The Emperor's Baker – The Baker's Emperor

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1951

Production year

1951

Premiere

28 December 1951

Runtime

144 min

Director

Martin Frič

Category

film

Genre

historical, comedy

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Císařův pekař – Pekařův císař

Czech title

Císařův pekař – Pekařův císař

English title

The Emperor's Baker – The Baker's Emperor

Summary

This epic 1951 costume comedy from director Martin Frič exists in a two-part form as Císařův pekař – Pekařův císař (The Emperor's Baker – The Baker's Emperor) as well as in a shortened single-film version. The latter was intended for export – certain parts where the ideological influence was too explicit were shed. The motion picture's attractive story set in baroque Prague is built on the double role played by the popular Jan Werich. He delivers the character of the ageing Emperor Rudolph II as well as that of the honest and single-minded baker Matěj. Central to the plot is the mythical clay servant, the Golem, whom the emperor, obsessed with the science of alchemy, is obsessed with bringing to life. In his desire to exercise power, he wants to make it subject to his commands. The film concept gets somewhat grounded in then contemporary political approaches, but this is a witty, spectacular motion picture loosely stemming from an early and never realised Golem film project of Werich and Jiří Voskovec. In fact, many characters are performed by actors of the former Osvobozené divadlo (The Liberated Theatre, which “V+W” were part of). In the female cast, Nataša Gollová stands out as Matěj’s love interest Kateřina, while Marie Vášová puts in a fine performance as Rudolph’s mistress – the Countess Katharina Strada. A minor role, that of a maid-in-waiting, is played by Věra Chytilová, then just 22 years-old but with a future as a highly successful director ahead of her. In those days, she was earning a crust as a fashion model among other things.

Synopsis

Emperor Rudolph II is annoyed. He has a toothache and his alchemists also keep failing to produce gold, and to create the elixir of youth. Besides, nobody is able to find the legendary Golem, whom the Emperor is craving for. He is not bothered with governing, and has no idea that his advisers want to do away with him. One night, on an expedition in search for the root of mandragora, an important ingredient in the elixir of youth, Rudolph himself finds the clay giant Golem. On his return, alchemist Scotta presents him with the alleged elixir. Rudolph falls asleep after drinking the potion and, when he wakes up, he sees his rejuvenated face in the mirror. He doesn't know that baker Matěj is standing inside the mirror frame. He reached the Emperor's quarters while escaping from the prison, where he was taken for giving away the imperial bread-rolls to the poor. Matěj is a spitting image of the Emperor, except that he is some twenty-five years younger. The exalted Emperor, convinced that he has really regained his youth, sets out in search of a love adventure. Matěj has no choice but to play the role of the Emperor. He is a courageous young man, so he manages to cope with the treacherous advisers. He also brings the Golem, whom the advisers were trying to use for their own ends, under his control. The advisers murder each other in the struggle for power over the Golem, and the Golem itself crushes the last one. Rudolph realizes his mistake when he returns from his voyage, and offers Matěj his throne. Matěj refuses, and, with the Golem's help, bakes loaves of bread to the people's great joy.

Note

The film was originally made by director Jiří Krejčík. After disagreements with Jan Werich and after political intervention, he was recalled and the project was taken over by Martin Frič. With the director, the cast also changed in part. Originally, Ljuba Hermanová (Countess Stradová), Irena Kačírková (Kateřina alias Sirael), Karel Höger (Master Edward Kelley) and Saša Rašilov (chief alchemist Jeroným Alessandro Scotta) were to appear in the film. The music was to be composed by Václav Trojan.

The Emperor´s Baker – The Baker´s Emperor is a two-parts film (former footage of two parts was 2451 and 1949 metres). In the late fifties reduced version (3064,7 metres) was released by director Martin Frič.

