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Finnish hero Lemminkäinen woos the fair damsel Annikki, but an evil witch named Louhi kidnaps Annikki in order to compel her brother Ilmarinen the blacksmith to build a Sampo (a magical mill that cranks out riches). Lemminkäinen and Ilmarinen travel to the witch's lair to rescue the maiden, but Louhi demands them to complete several tasks, including the construction of a Sampo. After Ilmarinen builds the Sampo, he and Annikki leave Lemminkäinen behind while he tries and fails to get the Sampo from Louhi and destroys it. When Lemminkäinen returns home, he and Annikki get married; the mood is offset, however, when news of the Sampo's destruction arrives.

Lemminkäinen's attempt to steal the Sampo has angered Louhi, so she steals the sun, plunging the world into frozen darkness. Lemminkäinen's village bands together to bombard the witch with the music of sacred harps, which turns her to stone. Lemminkäinen releases the sun and everyone rejoices!

The film was originally called Sampo and it was released in 1959. The film was produced as a Finnish/Soviet co-production and it was directed by famous Russian director of fantasy films, Aleksandr Ptushko (of The Sword and The Dragon fame). It was filmed in Ukraine, Finland and Russia and starred actors from Finland and different parts of the Soviet Union.

Not to be confused with The Day the Earth Stood Still.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, please go to the episode recap page.

Tropes used in The Day the Earth Froze include:


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