Kate and the Crocodile

children, comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Káťa a krokodýl

Runtime

66

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1965

Production year

1965

Premiere

11.04.1966

Language version

Czech

Director

Věra Plívová-Šimková

Summary

With her 1965 feature debut Káťa a krokodýl (Kate and the Crocodile) Věra Plívová-Šimková signed up to the genre of family stories about and for children which she was to remain faithful to for her entire professional life. The director, then 31, hooked up with the experienced screenwriter Ota Hofman, who conceived of a children’s book by Soviet novelist Grigori Jagfeld as a holidays tale played out over one summer’s day in Prague. The narrative begins with little Míša Horák taking charge of the animals from his school’s wild animals club for the summer. However, his unwilling parents nix the idea and the animals are quickly taken over by the enterprising Káťa. But then they get free from the girl’s room. The biggest problem is a missing crocodile… The simple storyline enables a number of comedic scenes to fill a relatively short film that poetically evokes the sense of a playful, dreamy world of children. Plívová-Šimková is characterised by the humorous distance with which she puts children together with older people who unlike “sensible” adults are capable of play and dreaming… Cinematographer František Valert, who in the 1960s worked on the satire Bílá paní (The White Lady) (1965) and the musical Šíleně smutná princezna (The Incredibly Sad Princess) (1968), contributed to the successful result. With her debut Plívová-Šimková proved she already had a knack for casting interesting child actors and eliciting authentic performances from them on camera. Káťa was portrayed by Yvetta Hollauerová in her only film role. Antonín Nedvídek, who played Míša, never returned to acting either. However, several future popular actors appeared in smaller children’s parts in the movie (incl. Jan Kraus, Andrea Čunderlíková, Marek Vašut, Miroslav Vladyka). Plívová-Šimková also cast a number of interwar acting legends (Oldřich Nový, Věra Ferbasová, screenwriter Václav Wasserman). Jan Zrzavý makes a unique cameo in the role of a painter.

Synopsis

It is the summer holiday and little Míša Horák has taken a few animals from the school's so-called "Corner of Living Nature" home to care for. But when he brings home two Angora rabbits, a starling, a little monkey, a tortoise and a small crocodile, his parents order him to take them away. He is helped by Káťa, who offers to place the animals in the child's room of her family's apartment. Míša leaves for her friend where the animals will hopefully be able to stay. Káťa goes shopping. In the meantime, Káťa's younger sister Minka wakes up and begins to play with the animals, who gradually run off in disarray. The crocodile is found in the bath tub by Káťa's grandfather who runs away in fear and leaves the water running from the tap. The rising water enables the crocodile to run away, too. Laubová, their neighbour, almost faints to see him in her apartment. When Káťa comes back home with a crowd of children who are curious to see the animals, the apartment is empty. All the children help to search for and catch the animals; the crocodile is found by the grandfather in a gutter pipe. In the evening, Míša is thus able to reunite with all his wards again.

Note

The script for the Soviet children´s film The Little Girl and the Crocodile made in 1957, was written by Grigori B. Yagdfeld and Nina V. Gernet. The revised script was published as a children´s book. In Czech it appeared under the title Káťa a krokodýl.

Cast

Yvetta Hollauerová

Káťa

Ondřej Jandera

kluk s makaróny

Minka Malá

Minka, Kátina sestra

Antonín Nedvídek

Míša Horák

Eva Dyková

Jana zvaná Brejška

Alena Čechová

Alena Karlíková

Tomáš Drbohlav

Tomáš

Adolf Minský

Kátin dědeček Alois

Oldřich Nový

elegán s deštníkem

Jan Skopeček

velitel hasičů

Alois Dvorský

děda se sekyrou

Jan Libíček

muž s balóny

Alena Kreuzmannová

sousedka Laubová

Václav Trégl

starý muzikant

Josef Příhoda

starý muzikant

Václav Wasserman

chodec smekající slamák

Marek Vašut

Pepík Novák

Jan Zrzavý

Zrzavý Jan, on sám, malíř

Barbora Ziková

Barborka

Vladimír Horka

Ládík

Zdeněk Braunschläger

hasič Franta

Vladimír Menšík

přísný otec s dortem

Jan Kraus

kluk v pruhovaném tričku

Andrea Čunderlíková

vyčouhlá holka

Dagmar Zikánová

biletářka

Věra Ferbasová

žena věšící prádlo

Antonín Soukup

starý muzikant

Jaroslava Panenková

žena v prodejně

Jaroslav Kučera

muž v davu u krokodýla

P. Laušman

kluk s želvou

R. Kružíková

holka s míčem

K. Kolínová

Lenka

K. Vepřeková

malá holka

M. Baierová

Eva

D. Šilhánek

kluk Bambula

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Drahomíra Králová

Assistant Director

Viktor Karásek, Libuše Vaněčková

Based on

Nina V. Gernet (Káťa a krokodýl /Děvočka i krokodil/ – kniha), Grigorij B. Jagdfeld (Káťa a krokodýl /Děvočka i krokodil/ – kniha)

Second Unit Photography

Oldřich Hubáček

Camera Operator

Jiří Pospíšil

Production Designer

Leoš Karen

Set Designer

Ladislav Krbec, Miloš Osvald, Jiří Rulík

Production Manager

Jaroslav Kučera

Unit Production Manager

Hubert Novotný, Zdeňka Černá

Unit Production Manager

Milada Krůtová

Cooperation

Pavla Marková, Leopold Zeman

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Nej, nej, nej

Songwriter

Zdeněk Marat (Nej, nej, nej)

Writer of Lyrics

Miroslav Zikán (Nej, nej, nej), Jindřich Zpěvák (Nej, nej, nej)

Singer

Pavlína Filipovská (Nej, nej, nej), Josef Zíma (Nej, nej, nej)

Production info

Original Title

Káťa a krokodýl

English Title

Kate and the Crocodile

Copyright

1965

Production Year

1965

Premiere

11.04.1966

Distribution

Ústřední půjčovna filmů (původní 1966 a obnovená 1982)

Creative Group

Švabík – Procházka, Jan Procházka, Erich Švabík

Technical info

Format

Betacam

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 4. mezinárodní festival filmů pro děti Gijón

1966
Gijón / Spain