The Black Battalion

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1958

Production year

1957

Premiere

13 June 1958

Runtime

85 min

Category

film

Genre

drama, war

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Černý prapor

Czech title

Černý prapor

English title

The Black Battalion

Synopsis

Former members of the French Foreign Legion of Czechoslovak origin are returning home. The mother of Václav Malý from Plzeň is waiting for her son at the airport, but he is not among the home-comers. In a fortress in the middle of the jungle, he's made friends with his fellow countryman Petr, Tadeusz from Poland and Gerhardt from Germany. They all want to desert, because they can't take the cruel treatment from Sergeant Storch any longer. Storch lost a golden statuette gambling, but didn't accept his loss. Václav became an accidental witness to the treacherous murder of Storch's opponent, lived through a dangerous fight in the jungle, and witnessed a massacre in a village. Retreating, he found wounded Lieutenant Wolf in the jungle, and saved his life. Wolf took over the command of the troop, and offered Václav the position of his batman. Václav accepted the offer, despite his friends' disapproval. But when he found out that Wolf was an ex-SS officer who served in Plzeň at the end of the war, he realized that this was the man who murdered his sister and his father. He decided to kill Wolf. He joined Wolf on a reconnaissance in the jungle as a volunteer. Neither one of them returned. The next plane is landing in Prague. Petr is on board. However, he can't bring himself to tell Václav's mother the truth.

Cast

Jaroslav Mareš

legionář Václav Malý

František Peterka

český voják Petr

Günther Simon

německý voják Gerhardt

Hannjo Hasse

poručík Wolf

Kurt Oligmüller

seržant Storch

Tadeusz Schmidt

polský voják Tadeusz

Jerzy Duszyński

Antek

Ladislav Chudík

major, velitel pevnosti

Jami Blanc

pobočník

Marie Brožová

Václavova matka

Rudolf Deyl st.

Petrův otec

Luděk Eliáš

legionář

Jiří Hein

Dietrich

Maurice Orion

legionář služba

Nikola Lako

Bellini

Jiří Schulz

poručík

Miroslav Levý

podporučík

Lubor Tokoš

seržant, šéf PM

Miloslav Novák

kaprál PM

Alex Přítel

radiotelegrafista

Hafid Ihadadem

radiotelegrafista

Manuel Alonso

sluha

Miriam Hynková

Karlova dívka

Viktor Vosátka

Karel

Luong Van Tich

vietnamský voják

Lieu Čo

vietnamská dívka

Trinh Van Phu

otec dívky

Al. Vujuklekis

strážný věznice

Vladimír Linka

legionář

Christopher Kekes

legionář

Egidio Bonanno

legionář

Jan Brychta

legionář

Ján Bártfay

legionář

Marcel Boar

legionář

Renato Recansone

legionář

A. Barbieri

legionář

Vladimír Žáček

legionář

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Vladimír Zelenka

Screenstory

Kamil Pixa

Shooting Script

Vladimír Čech

Director of Photography

Rudolf Milič

Second Unit Photography

Bohumil Kolátor

Camera Operator

Vladimír Řezníček, Jaroslav Kupšík

Production Designer

Jan Zázvorka

Assistent Production Designer

Leoš Karen

Film Editor

Antonín Zelenka

Sound Designer

Jiří Pavlík

Production Manager

Rudolf Hájek

Unit Production Manager

František Novák, Vlastimil Maršálek

Consultant

Ervín Páleš, Ivette Dubois, plk. František Nevěřil, Jaromír Lauda

Cooperation

Karel Skoumal (fotograf)

Music

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín), Orchestr Karla Krautgartnera (Music Conducted by Karel Krautgartner), Ladislav Černý /violové sólo/

Songs

Le petit chemin

Song Composer Bohumil Šmída
Writer of Lyrics Maurice Orion
Singer Maurice Orion

Pierres du passé

Song Composer Bohumil Šmída
Writer of Lyrics Maurice Orion
Singer Maurice Orion

Pohádková země

Song Composer Bohumil Šmída
Writer of Lyrics Jaromír Hořec

Production info

Original Title

Černý prapor

Czech Title

Černý prapor

English Title

The Black Battalion

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama, war

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1958

Production Year

1957

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 11 February 1957
technical Screenplay approved 4 August 1957
start of filming 15 August 1957
end of filming 12 December 1957
projection approval 17 March 1958

Premiere

preview 6 June 1958 (kino Sevastopol /1 týden/, Praha)
gala premiere 6 June 1958 (kino Sevastopol, Praha)
premiere 13 June 1958 /unsuitable for youths/ (kina Blaník /4 týdny/, Flora /1 týden/, Kyjev /1 týden od 20. 6./, Veleslavín /1 týden od 27. 6./ a Arbes /1 týden od 4. 7./, Praha)

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Studio

Barrandov

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Šmída – Kunc, František Břetislav Kunc (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Bohumil Šmída (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

85 min

Original length in metres

2 424 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech, German, French, Polish

Subtitles languages

Czech

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 1. festival českých a slovenských filmů Banská Bystrica

1959
Banská Bystrica / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 11. mezinárodní filmový festival Karlovy Vary

1958
Karlovy Vary / Czechoslovakia