The Magic House

drama, psychological

Typology

feature

Czech title

Kouzelný dům

Runtime

109

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1939

Production year

1939

Premiere

21.11.1939

Language version

Czech

Director

Otakar Vávra

Screenplay

Otakar Vávra

Summary

Otakar Vávra directed this compelling psychological drama, using his own screenplay based on the eponymous novel by K. J. Beneš. The protagonist is a young woman suffering from memory loss after a plane crash, who finds shelter in the household of the Balvín family. The stranger’s presence stirs turmoil into the settled existence of her hosts and triggers amorous feelings in both the unstable Vilém and his perceptive brother Martin… Vávra cast Adina Mandlová as the woman searching for both her past and a new future. Under his stewardship she renders what amounts to the most weighty and complex character of her acting career. The trio of female hosts are played by the distinguished stage actresses Růžena Nasková, Leopolda Dostalová and Terezie Brzková, while Eduard Kohout and Vávra’s favourite actor, Zdeněk Štěpánek, appear in the male roles.

Synopsis

The pampered daughter of a prominent industrialist, Marie, is the sole survivor of a plane crash. On the roadway amid the Moravian forests Vilém Balvín finds her and transports her to his home, in which reside three generations of his family. The girl awakens from her unconsciousness with an utter loss of memory. She remains in the enchanted home to which, however, she has brought disquiet and agitation. Vilém, afflicted by a head injury incurred in the war, hangs himself out of unhappiness and his carefully concealed love for Marie. Yet between Marie and the younger brother of Vilem's, the teacher Martin, there soon arises a tender amorous affection. Together they search for Marie's identity. Seven weeks later a fairground magician returns to Marie her memory under hypnosis. At this moment, however, from a congenial and amiable girl she becomes an aloof dame who wants nothing to do with Martin and insists that her father will come and take her away. At the last moment she in the end recalls the happiness she knew in the enchanted home, and she returns to Martin.

Film online

Cast

Adina Mandlová

Marie Ungrová

Růžena Nasková

Vilemína Balvínová

Leopolda Dostalová

teta Hedvika Balvínová

Terezie Brzková

teta Anna Balvínová

Zdeněk Štěpánek

Martin Balvín, syn Vilemíny

Eduard Kohout

Vilém Balvín, syn Vilemíny

František Kreuzmann

kouzelník Caligari

Karel Dostal

Rudolf Unger,gen.řed.želez., otec Marie

Vladimír Řepa

JUDr.Alfred Urban, právník u Unger

Otto Rubík

Lariš, snoubenec Marie

Jaroslav Vojta

Otradovec

Marie Ježková

hospodyně Barbora

Vladimír Štros

čeledín

Aša Vašátková

prodavačka

Jaroslav Tryzna

pouliční fotograf

Jindřich Fiala

asistent kouzelníka

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

Václav Štrup

Based on

K. J. Beneš (Kouzelný dům – román)

Screenplay

Otakar Vávra

Camera

Jan Roth

Production Designer

Jan Zázvorka

Film Editor

Antonín Zelenka

Sound Designer

František Pilát

Production Manager

Vladimír Kabelík, Alois Fiala

Music

Music Composed by

František Škvor

Selected Music

Antonín Dvořák (Milostná píseň)

Production info

Original Title

Kouzelný dům

English Title

The Magic House

Copyright

1939

Production Year

1939

Premiere

21.11.1939

Production

Elekta

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Elekta

Technical info

Versions

Czech