Zborov

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1938

Production year

1938

Premiere

6 January 1939

Runtime

112 min

Director

J. A. Holman (interiéry a exteriéry), Jiří Slavíček (interiéry)

Category

film

Genre

drama, historical, war

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Zborov

Czech title

Zborov

English title

Zborov

Summary

The war film Zborov was originally scheduled to premiere in 1937 on the twentieth anniversary of the battle near the Ukrainian village of Zborov, in which the Czechoslovak Legions first intervened on the eastern front of the World War I. For various reasons, however, it was not filmed until a year later and did not appear in cinemas until after the Munich Agreement, which gave the film’s brief release an unexpected patriotic dimension. The film stands out from the usual First Republic film production in terms of genre, magnificence, and state support. The final battle scenes, lasting about eleven minutes, were filmed with the participation of several thousand Czechoslovak Army soldiers. The story takes place from 1914 until the victory in the battle on 2 July 1917. It starts at the ŠKODA factory in Plzeň, where the experienced foreman Kalina is the workshop supervisor. His two sons find themselves on opposite sides after the declaration of war. The two brothers meet on the battlefield after the Battle of Zborov. Apart from them, we follow the fates of other participants in the war events, and the first part of the film also captures life in the rear. – The film, written by the famous legionnaire, General Rudolf Medek, shows explicitly its patriotic intentions, emphasised by the pathetic opening and closing commentary. For its time, it quite successfully depicts life in the trenches at the battlefront and surprises with its management of crowd war scenes. In addition to the large number of extras, many of well-known actors participated in the production, sometimes only in supporting roles. – The film was removed from cinemas during the Protectorate at the end of the summer of 1939. It appeared in cinemas after the war, but only until 1948, as the Communist regime purposefully suppressed the legacy of the Legions. – In November 2018, the National Film Archive, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, presented the title in a digitally restored version as part of the Filmové osmičky series. The official premiere took place on 8 November 2018 at the National Memorial at Vítkov in Prague. The aim of the digital restoration was to make the film available as it could be seen and heard by the audience at the time of its first screening in 1939. Therefore, the film kept some elements that were created during filming or laboratory processing and are therefore evidence of the technologies and creative processes of the time. The source for the digitalisation of the image and sound was a duplication positive (the original negative of the image and sound was not preserved) stored at the National Film Archive. The restoration was carried out in 2018 under the supervision of the National Film Archive at Universal Productions Partners and Soundsquare studios in Prague.

Synopsis

In 1914 in the Škoda factories they hectically manufacture armaments. Also working there are the two Kalina brothers: Pavel, who is a supporter of the monarchy and Jan, who advocates the notion of Pan-Slavism. Just before mobilization Jan manages to flee to Russia. Pavel joins the Austrian Army. Two years of war go by. In Russia a group of volunteers forms a Czech company fighting against the Austrian monarchy. Jan also signs up with this company. Pavel serves in the Austrian military together with Sergeant-Major Rabas. Rabas's son Miloš, who was a volunteer in the Czech company, is taken prisoner by Austrian troops and Rabas wants to solicit leniency for him. But Miloš declares that he consciously fought for the liberation of his homeland, and therefore he is sentenced to death. Rabas is severely shaken by his son's fate and henceforth he tries to run over to the Russians, which he eventually succeeds in doing. After the Russian Revolution erupts the soldiers request, now already the Czechoslovak brigade, that they be stationed at the front. On July 2, 1917 they fight at the side of the Russian Army at Zborov. Despite heavy losses they advance unstoppably forward. Among the wounded Jan finds his brother and transports him to a field hospital. Rabas, also wounded, dies. His last words belong to his free homeland.

