Lelíček in the Services of Sherlock Holmes

comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Lelíček ve službách Sherlocka Holmesa

Runtime

92

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1932

Production year

1932

Premiere

25.03.1932

Language version

Czech

Director

Karel Lamač

Screenplay

Václav Wasserman

Summary

In 1932, Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective was adapted for the screen via this unique comedy, inspired by an eponymous literary work from Czech author Hugo Vavrečka. Sherlock Holmes is played by Martin Frič – mainly a film director, but also an occasional actor with a major interest in the crime genre. Holmes, conceived with sardonic irony, teams up with the main protagonist – the wily František Lelíček (Vlasta Burian), who, in light of his debt woes, accepts an offer to become a double to Puerto Rican king Fernando XXIII. Ultimately, Lelíček gains both a regal post and the affections of the queen (Lída Baarová). Director Karel Lamač also filmed a concurrent French version featuring Pierre Bertin in the main dual role (once again, Frič portrayed Holmes, while the queen was played by Truda Grosslichtová). Lamač’s passion for Doyle is underscored by his subsequent adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles shot in Germany in 1937 (as Der Hund von Baskerville).

Synopsis

The Puerto Rican King Fernando XXIII asks the famous detective Sherlock Holmes to find him a double since he is afraid of being assassinated. Holmes finds the notorious debtor František Lelíček in Brodek in Moravia, a man who resembles the king like two peas in a pod. Lelíček, pursued by his creditors, accepts his offer. The young and beautiful queen refused to leave with her cowardly husband to safety in exile. Lelíček assumes his role with great enthusiasm. The queen is bewitched by his temperamental behaviour at bull fights and the sang-froid with which he faces an attempt on his life. Gradually, a passionate relationship develops between the cunning Lelíček and the unsuspecting queen. The king's traitorous ministers prepare for another assassination attempt. A terrible device hidden inside a gramophone is set to go off after playing the new national anthem. Holmes manages to escape just in time from the cellar where he had been locked by the assassins and he is able to save Lelíček and the queen. Fernando has died meanwhile in his asylum. Lelíček, now in love with the queen and contented in his role as king, refuses to quit. He threatens to cause an international scandal by making his adventures public, thus he is finally left to reign in his new position.

Film online

Cast

Vlasta Burian

František Lelíček/král Fernando XXIII.

Martin Frič

detektiv Sherlock Holmes

Fred Bulín

sluha u Holmese James

Lída Baarová

královna/královnina dvojnice

Eva Jansenová

královnina společnice Conchita

Theodor Pištěk

ministerský předseda hrabě Mendoza

Čeněk Šlégl

dvorní maršálek

Zvonimir Rogoz

královský důstojník

Eman Fiala

fotograf/skladatel

Arnold Reimann

kavárník

Jan Richter

vrchní

Karel Postranecký

číšník/důstojník královské gardy

Jan W. Speerger

Lelíčkův věřitel/anarchista s pumou

Alfred Schlesinger

Lelíčkův věřitel

Josef Rajský

Lelíčkův věřitel

Josef Loskot

Lelíčkův věřitel

Felix Kühne

ministr

Jan Sviták

vůdce spiklenců

F. X. Mlejnek

tlustý spiklenec

Robert Ford

spiklenec

Alois Dvorský

dvorní lékař

Josef Zora

dvorní lékař

Josef Oliak

dvořan

Mario Karas

dvořan

Emil Dlesk

dvořan

Josef Rovenský

starosta/důstojník gardy

Betty Kysilková

španělská doňa

Josef Kumok

skladatel

Jára Beneš

skladatel

Kamila Rosenkranzová

Lelíčkova bytná

Václav Menger

člen starostovy suity

Crew and creators

Director

Karel Lamač

Based on

Hugo Vavris (František Lelíček ve službách Sherlocka – román)

Production Designer

Hanuš Gödert, Heinz Fenchel

Film Editor

Martin Frič

Production Manager

Jan Reiter

Music

Music Composed by

Josef Kumok

Songs

Rosita, Rosita, Hymna

Songwriter

Josef Kumok (Rosita, Rosita), Josef Kumok (Hymna)

Writer of Lyrics

Fráňa Vodička (Rosita, Rosita), Fráňa Vodička (Hymna)

Singer

Vlasta Burian (Rosita, Rosita), Vlasta Burian (Hymna)

Production info

Original Title

Lelíček ve službách Sherlocka Holmesa

English Title

Lelíček in the Services of Sherlock Holmes

Copyright

1932

Production Year

1932

Premiere

25.03.1932

Production

Elekta

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Elekta

Technical info

Versions

Czech