Smugglers of Death

adventure, drama

Typology

feature

Czech title

Král Šumavy

Runtime

89

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1959

Production year

1959

Premiere

25.12.1959

Language version

Czech

Director

Karel Kachyňa

Screenplay

František A. Dvořák, Karel Kachyňa, Rudolf Kalčík

Screenstory

Rudolf Kalčík, František A. Dvořák

Summary

In the 1950s, Karel Kachyňa built his career on “manly” themes revolving around border guards or soldiers. Apart from his undeniable professional skill as a director, he also had a good sense of the psychology of his characters. All of this applies to this drama set in the hilly Šumava (Bohemian Forest) border region in 1948. Despite its sharply tendentious propagandistic tone, Král Šumavy (Smugglers of Death) takes on a balladic nature derived from the dark beauty of the local scenery. The main character – a mysterious smuggler who takes illegal refugees across the border to Germany through dangerous marshes – is endowed with almost mythical qualities. Appearing in the main roles among the heroic defenders of the socialist fatherland are Radovan Lukavský and Jiří Vala. The part of the unhappy Marie is given to Jiřina Švorcová, who particularly in the 1950s tended to play ardent, one-dimensional, politically engaged characters.

Synopsis

It is 1948. Life as a border guard on the Czechoslovak state border in the Šumava Mountains is not easy. Despite the presence of dangerous swampland near the border, secret border crossings continue, even after the death of the smuggler Kilián, known as the King of the Šumava Mountains. He alone was reported to have crossed the swamps. The new arrival, guards chief Karel Zeman, has fallen in love with Marie Rysová, a shop assistant. Marie lives alone, her husband having fled across the border to escape punishment. Karel and Marie become lovers. One day Marie's husband, Rys, steals into the village. He kills the guards chief Cigánek and forces Marie to leave with him. An unknown man leads them across the swamp. Marie tries to escape but falls into the mire. Karel, who is following the group, can only look on helplessly as Marie disappears below the surface. The unknown man shoots Rys and flees. Karel needs to take revenge for Marie's death and doggedly seeks a guilty party. He discovers the madman Galapetr to be a saboteur who, after his arrest, betrays the identity of the new King of the Šumava Mountains - the forester Paleček who is planning another crossing of the swamp and border. The border guards reach him in time and capture the saboteur.

Film online

Cast

Radovan Lukavský

poručík SNB Václav Kot

Jiří Vala

strážmistr SNB Karel Zeman

Jiřina Švorcová

prodavačka Marie Rysová

Jaroslav Marvan

inspicient finanční stráže Josef Beran

Stanislav Remunda

Pavel Rys, Mariin manžel

Miloslav Holub

polesný Paleček

Jiří Holý

muzikant Petr Kala zvaný Galapetr

Ilja Prachař

okresní velitel SNB Burda

Eva Jiroušková

novomanželka Říhová

Rudolf Jelínek

strážmistr SNB Cigánek zvaný Mařenka

Milan Holubář

strážmistr SNB Žáček

Vladimír Menšík

strážmistr SNB František Buryška

Ferdinand Krůta

pohraničník Hromádka

Miroslav Kahoun

strážmistr SNB Vítek

František Krahulík

strážmistr SNB František Říha, novomanžel

Libuše Havelková

nová prodavačka

Leopold Novák

agent

Jindřich Narenta

strážmistr

Karel Vavřík

hostinský

Josef Henke

uprchlík

Václav Sloup

kopečkář

Monika Indingerová

kopečkářka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Stanislav Černý

Assistant Director

Věra Plívová, Jaroslava Koudelová, Magda Číhalová

Shooting Script

Karel Kachyňa

Camera Operator

Vojtěch Kuthan, Jaroslav Kupšík

Production Designer

Karel Černý

Costume Designer

Karel Postřehovský

Film Editor

Jan Chaloupek

Production Manager

Josef Beran

Unit Production Manager

Vratislav Innemann, Olga Himmerová

Consultant

plk. Alois Bíca

Cooperation

Bohumil Pokorný

Music

Music Composed by

Miloš Vacek

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Songs

Škoda lásky, Do lesíčka na čekanou, Už mou milou do kostela vedou

Songwriter

Jaromír Vejvoda (Škoda lásky), lidová píseň (Do lesíčka na čekanou), Miloš Vacek (Do lesíčka na čekanou) (úprava)

Production info

Original Title

Král Šumavy

English Title

Smugglers of Death

Copyright

1959

Production Year

1959

Premiere

25.12.1959

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Creative Group

Novotný – Kubala, Bedřich Kubala, Ladislav Novotný

Technical info

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Výroční Cena Víta Nejedlého pro rok 1968

1968
Praha / Czechoslovakia
František A. Dvořák

Vítěz

Event: Cena československé filmové kritiky za rok 1959

1960
Praha / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 2. festival českých a slovenských filmů Plzeň

1960
Plzeň / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 2. festival českých a slovenských filmů Plzeň

1960
Plzeň / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Event: Umělecká soutěž k 15. výročí zrodu lidově-demokratické Československé republiky

1960
Praha / Czechoslovakia