Film online

Cast

František Smolík

dílovedoucí Škodových závodů Kalina

Marie Ptáková

Anna, Kalinova žena

Ladislav Boháč

nadporučík Pavel Kalina, starší syn Kalinových

Vladimír Šmeral

Jeník, mladší syn Kalinových

Jarmila Beránková

Hanička Langrová, Jeníkova nevěsta

Václav Trégl

ptáčník Karel Ledvina

Jiří Plachý

šikovatel Rabas, původně železničář

František Vnouček

dobrovolník Miloš, Rabasův syn

Vítězslav Boček

jednoročák Zamrazil, původně divadelní herec

Karel Dymák

ruský hoch Kolja Nikolaj Andrejevič Semjaško, zvaný Mikulka

L. H. Struna

Karpíšek, rakouský voják, později československý dobrovolník

František Kreuzmann

Halama, rakouskývoják, později československý dobrovolník

Gabriel Hart

profesor Kodeš, rakouský voják, později československý dobrovolník

Alois Peterka

Hořica, rakouský voják, později československý dobrovolník

Stanislav Neumann

Kopecký, rakouský voják, později československý dobrovolník

R. A. Strejka

Zámečník, rakouský voják, později československý dobrovolník

Vladimír Řepa

Kolenatý, rakouský voják, později československý dobrovolník

Jaroslav Marvan

plukovní lékař

Nataša Gollová

ošetřovatelka

Karel Hradilák

náborník České družiny Fišer

Andrej Bagar

náborník České družiny Veselý

Bedřich Veverka

nadporučík Hausmacher

Jiří Vondrovič

dobrovolník

V. Ruban

dobrovolník

Franz Richter

major, později podplukovník baron von Knoteck

J. Volker

kapitán Scheibe

N. Nikolskij

plukovník Trojanov

Bedřich Frank

dělník Hašek

Bolek Prchal

dělník Homola

Karel Kolár

dělník Vojtek

Rudolf Hrušínský st.

dělník Randák

Karel Šanda

vojín Šindelář

Jan W. Speerger

rakouský četník

Josef Vošalík

divadelní garderobiér Hruška

Ladislav Janeček

poručík Voženílek, dobrovolník České družiny

Jaroslav Sadílek

dobrovolník České družiny

Emil Dlesk

dobrovolník České družiny

Adolf Horálek

dobrovolník České družiny

Josef Prídavok

poddůstojník-dobrovolník

Vladimír Štros

ruská spojka

Václav Menger

ruský poddůstojník

Antonín Zíb

inženýr v provozní kanceláři Škodovky Skřivan

Václav Mlčkovský

ředitel Škodovky Skřivan

Svatopluk Beneš

sborista Plzeňského divadla

Rudolf Hrušínský

sborista Plzeňského divadla

Vilém Pruner

rakouský důstojník

Josef Kraus

rakouský vojín

Frank Rose-Růžička

rakouský vojín

Achmed Bekuh

ruský mužik-zajatec

Karel Veverka

člen polního soudu

Josef Kotalík

člen polního soudu

František Lašek

člen polního soudu

Antonín Frič

polní kurát

Fráňa Vajner

hostinský Josef Vaněček

Antonín Šolc

divadelní inspicient

Filip Balek-Brodský

host v hostinci

Marie Holanová

žena na nádraží

Riegl

Commentary

Crew and creators

Director

J. A. Holman (interiéry a exteriéry), Jiří Slavíček (interiéry)

Screenstory

Rudolf Medek

Screenplay

J. A. Holman

Director of Photography

Josef Střecha, Vladimír Kolátor

Production Designer

Jan Zázvorka

Set Designer

Ferdinand Kliment

Film Editor

Jan Kohout, V. Novotný (montáže), J. Vácha (montáže)

Sound Designer

Vilém Taraba

Production Manager

Karel Feix, Václav Dražil

Consultant

mjr. Emanuel Prüll (vojenství)

Cooperation

Antonín Frič (fotograf)

Music

Music Composed by

Otakar Jeremiáš

Selected Music

Bedřich Smetana (Prodaná nevěsta – opera), Johann Strauss (Radeckého pochod /Radetzky-March/)

Music Performed by

Orchestr F.O.K. (Music Conducted by Otakar Jeremiáš)

Songs

Hercegovina samá rovina

Singer František Kreuzmannmužský sbor

Ej uchněm

Zelení hájové

Kolíne, Kolíne

Kdož sú boží bojovníci

Production info

Original Title

Zborov

Czech Title

Zborov

English Title

Zborov

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama, historical, war

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1938

Production Year

1938

Production specifications

start of filming 9 June 1938
end of filming 22 November 1938
date of censorship 29 December 1938 (kulturně-výchovný)
projection approval 07/1945 (konec povolení k promítání 31. 12. 1948)

Premiere

gala premiere 5 January 1939 (kino Blesk, Praha)
premiere 6 January 1939 /suitable for youths/ (kina Blaník /2 týdny/ a Světozor /2 týdny/, Praha)
renewed premiere 20 July 1945 /suitable for youths/
renewed premiere 8 November 2018 /suitable for all ages without limit/

Production

Nationalfilm

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Nationalfilm (původní 1939), Státní půjčovna filmů (obnovená 1945), Národní filmový archiv (obnovená 2018)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

112 min

Original length in metres

3 095 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm, DCP 2-D, BRD

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

Tobis – Klang

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech, German, Slovak, Russian

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Státní záruky Československé vlády na výrobu filmů

1937
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Nationalfilm