Ecstasy

drama

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Extase

Runtime

90 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1932

Production year

1932

Premiere

20.01.1933

Language version

Czech

Director

Gustav Machatý

Summary

Gustav Machatý is rightly viewed as one of the great figures of Czechoslovak cinema. Extase (Ecstasy, 1932) was the most successful Czechoslovak film of the pre-war era with international audiences. But it also represents a reaction to cold box office returns – for Machatý was unhappy with his previous two talkies, and so for this effort he reduced dialogue in favour of music. The 31 year-old director thus hoped that this drama, relaying the story of a love triangle, would be understandable to audiences across the globe. However, Machatý ultimately had to produce not just a Czech and German version of the film, but also a French-language one – each with slightly different elements. Artistically, this complex film can be said to be in the spirit of the German concept of “Gesamtkunstwerk” – meaning “total artwork”. Furthermore, Extase gained a scandalous reputation for its provocative and explicit eroticism (19 year-old Hedy Kiesler [later known as Hedy Lamarr] appears naked on screen). But such controversies failed to take away from the fact that this story of a young woman, who is escaping from an unhappy marriage into the arms of an attractive engineer, is ultimately a tale filled with conventional morality.

Synopsis

Eva, the daughter of a landowner, marries the well-off but many years older Emil Jermann. Upon returning from the marriage ceremony to their luxurious Prague apartment she realizes her mistake: her husband shows no interest in her as a woman. The sensitive girl suffers from his cold and bachelor's meticulousness so much that she returns to her father's estate and requests a divorce on grounds of insuperable revulsion. While bathing in the pond Eva meets Adam, a young civil engineer working close by on a highway construction site. The man is the exact opposite of her husband: though he looks robust, he acts gently. During a night-time storm Eva goes after him to his house and becomes his lover. Only now does she know the passion of love. Her husband receives a court dispatch and sets off after Eva and beseeches her, to no avail, to return. On the way back he comes across Adam and realizes who he is. Both men are staying in a village inn where Eva comes to visit Adam. The husband commits suicide in his room. His death comes between the lovers. Adam returns to his work, Eva gives birth to a child.

Note

Jan W. Speerger was originally cast into the role of lawyer but was replaced by Karel Mácha-Kuča and the scene was shoot again. The film was issued in Czech, German and French versions. The film in Czech version was presented at the 2nd Venice Film Festival, 1934.

In the year 2019 the Czech version was digitally restored by National Film Archive (Národní filmový archiv).

Film online

Cast

Hedy Kiesler

Eva Jermannová

Aribert Mog

stavební inženýr Adam

Zvonimir Rogoz

Emil Jermann, Evin manžel

Leopold Kramer

velkostatkář, Evin otec

Jiřina Steimarová

písařka na stroji Madla

Jan Sviták

tanečník na barrandovských terasách

Eduard Šlégl

muž ve venkovské hospodě

Antonín Kubový

muž ve venkovské hospodě

dr. Vondráček

zvěrolékař ve stáji

Dubbing

Jiřina Štěpničková ?

hlas Evy Jermanové

Jiří Plachý

hlas stavebního inženýra Adama

Bedřich Vrbský

hlas velkostatkáře, Evina otce

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

Rudolf Stahl, Antonín Kubový

Camera Operator

F. Havránek

Production Designer

Bohumil Heš, Josef Gabriel

Set Designer

Jan Petera, Truxa

Film Editor

Antonín Zelenka

Sound Designer

Josef Zora

Production Manager

František Horký

Unit Production Manager

František Morávek

Cooperation

Willy Ströminger (fotograf)

Music

Music Composed by

Giuseppe Becce

Music Conducted by

Giuseppe Becce

Songs

Píseň práce, Melodie beze slov

Songwriter

Giuseppe Becce (Píseň práce), Giuseppe Becce (Melodie beze slov)

Writer of Lyrics

František Halas (Píseň práce)

Singer

mužský hlas (Píseň práce) (recitativ), mužské hlasy (Melodie beze slov)

Production info

Original Title

Extase

English Title

Ecstasy

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

drama

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1932

Production Year

1932

Premiere

20.01.1933

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Slavia-film (původní 1933), Státní půjčovna filmů (obnovená 1947), Ústřední půjčovna filmů (obnovená 1958), Národní filmový archiv (obnovená 2020)

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

90 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 76. mezinárodní filmový festival Benátky

2019
Benátky / Italy
Venice Classics Award for Best Restored Film
Národní filmový archiv

Vítěz

Festival: 20. mezinárodní filmový festival Benátky

1959
Benátky / Italy
Národní filmový archiv

Vítěz

Festival: 2. mezinárodní filmový festival Benátky

1934
Benátky / Italy