Grandmother

narrative

Typology

feature

Czech title

Babička

Runtime

97

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1940

Production year

1940

Premiere

15.11.1940

Language version

Czech

Director

František Čáp

Screenplay

František Čáp, Karel Hašler, Václav Wasserman

Summary

This 1940 adaptation of a novel by Božena Němcová was perceived as a manifestation of the patriotic spirit by audiences in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Seasoned director František Čáp employed his skill to tell the story of an old woman leading a simple life who finds a new home in Staré bělidlo after joining her daughter Terezka Prošková’s household. She quickly endears herself to everyone in her midst with her intrinsic wisdom and affectionate yet prudent disposition. The old woman’s granddaughter Barunka (Nataša Tanská) is the one most affected by her wisdom... The stylish narrative by Čáp is supported by the love stories, happy or otherwise, of village girl Viktorka (Jiřina Štěpničková), publican’s daughter Kristla and Miss Hortensie, foster daughter of the local landlady, Princess Zaháňská. The film also provides poignant views of the Bohemian countryside, captured by Karel Degl’s camera work. The title role in Babička was a first major film role for Terezie Brzková, 65 at the time. She only went into film after retiring from the stage, but continued right up until 1959.

Synopsis

Prošek's children impatiently await the arrival of their grandmother to Staré bělidlo. The woman in peasant dress immediately wins them over with her kindness and wisdom. In the same way she easily makes the acquaintance of the neighbours who soon begin confiding in her their sorrows. The aged woman is touched above all by the story of crazy Viktorka who as a young woman fell in love with a jaeger, left with him and likely lived happily. Her husband, however, fell in battle and she returned to her native village. But she was no longer able to live among people. She wandered through the forest until one day during a storm she was killed by a falling tree. This unfortunate woman grandmother could no longer help. But here are Kristla and her Jakub, who must leave for fourteen years of military service, and then the princess's ward Hortensie who suffers for the love of a painter. When grandmother wins the affection of the princess, she puts in a word for the young couple and also obtains a position for poor Kudrna. Grandmother is dying and has just one wish: to see Barunka, who was her favourite. The young girl now lives in Vienna, but she comes home in time to say good-bye to her grandmother.

Note

This theme had already been treated in Czech film under the same title (Dir: Thea Červenková, 1921).

Film online

Cast

Světla Svozilová

Terezka, babiččina dcera

Karel Třešňák

Jan Prošek, Terezčin manžel

Jiří Krchňavý

Vilím

Jitka Dušková

Adélka

Dagmar Appelová

Adélka jako starší

Nora Cífková

komtesa Hortensie

Gustav Nezval

černý myslivec

Karel Kolár

otec Kristly

Jiří Dohnal

chasník Míla Jakub

Theodor Pištěk

otec mlynář

Marie Blažková

mlynářka

Marie Skalická

Manči, dcera mlynářových

Jaroslav Průcha

riesenburský myslivec

Vladimír Řepa

poklasný Kudrna

Anna Steimarová

kovářka věštkyně

Stanislav Neumann

písař Piccolo

Josef Vošalík

správce zámku

Anna Letenská

správcova žena

Jan W. Speerger

komorník na zámku Leopold

Vladimír Štros

kočí Václav

Jaroslav Liška

Vavřínek, Kudrnův syn

Štveráková

Cilka, Kudrnova dcera

Štípková

Bětka, Kudrnova dcera

Emanuel Hříbal

důchodní

Slávka Rosenbergová

manželka důchodního

Josef Šula

host na zámku

Holub

dítě

Kácha

dítě

Majsl

dítě

Mazal

dítě

M. Střelák

dítě

Helena Málková

dítě Kudrnových

pes Lev

pes Sultán

pes Stella ze Stožce

pes Tyrl

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

František Milič

Based on

Božena Němcová (Babička – román)

Production Designer

Ferdinand Fiala, Jiří Dušek

Costume Designer

Fernand Vácha

Film Editor

Antonín Zelenka

Production Manager

Vilém Brož, Karel Šilhánek

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Fiala

Music Performed by

Orchestr F.O.K.

Songs

Hioro, horo, vysoká jsi

Production info

Original Title

Babička

English Title

Grandmother

Copyright

1940

Production Year

1940

Premiere

15.11.1940

Production

Lucernafilm

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Lucernafilm

Technical info

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Stuhy časopisu Český filmový zpravodaj

1941
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Lucernafilm