The Slinger

children, drama, war

Typology

feature

Czech title

Práče

Runtime

83

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1960

Production year

1960

Premiere

06.05.1960

Language version

Czech

Director

Karel Kachyňa

Summary

Many of director Karel Kachyňa’s works feature children in central roles, offering their point-of-view on the grown-up world that surrounds them. Práče tells the story of a nine-year-old orphan boy at the end of the Second World War, who manages to find a new home under the shelter of anti-Nazi forces. Made in 1960, the film naturally presents contemporary ideological viewpoints. Young František, nicknamed “Práče” – or child soldier, based on the names given to children used in battle during Hussite times – ends up in the frontline laundry room, but soon shows himself to be an welcome presence. The boy even helps to foil Nazi spies, thus helping bring about victory in the Dukla Pass in the Carpathian Mountains. Michal Koblic takes the title role; in the ensuing two years he would make a further eight film appearances. Experienced actors star in the adult supporting roles, including Vladimír Menšík as the good-natured army cook Pekárek.

Synopsis

In the autumn of 1944 Soviet soldiers come across a liberated concentration camp and find a Czech boy there called František Bureš. They send him to a Czechoslovak unit located near Dukla. Lieutenant Zlonický assigns him as an unsalaried employee to work in a laundry at the front. The laundry soldiers - "laundrymen" - take a liking to the boy. The slinger - the soldiers' nickname for him which was used to describe the youngest Hussite warriors - doesn't care for life in the laundry. He also wants to fight. When Slinger proves himself as a reliable messenger, the soldiers train him in military conduct. One day Slinger meets a little Slovak girl called Marijka from Porúbka whom her grandfather has sent with his only cow into the mountains. Marijka is forced to stay with the laundrymen when fighting breaks out. She is missing her grandfather, so František offers to take a letter to Porúbka for her. On the way he encounters four Germans dressed as Russian soldiers. František goes back to inform the laundrymen who are able to thwart the spies' plans. The soldiers are decorated for their efforts and Slinger also receives a medal. Shortly afterwards the Czechoslovak unit breaks through the Dukla pass. At the rear of the advancing army the laundrymen soon march into their beloved country.

Cast

Michal Koblic

vojín-elév František Bureš zvaný Práče

Marie Magdolenová

Marijka Kalinčuková

Vladimír Hlavatý

desátník Antonín Krupka, zvaný Slepejš

Gustáv Valach

svobodník Dalibor Šamonil

Vladimír Menšík

vojenský kuchař Josef Pekárek

Oldřich Musil

vojín Evald Heller

Martin Ťapák

vojín Imrich Gallo

Stanislav Remunda

nadporučík Zlonický

Miloslav Holub

major Kubeš

Milan Holubář

rotný Rudolf Sodoma

Bohuš Záhorský

vojenský švec Maralík

František Krahulík

desátník Kvačil

Eva Jiroušková

četařka Vlasta Netušilová

Svatopluk Skládal

řidič nákladního auta

Jiří Těšík

vojenský krejčí Seifert

Hana Houbová

desátnice

Irena Zintlová

desátnice

Ota Žebrák

tankista

Jan Pohan

tankista

Jindřich Narenta

německý špion

František Suk

kapitán Fojtík

Ladislav Trojan

ruský důstojník

Antonín Černý

Jaroslav Koutník (2)

Miloš Mulač

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Stanislav Černý

Assistant Director

Anna Pokorná, Jaroslav Toms, Dagmar Menhartová

Based on

Jan Mareš (Práče – povídka)

Shooting Script

Karel Kachyňa

Camera Operator

Vojtěch Kuthan, Eduard Kadeřábek, Jiří Šámal

Production Designer

Jan Zázvorka

Set Designer

Josef Calta

Costume Designer

Karel Postřehovský

Film Editor

Jan Chaloupek

Sound Designer

Jiří Lenoch

Production Manager

Josef Beran

Unit Production Manager

Olga Himmerová, Václav Dobeš

Consultant

plk. František Nevěřil

Cooperation

Bohumil Nový

Music

Music Composed by

Miloš Vacek

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Songs

Letěla husička, Já jsem malý mysliveček, Ruža z Dunaja, Komandir, geroj, geroj Čapajev, Okolo Hradce

Songwriter

lidová píseň (Okolo Hradce)

Singer

Vladimír Menšík (Letěla husička), Vladimír Menšík (Já jsem malý mysliveček), Martin Ťapák (Já jsem malý mysliveček), Marie Magdolenová (Ruža z Dunaja), sbor (Komandir, geroj, geroj Čapajev)

Production info

Original Title

Práče

English Title

The Slinger

Copyright

1960

Production Year

1960

Premiere

06.05.1960

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Creative Group

Hanuš – Pavlíček, Ladislav Hanuš, Oldřich Pavlíček

Technical info

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 3. festival českých a slovenských filmů Ostrava

1961
Ostrava / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 12. mezinárodní filmový festival pro děti a mládež Benátky

1960
Benátky / Italy

Vítěz

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

1960
Praha / Czechoslovakia