Old Ironside

comedy

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Železný dědek

Runtime

83 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1948

Production year

1948

Premiere

03.12.1948

Language version

Czech

Director

Václav Kubásek

Summary

Director Václav Kubásek largely made his way in film with rather average melodramas and comedies. However, after World War II he directed this tragicomedy with qualities that flow from a script by Karel Steklý. The lead character in its narrative – the aged engine driver Matys – hopes that following the liberation of the country he will be able to continue driving his beloved locomotive Líza. Yet both the engine and himself are earmarked for retirement. Luckily, events unfold in a way that allows Matys to prove that neither he nor the engine are write-offs just yet… Although Kubásek’s movie is in tune with films of the socialist-driven “Building a bright new future” spell – that gained such a stranglehold over dramaturgy at Prague's Barrandov film studios following the February 1948 communist putsch – it still remains down-to-earth thanks to the protagonist of the lead role, actor Jaroslav Marvan. In the 1950s, Marvan was cast in numerous similar roles in which an initially grumpy individualist transforms into an enthusiastic supporter of the new regime – notably in the case of Prague ticket inspector Anděl who appears in couple of comedies directed by Bořivoj Zeman.

Synopsis

The engine-driver Matys rescues his locomotive, which he affectionately calls Lisa, from the Second World War dive-bombers. He himself, however, is wounded during the attacks. Recovering at home, he looks forward to the end of the war so as to be able to ride his repaired locomotive again. The war finally comes to an end. Matys's son-in-law Vojta is an engine-driver, too. On the day his son is born, Vojta gets drunk and forgets about his duty. He is called for, but cannot be found. The colleagues persuade old Matys to secretly substitute for Vojta. Being able to stop the disentagled waggons, the old man avoids a crash on the railway. Everybody thinks that it was Vojta who saved the train. Under family pressure, Vojta holds his tongue about the case. Before the friends organize a good-bye party for old Matys, the man contacts the young apprentices to help him repair the locomotive. And on the last day of his duty before retiring, everything changes - the machine is repaired and the old man is asked by the station principal to ride it again.

Note

At the beginning of the second part of the film, the film makers used a double-exposure of shots from the documentary entitled The Way to the Barricades.

Cast

Jaroslav Marvan

strojvůdce Antonín Matys

Marie Ježková

Božena, Matysová žena

Otomar Krejča

strojvůdce Vojta Jandera, zeť Matysových

Marie Kautská

Marie, Janderova žena, dcera Matysových

Vítězslav Boček

přednosta ing. Podroužek

Vladimír Hlavatý

dělník Žejdlic

J. O. Martin

dílenský mistr František Zálabský

Lubomír Lipský

topič Vašek Kajdoš

Emil Bolek

strojvůdce ve výslužbě Kotrba

Stanislav Neumann

zřízenec Hanousek

Ladislav Kulhánek

revizní lékař

Karla Kučerová

zdravotní sestra

Karel Effa

prodavač v konzumu

Božena Herrmannová

kantýnská

M. Magálová

písařka u Podroužka

Vilém Prokop Mlejnek

hudebník v bufetu

Pavel Spálený

skladník v dílně

František Marek

dělmistr

Ladislav Sedláček

přednosta stanice

Antonín Šůra

učedník Bořík

Vladimír Dvorský

učedník

Vladimír Macour

učedník

Jarka Pižla

host v bufetu

Bolek Prchal

skladník

Josef Hlinomaz

dělník

Emil Dlesk

dělník

Jindra Hermanová

prodavačka v konzumu

Inka Horáková

prodavačka v konzumu

Karel Vavřík

hradlař

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

Jan Kovář (asistent scény)

Script Supervisor

Jana Peržinová

Screenstory

Jaroslav Zrotal

Second Unit Photography

Jaromír Holpuch

Production Designer

Alois Mecera

Art Director

Josef Gabriel

Set Designer

Vladimír Mácha

Costume Designer

Věra Tatterová

Make-Up Artist

Antonín Riegl

Production Manager

Rudolf Fencl

Unit Production Manager

Josef Pitrák

Consultant

Bohumil Purmann, Josef Sekera

Cooperation

Ministerstvo dopravy ČSR, zaměstnanci Československých drah

Music

Music Composed by

Miloš Smatek

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Milivoj Uzelac (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Železný dědek

English Title

Old Ironside

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

comedy

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1948

Production Year

1948

Premiere

03.12.1948

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Creative Group

Steklý – Hanuš (IV. výrobní skupina), Ladislav Hanuš, Karel Steklý

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

83 min

Versions

Czech