the metal men invading his village only because as a boy he'd freed the metal leader from the barrel.
The metal men are impervious to normal weapons so Nebojsa goes off to find a magic sword. On the way, he makes friends with a fish, wins a leprous horse from a witch, and woos the heart of a beautiful and cagey empress. All the while, his bride, Vida (Vera Llic-Dukic), is being held captive by the metal leader.
Like Penelope endlessly weaving her tapestry in The Odyssey
, Vida has convinced the metal leader that she needs to make a fine set of clothing for her intended before she can be touched by him. So while Nebojsa is out on his odyssey, Vida has to keep up this ruse.
The film is well shot, the action sequences aren't bad, the special effects are a little weak, but the actors and the unhesitant and smooth delivery of the tale make it work wonderfully.