Powder and Gas

comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Pudr a benzin

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1931

Production year

1931

Premiere

15.01.1932

Language version

Czech

Director

Jindřich Honzl

Screenplay

Jiří Voskovec, Jan Werich, Jindřich Honzl

Screenstory

Jiří Voskovec, Jan Werich

Summary

In 1931, the writing duo of Jiří Voskovec and Jan Werich undertook their first joint screenwriting effort. The musical comedy Pudr a benzin (Powder and Gas) was filmed by Jindřich Honzl, who also directed all 20 plays staged by the popular playwrights and leaders of the Osvobozené divadlo (Liberated Theatre). Honzl also directed another V+W film project, the later 1932 comedy Peníze nebo život (Your Money or Your Life). But Pudr a benzin does not seek to hide its theatrical roots, and also offers priceless, authentic performance recordings from the Osvobozené divadlo. Voskovec and Werichem play a quirky pair in the film – a clumsy motor coach driver, and an equally clumsy traffic superintendent – who both fall in love with the charming actress Marta (Ela Šárková). The story, which rides a wave of poeticism and the affinity of the authors for various trashy genres, is unified by an “action” tale pertaining to some cocaine dealers. The film, which was made at the start of the talkie era, was partly filmed in Paris, which had better audio recording equipment at its studios.

Synopsis

At a crossing in Prague being supervised by an incompetent policeman, a sight-seeing bus driven by an equally incompetent driver, crashes into a taxi in which the actress Marta is arguing with her boyfriend, composer Jiří David. The policeman and the driver take a fancy to Marta so they invite her out on an excursion in the bus. The excursion is not too successful but, to make it up to Marta, the two men take the girl to an evening boxing match in the Eden club. Here the policeman and driver cause a great disturbance which ends in a fight between the policeman and the defeated French champion. Jiří has written a grand musical-hall number for Marta which requires two comics. The librettist remembers the two nutty men at the boxing match and recommends that they be included in the cast. Both new comics enjoy great success and, furthermore, contribute to the disposal of a gang of drug dealers whose leader had been blackmailing Marta's brother. It is only in love that they are unsuccessful, however, when they see that Marta prefers her Jiří.

Film online

Cast

Jan Werich

strážník

Ela Šárková

herečka Marta Malá

Bohuš Záhorský

Josef Malý, bratr Marty

Vojta Plachý-Tůma

skladatel Jiří David

Josef Skřivan

libretista Richard/domovník

Joe Jenčík

choreograf Joe Brock

Miloš Nedbal

ředitel Čedoku

Jan Sviták

vůdce bandy Max

Alexander Třebovský

ředitel divadla Marek

Josef Kotalík

policejní inspektor Vodička

Vladimír Majer

řidič Čedoku

Emil Dlesk

řidič Karel

"Battling" Mathar

černý boxer

Karel Steklý

inspicient

Václav Trégl

člen bandy

Jan Mikota

turista

Josef Kobík

portýr v aréně

Jiří Srnka

dirigent

Jenčíkovy girls

Crew and creators

Production Designer

Vilém Rittershain

Costume Designer

František Zelenka

Sound Designer

Marcel Wendling, Portier, Karel Smrž

Production Manager

Josef Háša

Music

Music Composed by

Jaroslav Ježek

Songs

Bugatti step, Nikdy nic nikdo nemá, Ezop a brabenec

Songwriter

Jaroslav Ježek (Bugatti step), Jaroslav Ježek (Nikdy nic nikdo nemá), Jaroslav Ježek (Ezop a brabenec)

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Voskovec (Nikdy nic nikdo nemá), Jan Werich (Nikdy nic nikdo nemá), Jiří Voskovec (Ezop a brabenec), Jan Werich (Ezop a brabenec)

Singer

Jiří Voskovec (Nikdy nic nikdo nemá), Jan Werich (Nikdy nic nikdo nemá), Jiří Voskovec (Ezop a brabenec), Jan Werich (Ezop a brabenec)

Production info

Original Title

Pudr a benzin

English Title

Powder and Gas

Copyright

1931

Production Year

1931

Premiere

15.01.1932

Production

VAW (Voskovec a Werich)

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Gaumont

Technical info

Versions

Czech