Rabbits in the Tall Grass

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1961

Production year

1961

Premiere

23 February 1962

Runtime

93 min

Category

film

Genre

drama

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Králíci ve vysoké trávě

Czech title

Králíci ve vysoké trávě

English title

Rabbits in the Tall Grass

Synopsis

Ten-year old Martin is troubled. His bigoted mother forces him to attend religious classes, love God and serve at the church as an acolyte. But everywhere he looks Martin encounters hypocrisy and sees that sinful deeds go unpunished. His father steals planks from the building site of a diary farm cooperative, his brother Eda secretly takes money from the house, and Kovajs, his friend from school, also "sins" knowingly. Nothing happens to any of them. On the other hand, Martin is constantly experiencing troubles. The worst of them is the death of his pet angora rabbits. After this, Martin's belief in God is deeply shaken and he becomes a member of the young socialist pioneers organization without his mother's knowledge. He also wants to join the other children and visit the city for the 1st of May celebrations, but he must first do his duty at the church. The priest drags out the mass and the sermon until his flock can take it no longer and take flight. In the afternoon, the boys make a solemn promise that they will no longer be acolytes. Pišta is the first to break the promise, and Martin is also "bribed" with a new bicycle. Kovajs accuses him of treason and Martin keeps trying to avoid his church work. First he eats an entire tube of Celaskon pills and then he walks into the freezing water of a stream to get ill so as to avoid having to fulfil his mother's wish. Half naked and frozen stiff, he shivers in a small shed.

Note

In the film´s original version Martin, anguished and run-down by the hypocrisy of the adults´ world, throws himself into the swift currents under a weir and drowns. At the funeral, attended by the entire village, all the boys who should have come to serve as acolytes keep their promise and come dressed as young socialist pioneers. After the audience had refused the tragic end at the first test projection, the director shot a new version in which Martin is saved and, soaked and scared, hides inside a shed. The original version has not survived on any film material.

Cast

Michal Koblic

Martin Čermák

Josef Šrajer

Kovajs

Michael Dáňa

Eda, Martinův bratr

Jan Kovařík

Harvan

Josef Prchal

Polák

Čestmír Studna

Hořejší

Marcela Čížková

Marcela Daňková

Antonie Hegerliková

Anči Čermáková, Martinova matka

Elo Romančík

Antonín Čermák, Martinův otec

Marcela Martínková

Ludmila zvaná Luďka, Martinova sestra

Petr Kostka

poručík Mirek Podlešák, Luďčin ženich

Václav Lohniský

farář Hornof

Emil Rohan

Kovajsův otec

Jaroslava Tvrzníková

Martinova učitelka

Stanislav Junek

svazák Kryšták

Vladimír Hlavatý

předseda MNV Šimáček

Hermína Vojtová

Horáčková

Alois Dvorský

kostelník

Marie Nademlejnská

prachatická teta

Nina Bártů

Mirkova matka

Adolf Minský

děda Bína

Eva Foustková

Kovajsová

Antonín Soukup

hostinský

Josef Příhoda

prodavač losů

Rajmund Pour

vousatý muž s raketou

Jiří Müller

muž s raketou

Jan Teplý

muž s raketou

Miroslav Jetmar

poručík, svědek na svatbě

Mária Sýkorová

babička Kovajsová

Josefa Pechlátová

bába Harvanová

Milan Jedlička

železničář

Jaroslav Drbohlav

kluk na svatbě

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Stanislav Černý

Assistant Director

Jaroslav Toms, Marta Marková

Screenstory

Ota Hofman

Screenplay

Ota Hofman

Shooting Script

Václav Gajer

Director of Photography

Jiří Vojta

Second Unit Photography

Miroslav Ondříček

Camera Operator

Rudolf Blaháček

Production Designer

Miroslav Hrachovec

Set Designer

Dvořák Josef (výprava), Zeno Dostál, Marta Měřínská

Costume Designer

Libuše Hozová

Film Editor

Zdeněk Stehlík

Sound Designer

Adolf Nacházel, Bohumír Brunclík (zvukové efekty)

Production Manager

Josef Císař

Unit Production Manager

Olga Mimrová, Miloš Rudolf

Unit Production Manager

Eliška Doubková

Cooperation

Jaroslava Hypiusová, Libuše Vaněčková, Zbyněk Hloch, Ludmila Náprstková

Music

Music Composed by

Evžen Illín

Selected Music

Antonín Dvořák (Symfonie č. 9 e moll Z Nového světa /Largo/)

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín),

Songs

Proto jsem se tak mladá vdávala

Songwriter lidová píseň
Writer of Lyrics lidová píseň
Singer sbor

Živijó, živijó

Singer sbor

Už mou milou do kostela vedou

Songwriter lidová píseň
Writer of Lyrics lidová píseň
Singer sbor

Rudé šátky na slunci hoří

Songwriter Svatopluk Havelka
Writer of Lyrics Josef Brukner
Singer dětský sbor

Mám já zahrádečku roubenou

Singer sbor

Rozkvetlý den

Songwriter Radim Drejsl
Writer of Lyrics Miroslav Zachata
Singer sbor

Kupředu, zpátky ni krok

Songwriter Jan Seidel (hudba)

K nebesům dnes zaleť písní

Songwriter Vladimír Juráš
Writer of Lyrics Josef Miklík
Singer sbor

Ó, hřebíčku zahradnický

Songwriter lidová píseň

Production info

Original Title

Králíci ve vysoké trávě

Czech Title

Králíci ve vysoké trávě

English Title

Rabbits in the Tall Grass

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1961

Production Year

1961

Production specifications

technical Screenplay approved 14 January 1961
literary Screenplay approved 15 February 1961
start of filming 4 May 1961
end of filming 13 September 1961
projection approval 8 December 1961

Premiere

premiere 23 February 1962

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Studio

Barrandov

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Šmída – Fikar, Ladislav Fikar (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Bohumil Šmída (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

93 min

Original length in metres

2 651 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Exhibition: 2. celostátní přehlídka československých filmů pro děti a mládež Gottwaldov

1967
Zlín / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 4. festival českých a slovenských filmů Košice

1962
Košice / Czechoslovakia
Václav Gajer

Vítěz

Festival: 4. festival českých a slovenských filmů Košice

1962
Košice / Czechoslovakia
Ota Hofman