The Strike

drama

Typology

feature

Czech title

Siréna

Runtime

80

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1947

Production year

1947

Premiere

11.04.1947

Language version

Czech

Director

Karel Steklý

Screenplay

Karel Steklý, Jan Weiss

Summary

This social drama from director Karel Steklý represents a rare example from the period of its making of a Czechoslovak film generating waves on the international scene. The motion picture took the Grand International Award at the 1947 Venice Film Festival. The story is inspired by two chapters of an eponymous novel by Marie Majerová (first published in 1935), and is set in the 19th century industrial town of Kladno. Focusing on the working class Hudec family, Siréna (The Strike) chronicles a strike by miners protesting low pay. But the defiant mine owner turns the gendarmerie against the rebels. When metal workers join their mining colleagues, the boss orders a brutal suppression of the strike. Daughter Emča Hudcová, who is accidentally shot during the plundering of the boss’s villa, serves as a symbol of the struggles of the working classes against the exploitations of capitalism.

Synopsis

The shriek of a siren sets the rhythm of life in Kladno. The family of smelter Hudec lives very much like the other workers' families. The salaries are low and father Hudec leaves part of the money in the local pub. The family is held together by the firm hand of the mother, Mrs Hudcová, who watches over her son Rudolf and daughters Růžena and Emča. The gloomy situation forces the miners to act and they call a strike. An impulse for further resistance comes with the suicide of Černý, who in his farewell letter accuses the mine's general manager Bacher of causing his suicide. The indignant miners want to speak with Bacher but he drives them away with gendarmes whom he pays from the miners' money, set aside to support the ailing. This fact enrages the miners even further and Hudec, who had stopped drinking, appeals to the smelters to express their solidarity with the miners. He is instantly fired for this. As the strike continues, the hunger and misery of the workers' families is growing stronger and tension is rising. In the end, a small incident is enough to bring the people to Bacher's villa where, in hatred, they start breaking everything. The army, which has been sent for, opens fire and breaks up the workers, accidentally fatally wounding Emča Hudcová. The workers' protest is stifled and Hudec finds himself imprisoned together with his son in the massive arrests that follow. Růžena leaves for America with the man she loves. The broken-hearted mother stays alone but she pulls herself together to give her daughter a proper farewell. On her return she answers to the screaming siren: Go ahead and roar, you won't silence us!

Cast

Ladislav Boháč

tavič Hudec

Marie Vášová

Hudcová

Oleg Reif

Rudolf, syn Hudcových

Naděžda Mauerová

Růžena, starší dcera Hudcových

Pavla Suchá

Emča, dcera Hudcových

Josef Bek

horník Karel Hampl, Růženin milý

Bedřich Karen

generální ředitel dolů Bacher

Bohumil Machník

ředitel dolu Roth

Anna Houdková

Zeithamelová

Jaroslav Zrotal

tavič Hroník

Věra Kalendová

svačinářka Černá

Josef Dekoj

Černý

Miloš Nedbal

důlní Bílek

Josef Benátský

starosta Hrabě

Stanislav Neumann

strážník Trojan

Bedřich Kubala

Bosňák

Josef Hořánek

měšťan

Karel Svoboda

kliďas

Marie Štichová

Loučilová

Jaroslav Kapr

Sršeň

Věra Warenová

Bacherová

Felix le Breux

ředitel hutí Pásek

Stanislav Vyskočil

předák z Prahy

Vladimír Hlavatý

redaktor z Prahy

Karel Jelínek

četník

Jarka Pižla

číšník

Kamil Blahovec

Plaček

Antonín Jirsa

host v krčmě

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Václav Gajer

Based on

Marie Majerová (Siréna – román)

Second Unit Photography

Jaroslav Kníže

Camera Operator

Oldřich Payer

Production Designer

Štěpán Kopecký

Set Designer

Prokop Pěkný

Costume Designer

Josef Gabriel

Film Editor

Jan Kohout

Sound Designer

Josef Vlček

Production Manager

Miloš Mastník

Unit Production Manager

Josef Holomý, Karel Oliva

Consultant

Jaroslav Váchal (vojenský poradce), vrchní inspektor Jar. Špatenka (dráhy), Zdeněk Vašata (církevní hudba), V. Hadinec (šerm)

Music

Music Composed by

E. F. Burian

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Otakar Pařík (FISYO)

Songs

Já jsem krev živých

Singer

ženský sbor (Já jsem krev živých)

Production info

Original Title

Siréna

English Title

The Strike

Copyright

1947

Production Year

1947

Premiere

11.04.1947

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Creative Group

Zdeněk Reimann

Technical info

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Aprobační komise pro schvalování českých filmů

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Tuzar

Vítěz

Event: Státní ceny za rok 1947 v oboru tisku, rozhlasu a filmu

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Marie Vášová

Vítěz

Event: Státní ceny za rok 1947 v oboru tisku, rozhlasu a filmu

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Marie Majerová

Vítěz

Event: Aprobační komise pro schvalování českých filmů

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
E. F. Burian

Vítěz

Event: Státní ceny za rok 1947 v oboru tisku, rozhlasu a filmu

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
E. F. Burian

Vítěz

Festival: 8. mezinárodní filmový festival Benátky

1947
Benátky / Italy

Vítěz

Event: Aprobační komise pro schvalování českých filmů

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Karel Steklý

Vítěz

Event: Státní ceny za rok 1947 v oboru tisku, rozhlasu a filmu

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Tuzar

Vítěz

Festival: 8. mezinárodní filmový festival Benátky

1947
Benátky / Italy

Vítěz

Event: Aprobační komise pro schvalování českých filmů

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Štěpán Kopecký

Vítěz

Event: Aprobační komise pro schvalování českých filmů

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Karel Steklý

Vítěz

Event: Státní ceny za rok 1947 v oboru tisku, rozhlasu a filmu

1947
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Karel Steklý