The Catacombs

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1940

Production year

1940

Premiere

23 February 1940

Runtime

95 min

Director

Martin Frič

Category

film

Genre

comedy

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Katakomby

Czech title

Katakomby

English title

The Catacombs

Parallel title

Katakomben

Summary

Director Martin Frič and popular comedian Vlasta Burian by no means collaborated frequently, but in 1940 they came up with two films. In addition to Baron Prášil (Baron Műnchhausen), they also produced another successful comedy, namely Katakomby (The Catacombs). It starred Burian in yet another role as a clever clerk who manages to climb the ladder to a better life. The subordinate position held by civil servant Borman is aptly reflected by his workplace in the land registry’s subterranean offices. A coincidence gets the ageing official, along with young colleague Marek (Antonín Novotný), into a party for the registry’s management. A passionate card player, Borman impresses his seniors with his outspoken character, while Marek catches the eye of the director’s worldly mistress Nasťa. The role of the fashionable beauty was tailored – just like the robes made by the studio of designer Hana Podolská – to Adina Mandlová. Vlasta Burian is not the only person who sings in the movie, as he is joined by the popular formation Kocourkovští učitelé (The Teachers of Kocourkov).

Synopsis

The archives of the Land register Bureau are located in the basement rooms known as the catacombs. The clerks practice a choral performance to be given at the party put on by the director. Official Borman diligently works. Marek, the youngest clerk, amorously observes in the window of the hotel opposite Nasťa Borková, the lover of Director Kryštof. The position of general secretary has been vacated in the bureau and everyone is curious as to who will be named to fill it. In the evening everyone goes to the party, only Borman and Marek have night duty. Both are soon invited upstairs. Marek joins the rank of dancers. Borman is invited to be the third at a game of cards. The passion of the chairman - the evening's most important personality - is cards. The idiosyncratic Borman displays no sycophantic respect to his superiors. So for the first time in this powerful man's life someone is speaking to him sincerely. The chairman is at first insulted, but then he realizes that in Borman he has discovered the perfect candidate for the position of his secretary. The spoiled Nasťa meets in the person of Marek a man she is capable of loving.

Note

The performance of the film was held on the 7th of July 1940 on the festival Filmové žně in Zlín.

Cast

Vlasta Burian

oficiál Borman

Jaroslav Marvan

přednosta úřadu Sýkora

Čeněk Šlégl

ředitel Pozemkového úřadu L.Kryštof

Theodor Pištěk

prezidiální Klásek

Adina Mandlová

Nasťa Borková

Antonín Novotný

úředník dr.Marek

Raoul Schránil

ing.Jiří Rudík, Markův spolužák

Nataša Gollová

Irena, dcera ředitele Kryštofa

Růžena Šlemrová

Malvína, Kláskova manželka

Miloš Nedbal

vrchní revident Kefurt

Bohuš Záhorský

revident Hlinka

Jindřich Láznička

sluha v katakombách Baltazar

František Filipovský

servilní úředník Šmíd

Bedřich Ulrych

poslíček

Kocourkovští učitelé

úředníci z katakomb

Karel Černý

konzul Marek

Anna Steimarová

manželka konzula Marka

Blažena Slavíčková

dcera konzula Marka

Josef Bělský

ředitel módního salónu

Dora Martinová

dívka na večírku

Crew and creators

Director

Martin Frič

Assistant Director

Eduard Šimáček, Rudolf Stahl

Based on

Gustav Davis (Mušketýři z katakomb /Die Katakomben/ – divadelní hra)

Director of Photography

Václav Hanuš

Production Designer

Jan Zázvorka

Costume Designer

Hana Podolská

Make-Up Artist

František Rous

Film Editor

Jan Kohout

Production Manager

Rudolf Stahl

Music

Music Composed by

Julius Kalaš

Selected Music

Georges Bizet (Carmen)

Music Performed by

Orchestr F.O.K. (Music Conducted by Julius Kalaš)

Writer of Lyrics

Karel Hrnčíř (Pán a písař – píseň)

Songs

Vínek českých luhův a hájův

Singer Kocourkovští učiteléVlasta Burian

Pán a písař

Songwriter Julius Kalaš
Writer of Lyrics Karel Hrnčíř
Singer Kocourkovští učitelé

Oslí serenáda

Songwriter Rudolf Friml
Singer Kocourkovští učitelé

Toreadore smělý

Songwriter Georges Bizet
Singer Vlasta Burian

Což neřekl ti hlas můj tisíckrát /Závišovy písně/

Songwriter Rudolf Friml
Singer Kocourkovští učiteléVlasta Burian

Hrál jsem karty na souvrati /na nápěv Sil jsem proso/

Singer Kocourkovští učitelé

Production info

Original Title

Katakomby

Czech Title

Katakomby

English Title

The Catacombs

Parallel Title

Katakomben

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

comedy

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1940

Production Year

1940

Production specifications

date of censorship 20 February 1940 (kulturně-výchovný)

Premiere

premiere 23 February 1940 /suitable for youths/ (kina Na Příkopě /4 týdny/ a Světozor /6 týdnů/, Praha)
festival premiere 7 July 1940 (1. Filmové žně 1940 Zlín)

Production

Ufa

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Studio

AB Barrandov

Distribution

Ufa

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

95 min

Original length in metres

2 700 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

Tobis – Klang

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech, German

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Národní ceny za umění filmové

1940
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Marvan

Vítěz

Festival: 1. Filmové žně 1940 Zlín

1940
Zlín / Czechoslovakia
Ufa