Finnish hero Lemminkäinen woos the fair damsel [[LoveInterests Annikki]], but an [[WickedWitch evil witch]] named Louhi kidnaps [[DamselInDistress Annikki]] in order to compel her brother Ilmarinen the blacksmith to build a [[PublicDomainArtifact 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 [[NiceJobBreakingItHero 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, [[TheNightThatNeverEnds plunging the world into frozen darkness]]. Lemminkäinen's village bands together to bombard the witch with the music of sacred harps, which [[TakenForGranite turns her to stone]]. Lemminkäinen releases the sun and [[HappilyEverAfter everyone rejoices]]!

Loosely based on TheKalevala. 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 ''[[Film/{{Sadko}} The Magic Voyage of Sinbad]]'' and ''[[Film/IlyaMuromets 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.

For the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' version, please go to the [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S04E22TheDayTheEarthFroze episode recap page]].

!!This film provides examples of:

* TheBigGuy: Ilmarinen.
* {{Bishonen}}: Damn, Lemminkäinen is pretty.
* BlackCloak: Louhi's trademark, but Lemminkäinen's mother wears one as well (maybe not regularly though, since she was in mourning believing her son was dead).
* DamselInDistress: Annikki.
* ExecutiveMeddling: As was typical in this era the cast and credit names are anglicized to obscure the films’ foreign origins. The only one accurately credited is the story's author - Elias Lönnrot - and they even removed the umlauts from his name!
* GhibliHills: Before the sun is taken away and after it returns, the scenery is quite idyllic.
* ImpossibleTask: Louhi demands that Lemminkäinen plow a field filled with [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes thousands of snakes]]. This does not aid her goals in any way and is apparently for her own amusement.
** Actually, the field of snakes task was a diversion for the trolls to destroy Lemminkäinen & Ilmarinen's wooden boat.
* Literature/TheKalevala: The movie is based on one of the stories in it.
* LoveInterests: Lemminkäinen and Annikki.
* MagicMusic: The method used to defeat Louhi.
* MythologyGag: The film begins with a shot of a statue of Elias Lönnrot and Impi (symbolic of the poetry of Literature/TheKalevala), which [[LivingStatue magically come to life]].
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Lemminkäinen and his attempt to retrieve the Sampo.
* TheSampo
* SceneryGorn: After the sun is taken, the land looks a lot less pretty.
* SceneryPorn: The cinematography uses the natural beauty of Finland to maximum effect.
* SupervillainLair: Louhi's island.
* TakenForGranite: Louhi's final fate; she gets broken into hundreds of pieces by Lemminkäinen immediately after.
* UltimateBlacksmith: Ilmarinen can make [[AutomatonHorses a horse out of iron]], a moose-boat the same way...even a Sampo! After the endless winter begins, Lemminkäinen actually convinces Ilmarinen to start forging a new sun although Väinämöinen talks him out of it.
* WickedWitch: Louhi.