A Philosophical Story

drama

Typology

feature

Czech title

Filosofská historie

Runtime

91

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1937

Production year

1937

Premiere

05.11.1937

Language version

Czech

Director

Otakar Vávra

Screenplay

Otakar Vávra

Summary

Adapted by director Otakar Vávra from a classic 1877 historical novel by Alois Jirásek, this film serves as a prelude to Vávra’s later classic “Hussite trilogy” (Jan Hus, Jan Žižka and Proti všem [Against Everybody]) made between 1954–56. A 1937 effort, Filosofská historie was also sensitively adapted for the screen by Vávra. Set in the revolutionary year of 1848, a rebellious mood is in the air in the student community in the old city of Litomyšl. Ignoring a ban issued by Austrian Chancellor Klemens von Metternich, the students organise a maypole festival, resulting in severe reprimands. But asides from being fired up by politics, the tenants at the home of spinster maid Elis – Frýbort (Jan Pivec), Vavřena (Ladislav Boháč), Špína (Vladimír Hlavatý) and Zelenka (Stanislav Neumann) – also deal with issues closer to the heart. While barricades in Prague are erected in protest against Austrian absolutism, the hopes of our heroes are gradually dashed. The film carries a patriotic tone that is evident in many of Vávra’s works.

Synopsis

Miss Elis has in her lodgings students from Litomyšl: the philosophers Frýbort, Vavřena, Špína, and Zelenka. The aggressive Frýbort and the quiet Špína are in love with Márinka, the daughter of landlady Krupková. Špína is unable to make clear his feelings for Márinka and he suffers from her lack of interest. Vavřena is in love with Lenka, the ward of Actuary Roubínek. But the Roubíneks would rather see him give his preference to their daughter Lotty. By order of Metternich, the philosopher's May Festival is cancelled as a purely Czech festival. But the students celebrate the festival anyway with the participation of the whole town. The tenants of Miss Elis are subjected to school detention as punishment. Špína, unsuccessful in his final exams and in his relationship with Márinka, leaves to the Prague monastery The Brothers of Mercy. The year 1848 brings through the establishment of a constitution new life even to tranquil Litomyšl. Frýbort and Vavřena become officers of the student's legion which sets off to assist Prague tevolting against Austrian absolutism. On the barricades opposing the Windischgrätz units is even Špína, as a priest. After the defeat of the revolution Frýbort and Vavřena flee for home. Špína, however, falls in the battle. After a time the students return to Litomyšl. Frýbort proposes to Márinka and Vavřena becomes engaged to Lenka.

Note

The première outside Prague was held already on the 22nd of September 1937 in Litomyšl. The film was presented at the 6th Venice Film Festival, 1938.

Cast

Jan Pivec

filozof Václav Frýbort

Ladislav Boháč

filozof Vavřena

Vladimír Hlavatý

filozof Špína

Stanislav Neumann

filozof Zelenka

Helena Friedlová

bytná studentů slečna Elis

Jindřich Plachta

aktuár Roubínek

Zdeňka Gräfová

Roubínkova manželka Tereza

Ela Poznerová

Lotty, dcera Roubínkových

Karla Oličová

Lenka, neteř Roubínkových

Zdeňka Baldová

paní domácí Krupková

Elena Hálková

Márinka, dcera Krupkové

Anna Steimarová

Rollerová, bývalá purkmistrová

Jára Kohout

policajt Koníček

Viktor Dintr

student

M. Šebor

student

Alois Dvorský

školník Mouček

Eman Fiala

domácí učitel Brož

Alois Peterka

Frýbortův otec

Otto Rubík

hrabě Georg

Václav Menger

profesor

Václav Švec

profesor

Jan W. Speerger

rakouský důstojník

Jarmila Švabíková

bojovnice na barikádě

František Beranský

člen městské gardy

Milada Smolíková

zákaznice u řezníka

Milka Balek-Brodská

zákaznice u řezníka

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

Rudolf Stahl

Based on

Alois Jirásek (Filosofská historie – novela)

Screenplay

Otakar Vávra

Production Designer

Štěpán Kopecký

Costume Designer

Josef Wenig

Film Editor

Jan Kohout

Sound Designer

Vilém Taraba

Production Manager

Vladimír Kabelík

Cooperation

F. X. Mlejnek

Music

Music Composed by

Jan Branberger (úprava)

Selected Music

Bedřich Smetana (Pochod studentských legií)

Music Performed by

Orchestr F.O.K.

Music Conducted by

Václav Smetáček (Orchestr F.O.K.)

Songs

Když jsem svou Márinku, Píseň společná, Gaudeamus igitur, Jarní, Již zlaté sluníčko zašlo, Jak se ten měsíček za lesíkem bělá, Studentská píseň

Songwriter

Jan Branberger (Když jsem svou Márinku), František Škroup (Píseň společná), Josef Vašák (Jarní), Václav Rosenkranc (Již zlaté sluníčko zašlo), Jan Branberger (Studentská píseň)

Writer of Lyrics

Václav Hanka (Když jsem svou Márinku), Karel Havlíček Borovský (Píseň společná), František Ladislav Čelakovský (Jarní), J. G. Marek (Již zlaté sluníčko zašlo)

Singer

Jan Pivec (Když jsem svou Márinku), Jan Pivec (Píseň společná), mužský sbor (Píseň společná), sbor (Gaudeamus igitur), dětský sbor (Jarní), Jan Pivec (Již zlaté sluníčko zašlo), mužský sbor (Již zlaté sluníčko zašlo), Elena Hálková (Jak se ten měsíček za lesíkem bělá), sbor (Studentská píseň)

Choreographer

Joe Jenčík

Production info

Original Title

Filosofská historie

English Title

A Philosophical Story

Copyright

1937

Production Year

1937

Premiere

05.11.1937

Production

Moldavia

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Moldavia

Technical info

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Odměny ministra průmyslu, obchodu a živností

1937
Praha / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Event: Ceny ministra průmyslu, obchodu a živností

1937
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Otakar Vávra