Nobody Gets the Last Laugh

tragicomedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Nikdo se nebude smát

Runtime

92

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1965

Production year

1965

Premiere

04.02.1966

Language version

Czech

Director

Hynek Bočan

Screenplay

Hynek Bočan, Pavel Juráček

Summary

After directing one of the stories in the film Hlídač dynamitu (The Dynamite Watcher, 1963), director Hynek Bočan made his feature film debut with Nikdo se nebude smát (Nobody Gets the Last Laugh), inspired by a tale from Milan Kundera’s short stories collection Směšné lásky (Laughable Loves). Art historian and assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Karel Klíma gets himself into trouble when he loses a paper on the painter Mikoláš Aleš, written by an aspiring but hopeless scholar. The telling of a small lie results in the manic author of the worthless text getting on a war footing with Klíma, which wreaks havoc in the latter's professional and personal life... This sarcastic story of the minor transgressions of a scholar grown lazy offers a bizarre, merciless criticism of a society based on hypocrisy and envy. Bočan, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Pavel Juráček, cast Jan Kačer as the protagonist of his unusually mature debut.

Synopsis

It is a winter day. Very young, pretty Klára has moved to the attic apartment of thirty-year old Klíma, working as an Evaluative Assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts. Klíma, who doubted their relationship, is soon reconciled with the girl's presence. Klára works as seamstress but longs for the career of a model, and Klíma promises to put in a word for her. The girl reads aloud a letter in which a Záturecký asks Klíma for his professional evaluation of his treatise on the 19th-century Czech painter Mikoláš Aleš, mailed to Klíma some time ago. Klíma cannot find the manuscript, and thus sends Záturecký only an evasive response, totally unaware of the consequences. Záturecký begins to pursue him systematically and obstinately demands a lector's evaluation. Klíma eventually finds the work and finds out that it is solely a compilation of various other treatises, lacking any single bit of scientific value. He does not feel like writing the evaluation and begins to hide from Záturecký. The little hard-headed man who devoted several years to his "scientific research" pursues Klíma both at the faculty and at home. Klíma mistakenly thinks he will get rid of him by accusing him of molesting Klára. Záturecký does not hesitate to involve his wife in the pursuit. A meeting of the house tenants is organized, condemning Klíma's immoral life – he, indeed, lives an unmarried life with a woman! At the faculty, Klíma faces the threat of losing his job. No one believes him that the treatise on Aleš is so poor, just the contrary; the colleagues suggest that Klíma wants to have his revenge. Eventually, the young scientist is left even by Klára.

Note

In the story, Klíma once introduces Klára by the surname Novotná, another time as Pokorná. Also in the scene which takes place in the flat of Klára´s father, the father´s diploma hanging on the wall gives the name František Novotný but Klíma in turn addresses him as Pokorný and in the same way talks about his daughter as Pokorná. In the story on which the film is based, moreover, Klára does not even have a surname.

Film online

Cast

Jan Kačer

PhDr. Karel Klíma, odborný asistent AVU

Štěpánka Řeháková

Klára Novotná

Josef Chvalina

Josef Záturecký

Hana Kreihanslová

Záturecká

Jaromír Spal

předseda uličního výboru

Zdeněk Hodr

profesor Vrána, proděkan AVU

Libuše Havelková

sekretářka Mařenka

Bohumil Vávra

domovník Labský

Radoslav Brzobohatý

akademický malíř Jiří Hora

František Krahulík

docent Gála

Ludmila Píchová

sousedka Šefránková

Jan Libíček

hostinský

Alena Frimlová

mlékařka

Václav Kyzlink

trafikant

Jan Cmíral

Vondra, soused opravující auto

Jiří Menzel

student Vladimír Goldman

Luděk Pilc

elegantní důchodce

Věra Uzelacová

blondýnka na schůzi

Adolf Minský

starý manžel

Vlasta Jelínková

stará manželka

Emil Rohan

Klářin otec

Dagmar Zikánová

prodavačka z galerie

Karel Svoboda

vedoucí krejčovny

Bohumil Uher

kluk s brýlemi

Jiří Stránský

Kanaďan

Josef Koza

listonoš

Ivan Dominák

hudebník

Luděk Hulan

hudebník

Stanislav Litera

pedagog AVU

Luďa Marešová

servírka

Eduard Pergner

muž v klubu

Hana Pastejříková

sekretářka Svazu výtvarných umělců

Crew and creators

Director

Hynek Bočan

Second Unit Director

Jiří Stránský

Assistant Director

Milan Muchna, Jana Rozbrojová

Based on

Milan Kundera (Nikdo se nebude smát – povídka ze sbírky Směšné lásky)

Shooting Script

Hynek Bočan

Script Editor

Ivan Urban

Second Unit Photography

Karel Hejsek

Camera Operator

Vratislav Damborský

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Set Designer

Josef Calta, Ludmila Sovová, Miloš Sršeň

Costume Designer

Ester Krumbachová

Film Editor

Zdeněk Stehlík

Sound Designer

František Černý

Production Manager

Jaroslav Kučera

Unit Production Manager

Pavel Krůta, Hubert Novotný

Cooperation

Jiřina Brandejsová, Miloslava Vojnová, Bohumil Nový

Music

Music Composed by

Wiliam Bukový

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Nikdo se nebude smát

English Title

Nobody Gets the Last Laugh

Working Title

Nikdo se smát nebude

Copyright

1965

Production Year

1965

Premiere

04.02.1966

Creative Group

Švabík – Procházka, Jan Procházka, Erich Švabík

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Exhibition: 12. západoněmecké dny krátkého filmu Oberhausen

1966
Oberhausen / Federal Republic of Germany

Vítěz

Festival: 14. mezinárodní filmový týden Mannheim

1965
Mannheim / Federal Republic of Germany