Sign of the Cancer

drama, crime, psychological

Typology

feature

Czech title

Znamení Raka

Runtime

87

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1966

Production year

1966

Premiere

05.05.1967

Language version

Czech

Director

Juraj Herz

Screenplay

Hana Bělohradská, Juraj Herz

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.

Cast

Zora Božinová

MUDr. Marie Nováková

Lubomír Černík

MUDr. Karel Petera

Josef Chvalina

MUDr. Diviš

Karla Chadimová

MUDr. Heleny Hošková

Josef Langmiler

asistent MUDr. Hahn

Eva Bezděková

Rychtaříková

Eduard Kohout

astrolog Hejna

Jan Vlček (2)

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

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

Václav Halama

trafikant

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

pacientka Rybičková

Richard Lederer

Řezáč

Blanka Beránková

pacientka

Marta Kosinová

pacientka

Marie Nedvědová

pacientka

Marta Tvrzová

pacientka

Marie Vacková

pacientka

Karel Hovorka

pacient

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

Luďa Marešová

asistentka

Dubbing

Alena Kreuzmannová

hlas MUDr. Novákové

Jiří Pleskot

hlas docenta

Jiří Sovák

hlas MUDr. Petery

Eva Klepáčová

hlas MUDr. Hoškové

Ota Motyčka

hlas sklerotika Zimy

Milena Dvorská

hlas zdravotní sestry Kotové

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

Second Unit Photography

Zdeněk Prchlík

Camera Operator

Vladimír Zajíc

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

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, Diana Heringová, Eva Lichtensteinová, Bohumil Nový

Music

Music Composed by

Svatopluk Havelka

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Bum, bum, bum

Songwriter

Ladislav Štaidl (Bum, bum, bum)

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Štaidl (Bum, bum, bum)

Singer

Karel Gott (Bum, bum, bum)

Production info

Original Title

Znamení Raka

English Title

Sign of the Cancer

Copyright

1966

Production Year

1966

Premiere

05.05.1967

Creative Group

Šmída – Fikar, Ladislav Fikar, Bohumil Šmída

Technical info

Format

35mm

Versions

Czech