German DVD cover
|Directed by||Lamberto Bava|
|Produced by||Lamberto Bava
|Written by||Francesca Melandri
Kim Rossi Stuart
|Music by||Amedeo Minghi|
|Edited by||Piero Bozza|
Fantaghirò (aka Cave of the Golden Rose) is a fantasy television film produced by Reteitalia, directed by Lamberto Bava and starring Alessandra Martines. It originally aired in 1991 as a two-parter, and hence has been known in certain video releases and airings as double-set of Fantaghirò 1 and Fantaghirò 2 (not to be confused with the sequel, Fantaghirò 2). It is the first installment in the Fantaghirò series. It is loosely based on the Italian folktale Fanta-Ghiro the Beautiful.
The story is about Fantaghirò, the rebellious youngest daughter of a warrior king. Although the women in the kingdom are expected to be submissive and servile, Fantaghirò wants to fight in battle. She constantly argues with her father and two sisters Catherine and Caroline who disapprove of her behaviour.
Fantaghirò secretly learns to fight when she befriends the White Knight, a mysterious warrior whom she meets in the forest. As they are training, she briefly crosses paths with King Romualdo, the ruler of a neighbouring enemy kingdom. Romualdo is enchanted by Fantaghirò's eyes, but is unaware that they belong to the daughter of his sworn enemy.
Romualdo, who is tired of the centuries-old war between the two kingdoms, sends an offer of a single duel to determine the outcome of the war. Fantaghirò's father, the King, is told by the magical White Witch that only one of his daughters can win the duel. Seeing no other option, the King commands Fantaghirò and her two sisters Catherine and Caroline to dress up as knights so that one may fight Romualdo. They agree to keep the identity of the three "knights" secret, in case Romualdo would refuse to fight a woman. While Caterina and Carolina complain about the hot and heavy armour, Fantaghirò relishes the opportunity and cuts her hair to make her look like a boy.
As they are travelling to Romualdo's kingdom, the three sisters get into another argument. Fantaghirò eventually apologises, but Catherine and Caroline decide that their youngest sister is the most qualified to win the duel. Catherine and Caroline return to their father and Fantaghirò continues on her journey.
Fantaghirò eventually meets with Romualdo, who is confused when he recognises her eyes. After various attempts by Romualdo to discover her true gender by trickery, they eventually battle and Fantaghirò emerges victorious. However, she cannot kill him and returns home in shame. Fantaghirò's father, who is proud of what his daughter has achieved, forgives her. The King also allows Romualdo to continue to rule his people, on the condition that he marry one of the three princesses. Although at first Romualdo is hesitant to agree, when he sees Fantaghirò dressed up as a woman, the two kiss happily.
- Alessandra Martines as Fantaghirò
- Mario Adorf as King
- Kim Rossi Stuart as Romualdo
- Ángela Molina as White Witch/White Knight/White Goose
- Jean-Pierre Cassel as The General
- Stefano Davanzati as Cataldo
- Tomás Valík as Ivaldo
- Ornella Marcucci as Catherine
- Kateřina Brožová as Caroline
- Stanislava Bartosova as Governess
The film has received positive reception from critics. Upon its Italian premiere, broadcast on Canale 5 on December 22, it was the most watched program of that evening with over six and a half million viewers and 27.50% market share. It currently holds a 100% score at Rotten Tomatoes from the general audience based of seven reception, and holds a 7,5 score out of 10 on IMDb.
- "FANTAGHIRO' CONTRO LA STREGA - la Repubblica.it" (in Italian). Ricerca.repubblica.it. 1992-08-28. Retrieved 2014-02-17.