I remember watching a movie that was loosely based on various children’s tales. It was filmed in a studio with real actors, something like the feel of Wizard of Oz and other works like that, which leads me to believe it might be from the 1940s. It was live action, in color, with sound, and was not a musical (to the best of my recollection).
I remember snippets from the movie:
—There is a fairytale world with depictions of various children’s tales. Specifically, the movie has a set piece of The Little Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe, with an enormous shoe inhabited by an old woman and her children. (But she is not the focus of the story).
—Two protagonists were men (in 30s/40s). One was heavyset, dark-haired with a mustache. I remember the mustache because in one scene half of it is shaved off. The other man is thin and blond. They were both foolish.
—The antagonist is an evil Count-like man. I forget his offence (perhaps he abducts a girl for marriage), but at the end I remember him in a dark cave with water nearby inhabited by crocodiles. He has henchmen (I want to say they are flying monkeys but perhaps I am conflating with Wizard of Oz). The protagonists either get there/make their getaway (to/from the antagonist’s lair) in rowboats.
—I seem to remember that the rowboats were needed to transport a lot of people/animals, but that’s a vague memory.
—At some point, the protagonists are arrested and punished. The thin one is locked with his head and hands in the stocks as a form of public humiliation. The larger one is afraid of the water and so they tie him with rope (or perhaps he’s sitting in a basket) and he is forcibly dumped into a lake repeatedly. I remember the townspeople were present for these punishments, and may or may not have been ambivalent. (?)
—As a kid watching it, I remember being quite scared by these scenes! I think it all ended peacefully, but there were some intense moments.
That’s all I can remember! Thanks so much for your help!