The Night-Time Guest

drama, psychological

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Noční host

Runtime

90 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1961

Production year

1961

Premiere

29.09.1961

Language version

Czech

Director

Otakar Vávra

Summary

Otakar Vávra’s 1961 intimate psychological drama was based on Host (Guest), a play by Ludvík Aškenazy released only a year earlier. It is notable for having acted as an inconspicuous signal that the state-guarded Czechoslovak cinema industry was entering a slightly more liberal phase. The lives of the protagonists – guests of a pub set in a remote village location – are invaded by dark shadows drawn from the past by German merchant Huppert (Rudolf Hrušínský). The jovial foreigner, who openly expresses his Nazi world view, reminds the barkeeper (Jiří Vala) of the SS man who tortured him in a concentration camp during the war. The barkeeper shoots at the guest, but despite the engagement of local policeman (Vladimír Brabec) nothing can be solved… Huppert was one of several villains performed by Rudolf Hrušínský, who quite often took the part of an evil German in the late 1950s and 1960s (consider, for instance, Reportáž psaná na oprátce [Report from the Gallows, 1961], Blbec z Xeenemünde [Idiot from Xeenemünde, 1963] and to an extent Spalovač mrtvol [The Cremator, 1969]).

Synopsis

During one rainy evening, an unexpected guest, German businessman Walter Huppert, breaks into the calm atmosphere of a small inn by the Benešov highway. There is something wrong with his Mercedes and he is thus trying to find a car-mechanic. Just to make sure, he books a room in the inn and smuggles in his companion, a very young Czech girl named Jana. He himself then returns to the bar, offers wine to all people present with great geniality, and does not stop talking. Publican Kalous listens to him with increasing nervousness - Huppert strongly reminds him of an SS-man who handled him brutally in a concentration camp. When Huppert gets drunk and begins to claim openly his Nazi conviction, Kalous loses all remaining control and shoots at him. Jana, alarmed by the shooting, goes down to the bar and reveals to Kalous and the old Remunda that she joined Huppert only out of curiosity. The night bus brings over Kalous's mother and subsequently the police arrive with Huppert, who immediately reported on the incident with Kalous. The commanding corporal cannot grasp why Kalous began to shoot, beginning to understand only when Huppert bursts out in uncontrollable rage. Huppert leaves in the repaired car and the policemen take Kalous away. There are only Kalous' mother and Jana left in the inn, and the latter just came to learn about the twists of life.

Note

In 1959, Ludvík Aškenazy wrote a theatre drama The Guest at Night, which was then introduced by the Theatre of Petr Bezruč in Ostrava under the title The Night-Time Guest. In 1960, Aškenazy reworked the drama for the Central Theatre of the Czechoslovak Army [Ústřední divadlo Československé armády]; later the Vinohrady Theatre [Vinohradské divadlo] in Prague and entitled it The Guest. The author at the same time collaborated with Otakar Vávra on the script entitled, again, The Guest at Night.

Film online

Cast

Jiří Vala

vedoucí pohostinství Emil Kalous

Martin Růžek

lamač Alois Remunda

Rudolf Hrušínský

německý obchodník Walter Huppert

Jana Hlaváčová

studentka Jana

Světla Amortová

Marie Kalousová, Emilova matka

Vladimír Brabec

staršina VB Vítek Hrabal

Marie Poslušná

dívka

Jaroslav Moučka

řidič nákladního automobilu Mikeš

Antonín Šůra

řidič autobusu

Zdeněk Braunschläger

příslušník SS

Jan Přeučil

příslušník VB

Svatopluk Skládal

automechanik

Josef Hlinomaz

řidič osobního auta

Jaroslav Kepka

brigádník

Jiří Stivín

brigádník

Karel Hovorka

brigádník

Jiří Stivín

brigádník

Ivan Šlapeta

brigádník

Jan Schmidt

brigádník

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Miroslav Kubišta

Assistant Director

Lenka Němečková

Based on

Ludvík Aškenazy (Host – divadelní hra)

Shooting Script

Otakar Vávra

Second Unit Photography

Adolf Hejzlar

Camera Operator

Vojtěch Kuthan

Production Designer

Karel Škvor

Set Designer

Emanuel Dvořáček, Eva Slívová, Miloš Sršeň

Film Editor

Antonín Zelenka

Sound Designer

Emanuel Formánek

Production Manager

Ladislav Terš

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslav Merunka, Ludmila Venclíková

Unit Production Manager

Jan Bočánek

Cooperation

Vlastimil Hála, Milena Voborská, Vilemína Prokopová, Oldřich Okáč

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Srnka

Selected Music

Ludwig van Beethoven (Sonáta f moll /Appassionata/), Václav Vačkář (Vzpomínka na Zbiroh – serenáda)

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Život je pes, Léta dozrávání /Obnošená vesta/

Songwriter

Jiří Šlitr (Život je pes), Jiří Šlitr (Léta dozrávání /Obnošená vesta/)

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Suchý (Život je pes), Jiří Suchý (Léta dozrávání /Obnošená vesta/)

Singer

Pavel Sedláček (Život je pes), Jiří Suchý (Léta dozrávání /Obnošená vesta/)

Production info

Original Title

Noční host

English Title

The Night-Time Guest

Working Title

Host v noci

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

drama, psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1961

Production Year

1961

Premiere

29.09.1961

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Creative Group

Šmída – Fikar, Ladislav Fikar, Bohumil Šmída

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

90 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 12. filmový festival pracujících

1961
24 měst / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 12. filmový festival pracujících

1961
24 měst / Czechoslovakia
Rudolf Hrušínský st.