Film online

Cast

Jan Werich

císař Rudolf II./pekařský tovaryš Matěj Kotrba

Marie Vášová

hraběnka Anna Marie Stradová

Nataša Gollová

Kateřina alias umělá žena Sirael

Bohuš Záhorský

komoří Filip Lang z Langenfelsu

Jiří Plachý

magistr Edward Kelley

Zdeněk Štěpánek

maršál císařských vojsk Bernard Russworm

František Filipovský

dvorní astrolog

František Černý

vrchní alchymista Jeroným Alessandro Scotta vlastním jménem Jan Skoták

Václav Trégl

císařův osobní sluha

Vladimír Leraus

uherský vyslanec

Miloš Nedbal

dvorní lékař

Bohuš Hradil

astronom Tycho de Brahe

František Holar

velitel stráže

Vladimír Řepa

majitel pekárny U pochoutky císařovy

Lubomír Lipský

alchymista vyrábějící zlato ze švestek

Theodor Pištěk

purkmistr, mluvčí měšťanské delegace

Bohumil Bezouška

dvorní malíř Hans von Aachen

Felix le Breux

člen měšťanské delegace

Josef Kemr

alchymista rozbíjející atom olova

Fanda Mrázek

halapartník na chodbě

Ota Motyčka

císařský písař

Miroslav Svoboda

ceremoniář, císařský stolník

Jan S. Kolár

alchymista pracující na výrobě zlata

Josef Hlinomaz

pekařský tovaryš

Alois Dvorský

muž před pekárnou

Jana Werichová

dívka z lidu

Marie Nademlejnská

žena před pekárnou

Magda Kopřivová

žena před pekárnou

Jaroslav Vlk

chasník

Miloš Kopecký

alchymista chtějící zhmotnit tmu

Jindřich Doležal

alchymista destilující nápoj neviditelnosti

Josef Oliak

alchymista sestavující perpetum mobile

Eva Jiroušková

dívka z lidu

Ladislav Rychman

muž nosící psací pultík

Antonín Jirsa

lékařův pomocník

Martin Raus

sluha nosící nádoby

Emanuel Kovařík

komorník u Langa

Hynek Němec

havíř v kapuci

Viktor Pejsar

muž s papouškem

Anna Pitašová

dvorní dáma

Věra Chytilová

dvorní dáma

Jana Svobodová

dvorní dáma

Dagmar Moulíková

dvorní dáma

Ida Lahodová

dvorní dáma

Věra Waldhansová

dvorní dáma

Crew and creators

Director

Martin Frič

Assistant Director

Rudolf Jaroš, Zdeněk Maršálek (asistent scény)

Script Supervisor

Marie Moravcová

Director of Photography

Jan Stallich

Second Unit Photography

Bohumil Hába

Production Designer

Jan Zázvorka

Assistent Production Designer

Boris Moravec

Art Director

Jiří Trnka, Jaroslav Horejc (návrh sochy Golema)

Costume Designer

Jiří Trnka, Vladimír Synek

Film Editor

Jan Kohout

Assistant Film Editor

Jarmila Müllerová

Sound Designer

František Černý

Assistant Sound Designer

Václav Janoušek

Special Effects

Vladimír Novotný

Production Manager

Ladislav Terš, Rudolf Hájek (vedoucí štábu)

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslav Vlk

Unit Production Manager

Klára Barešová

Background Painter

Alois Treybal (malíř pozadí)

Cooperation

Josef Pražák (vrchní osvětlovač), Václav Hojda (fotograf), Václav Oberreiter, V. Novotná, Fr. Počta, E. Strnadová

Music

Music Composed by

Julius Kalaš

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Milivoj Uzelac)

Choreographer

Luboš Ogoun, Jiřina Kottová, Saša Machov (přípravné práce)

Songs

Ten umí to a ten zas tohle

Songwriter Zdeněk Petr
Writer of Lyrics Jan Werich
Singer Jan Werichsbor

Hopsa hejsa do Brandejsa

Singer Jan Werich

Production info

Original Title

Císařův pekař – Pekařův císař

Czech Title

Císařův pekař – Pekařův císař

English Title

The Emperor's Baker – The Baker's Emperor

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

historical, comedy

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1951

Production Year

1951

Production specifications

start of filming 4 January 1951
the first film copy approved 21 December 1951
projection approval 22 December 1951 (konec povolení k promítání 22. 12. 1956)

Premiere

premiere 28 December 1951 /suitable for youths/ (kina Lucerna /13 týdnů/, Moskva /3 týdny od 4. 1. 1952/, Blaník /5 týdnů 18. 1. 1952/, Aero /1 týden od 1. 2. 1952/, Oko /1 týden od 1. 2. 1952/, Revoluce /1 týden od 8. 2. 1952/, Dukla /1 týden od 15. 2. 1952/, Odboj /1 týden od 22. 2. 1952/ a Arbes /1 týden od 29. 2. 1952/, Praha /druhá část/)
premiere 28 December 1951 /suitable for youths/ (kina Blaník /8 týdnů/, Lucerna /13 týdnů/, Aero /1 týden od 25. 1. 1952/, Oko /1 týden od 1. 2. 1952/, Revoluce /1 týden od 8. 2. 1952/, Dukla /1 týden 15. 2. 1952/, Odboj /1 týden od 22. 2. 1952/ a Arbes /1 týden od 28. 2. 1952/, Praha /první část/)

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Studio

Barrandov

Creative Group

VI. tvůrčí kolektiv Jana Wericha, Jan Werich (vedoucí VI. tvůrčího kolektivu)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

144 min

Original length in metres

4 400 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

colour

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Televizní anketa diváků o nejpopulárnější českou filmovou komedii století – anketa České televize a Týdeníku Televize Volíme veselohru století

1998
Praha / Czech Republic

Vítěz

Festival: Mezinárodní filmový festival Zlaté cívky New York

1955
New York City / United States of America

Vítěz

Event: Umělecké prémie

1952
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Trnka

Vítěz

Event: Umělecké prémie

1952
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jan Zázvorka

Vítěz

Event: Umělecké prémie

1952
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jan Stallich

Vítěz

Event: Umělecké prémie

1952
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Gustav Hrdlička

Vítěz

Event: Státní ceny za rok 1951

1952
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jan Werich

Vítěz

Event: Umělecké prémie

1952
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jan Kohout

Vítěz

Festival: 6. mezinárodní filmový festival Edinburgh

1952
Edinburgh / Great Britain

Vítěz

Event: Umělecké prémie

1952
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Martin Frič

Vítěz

Event: Umělecké prémie

1952
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Brdečka

Vítěz

Event: Ceny francouzských filmových kritiků

1951
Paříž / France