Sign of the Cancer

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1966

Production year

1966

Premiere

5 May 1967

Runtime

87 min

Director

Juraj Herz

Category

film

Genre

drama, crime, psychological

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Znamení Raka

Czech title

Znamení Raka

English title

Sign of the Cancer

Summary

In his first feature film, Juraj Herz established himself as an original auteur with a flair for refined style. In accord with Hana Bělohradská’s novel Poslední večeře (The Last Supper), he created a dark atmosphere filled with suspicion and despair around a criminal plot. Znamení Raka (1966) is set in the hospital where the crime will take place. In a consulting room, somebody will murder Dr. Hahn – and due to the physician’s reputation as a womaniser, the list of suspects grows… Herz filled the unusual setting with bizarre figures, among whom shines the character of the terminally ill Prokopa, as embodied by Iva Janžurová. Znamení Raka (Sign of the Cancer) faced a series of problems, as Herz was forced to change the post-synchronisation and to omit a series of sexually explicit scenes. Real-life physicians, outraged by the unqualified communist physician character (Ilja Prachř), also protested against the film.

Synopsis

The chief surgeon's round in a hospital begins in a men's hospital room where the most serious patients are Mr Kodýtek and old sclerotic Zima. In the women's room, it is twenty-two-year old Prokopa, suffering from lung cancer. Doctor Marie Nováková has an unpleasant discussion with her long-time friend, Doctor Hahn, who cheats upon her with young and pretty nurse Jiřina. After the quarrel, Hahn leaves for the inspection room and soon afterwards is found dead with a fountain pen lying next to his dead body. The criminologists come to the hospital. In the course of the investigation, the number of suspects gradually rises: Marie, Jiřina, Doctor Hošková, Zima, the Professor; each of them lied a little during the examination and each of them thus might be the murderer. During the night shift, Marie invites Prokopa to the inspection room for coffee. Prokopa is scared of death and Marie tries to encourage her with a merciful lie. Leafing through the clinical picture, she discovers an unfinished sentence written by Hahn's hand in ink. She immediately grasps that it was Prokopa who murdered the physician. At night, the unhappy, fatally ill patient commits suicide. The next morning, life in the hospital returns to the old track.

Film online

Cast

Zora Božinová

Dubbing Alena Kreuzmannová
MUDr. Marie Nováková

Lubomír Černík

Dubbing Jiří Sovák
MUDr. Karel Petera

Josef Chvalina

MUDr. Diviš

Karla Chadimová

Dubbing Eva Klepáčová
MUDr. Heleny Hošková

Josef Langmiler

asistent MUDr. Hahn

Eva Bezděková

Rychtaříková

Eduard Kohout

astrolog Hejna

Jan Vlček

Dubbing Ota Motyčka
sklerotik Josef Zima

Ivo Gübel

pacient Fabián

Iva Janžurová

pacientka Prokopa Vlčková

Míla Myslíková

pacientka Zemková

Lída Vostrčilová

pacientka Lisá

Alena Kreuzmannová

pacientka Svitáková

Věra Vlčková

Dubbing Milena Dvorská
zdravotní sestra Jiřina Kotová

Libuše Havelková

staniční sestra Božena

Věra Tichánková

sekretářka Loulová

Pavel Landovský

zřízenec Hyneček Háša

Václav Lohniský

vyšetřovatel SNB

Stanislav Zindulka

vyšetřovatel SNB

Zuzana Kočová

Zuzana, profesorova žena

František Peterka

Vlček, manžel Prokopy

Vladimír Hlavatý

pacient Hošek, otec Heleny

Ema Skálová

vrchní sestra

Zuzana Dubská

zdravotní sestra Sylva

Helena Růžičková

zdravotní sestra Anna

Eva Šedivcová

zdravotní sestra Eva

Růžena Vlčková

Dubbing Eva Svobodová
pacientka Rybičková

Blanka Beránková

pacientka

Marta Kosinová

pacientka

Marie Nedvědová

pacientka

Marta Tvrzová

pacientka

Marie Vacková

pacientka

Karel Hruška (3)

pacient

Zdeněk Mošnička

pacient

Rudolf Veselý

pacient

Oldřich Lepšík

Kodýtek

Daniela Koutná

Věra

Jaromíra Krásná

medička

Jindra Marešová

medička

Miloš Choutka

medik

L. Kratochvíl

medik

Eva Dubovská

lékařka

Václav Kácovský

strážmistr VB

Dimitrij Turčaninov

příslušník VB

Rudolf Žofka

civilní příslušník SNB

Jana Šircová

zdravotní sestra Diana

Vladimír Tvrz

sekundář

Václav Vodák

sekundář

Jan Diviš

asistent

Miroslav Nýdl

asistent

Saša Grossová

asistentka

Crew and creators

Director

Juraj Herz

Second Unit Director

Pavel Horák

Assistant Director

Miloslav Čech, Zdena Pavlátová

Based on

Hana Bělohradská (Poslední večeře – román)

Shooting Script

Juraj Herz, Bedřich Baťka

Director of Photography

Bedřich Baťka

Second Unit Photography

Zdeněk Prchlík

Camera Operator

Vladimír Zajíc

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Assistent Production Designer

Bohumil Nový

Set Designer

Bedřich Čermák, František Straka, Rudolf Žofka

Sound Designer

František Černý

Production Manager

Ladislav Hanuš

Unit Production Manager

Eva Hrubá, Jaromír Lukáš

Unit Production Manager

Jordan Balurov

Consultant

F. J. Müller, MUDr. Miroslav Plzák, mjr. Jaroslav Šturma

Cooperation

Jitka Přibylová (klapka)

Music

Music Composed by

Svatopluk Havelka

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín)

Songs

Bum, bum, bum

Songwriter Ladislav Štaidl
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Štaidl
Singer Karel Gott

Production info

Original Title

Znamení Raka

Czech Title

Znamení Raka

English Title

Sign of the Cancer

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama, crime, psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1966

Production Year

1966

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 15 April 1966
start of filming 1 July 1966
technical Screenplay approved 12 July 1966
end of filming 7 November 1966
projection approval 21 January 1967

Premiere

premiere 26 April 1967 /unsuitable for youths/ (kina Praha /½ týdne/, Metro /3 týdny od 12. 5./ a Pasáž /3 týdny od 12. 5./, Praha)
premiere 5 May 1967 /unsuitable for youths/ (celostátní)

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

87 min

Original length in metres

2 460 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