The Finnish Knife

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1965

Production year

1964—1965

Premiere

23 July 1965

Runtime

72 min

Category

film

Genre

psychological

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Finský nůž

Czech title

Finský nůž

English title

The Finnish Knife

Summary

Director Zdeněk Sirový made his most important contribution to the Czechoslovak New Wave with the film Smuteční slavnost (Funeral Ceremonies, 1969). As a result, one of his earlier achievements, the intimate psychological drama Finský nůž (The Finnish Knife, 1965), has been somewhat overlooked. The main protagonists are two young men who have become convinced that they have killed someone in a fight that they unfortunately might have provoked. Twenty-year-old Tonda (Karel Meister) and seventeen-year-old Honza (Jaromír Hanzlík) flee from justice even before their guilt for the death has been determined. They make it to Poland but the tension between them mounts and after their return home they part ways... Besides the spectacular chiaroscuro in the camera work of Jan Čuřík, this intimate film offers a convincing testimony of a period wherein young people leading externally untroubled, purposeful lives were typically beset by deep internal fears and uncertainties about their place in life.

Synopsis

Twenty-year old Tonda and seventeen-year old Honza follow a man and girl leaving a café and then spy on them and with bated breath watch their love-making in the park. The man notices the boys and, furious, gets into a fight with them. In the end, he pulls out a sharp Finnish knife. Honza gets hold of the knife and stabs the man. The two boys think they have killed the man and decide to flee justice by escaping across the border. Prague becomes their first destination, then Poland, and after that... Honza dislike the runaway life and misses home. He contemplates confessing; after all, he is still underage and the punishment would not necessarily be too severe. Tonda has already been up for trial once and refuses to go back. He does everything to make sure that Honza does not betray him, but Honza slips away anyway. Tonda goes looking for him in their home town. When he arrives, he finds out that the man they thought dead is alive. The two boys are relieved but Honza leaves Tonda anyway - they no longer have anything in common.

Film online

Cast

Karel Engel

muž v saku

Jan Schánilec

tančící mladík

Jan Kotva

mladík v kavárně

Adolf Kohuth

mladík v kavárně

Miroslav Rataj

mladík v kavárně

Mahulena Kulendíková

tančící dívka

Jaroslav Mařan

muž s aktovkou

Jaroslav Cafourek

prodavač

Sáša Neuman

Táňa Berglová

Bohumil Heller

Karel Slíva

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Bohumil Kouba

Script Supervisor

Anna Lackovičová

Director of Photography

Jan Čuřík

Second Unit Photography

Josef Pávek

Camera Operator

Karel Ludvík

Production Designer

Luděk Škuta

Set Designer

Oldřich Halaza, Jaroslav Ciboch, František Zajíček

Costume Designer

Růžena Adamcová

Film Editor

Jan Chaloupek

Assistant Film Editor

Jana Suková

Sound Designer

Adolf Nacházel, Bohumír Brunclík (zvukové efekty)

Production Manager

Jiří Bečka

Unit Production Manager

Olga Mimrová, Josef Hudlička

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslava Hypiusová

Cooperation

Jitka Hůlková (klapka)

Music

Music Composed by

Wiliam Bukový

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Štěpán Koníček), Studiová skupina Karla Duby

Songs

Jak vypadá čas

Songwriter Wiliam Bukový
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Sobotka
Singer Eva Pilarová

Hvězdy ve Splitu nad mořem (Daleko me moj Split)

Production info

Original Title

Finský nůž

Czech Title

Finský nůž

English Title

The Finnish Knife

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1965

Production Year

1964—1965

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 22 June 1964
technical Screenplay approved 7 September 1964
start of filming 1 October 1964
end of filming 9 February 1965
projection approval 31 March 1965

Premiere

premiere 16 July 1965 /unsuitable for youths/ (kino Paříž /2 týdny/, Praha)
premiere 23 July 1965 /unsuitable for youths/ (celostátní)
renewed premiere 1 September 1990 /recommended for 12 and over/

Studio

Barrandov

Distribution

Ústřední půjčovna filmů (původní 1965 a obnovená 1990)

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Šebor – Bor, Vladimír Bor (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Jiří Šebor (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

72 min

Original length in metres

2 063 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