The Treasure of a Byzantine Merchant

detective, comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Poklad byzantského kupce

Runtime

94

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1966

Production year

1966

Premiere

27.01.1967

Language version

Czech

Director

Ivo Novák

Screenplay

Václav Erben, Zdeněk Podskalský, Ivo Novák

Summary

Popular detective story writer Václav Erben adapted two of his works for the big screen –Poklad byzantského kupce (The Treasure of a Byzantine Merchant, 1966), and Smrt talentovaného ševce (The Death of a Talented Shoemaker, 1982) – while a third, Čas pracuje pro vraha (Time Works for the Murderer, 1979), was adapted by another writer. Erben’s image of an ironic, smart, and elegant investigator was embodied by a different actor in each on-screen adaptation: Jiří Vala, František Němec and Jiří Kodet. While the 1979 film brings us the quick-witted Captain Marha, the other two movies feature the author’s favourite hero, namely Captain Exner. In director Ivo Novák’s Poklad byzantského kupce the detective is assisted by charming student Kamila in investigating a murder that has taken place in the outwardly calm environs of the archaeological world. Also mixed up in the case is a 9th-century treasure. In this witty tale, the role of Kamila is gracefully performed by Gabriela Vránová. A supporting cast of archaeologists is provided by Jiří Sovák, Vladimír Šmeral and Ilja Prachař.

Synopsis

Kamila Housková, a student at the School of Applied Arts in Prague working part-time at an engravers' cooperative, arrives at the main police station with important information. A customer has come to the engraving workshop where she works asking them to make a cast of an old coin. The problem is that the coin, as the girl was to find out, was originally part of the well-known treasure of a ninth-century Byzantine merchant, which was supposed to have been completely destroyed by fire during an air raid in the Second World War. The young criminologist Exner doesn't take the enthusiastic blonde too seriously but, since he quite fancies her, he finally offers to help her. Kamila is not only good-looking; she is also tremendously curious and decides to take part in the investigation despite Exner's attempt to forbid her. A woman's dead body is found at the site of a car accident. The body doesn't seem to belong to either of the participants in the collision. The body has fallen out of the boot of one of the cars. His investigation into the violent death of Holubová, an employee of the Institute of Archaeology at the Academy of Science, leads Exner to an archaeological site with the remains of a Neolithic settlement, and to some academics in Prague. There are four suspects in the case, and they have all had a close, mostly negative, relationship with the victim. A deeper bond develops between Kamila and Exner. His thorough investigation proves successful. The person who comes to the cemetery to pick up the treasure is the senior lecturer Mr Černý, the man responsible for Ms Holubová's death and her accomplice in the earlier larceny.

Film online

Cast

Jiří Vala

kapitán VB Michal Exner

Gabriela Vránová

studentka Kamila Housková

Jiří Sovák

archeolog dr. Soudek

Lubomír Lipský

redaktor Alfréd Hudec

Vladimír Šmeral

profesor Alinger, ředitel archeologického ústavu Akademie věd

Jan Libíček

vyšetřovatel Vlček

Václav Lohniský

vyšetřovatel Bohouš Beránek

Ilja Prachař

profesor archeologie docent Černý

Josef Kemr

Houska, otec Kamily

Zdeněk Řehoř

antropolog dr. Šedivka

Svatava Hubeňáková

Hudcova žena

Zdeněk Kutil

dozorčí poddůstojník

Václav Trégl

řídící Chlupáček

Petr Haničinec

řidič Fábera

Jaroslav Štercl

podpraporčík VB Kudela

Karel Hábl

svobodník Miroslav Martinec

Věra Bublíková

Jana Nolová

Josef Chvalina

policejní lékař

Vladimír Hrubý

příslušník VB Bártík

Zdeněk Procházka

příslušník VB Holík

Lubomír Kostelka

řidič Pobědy, účastník havárie

Jan Jílek

svědek Božislav Kácel

Zdeněk Hodr

správce zámku Jan Kareš

Milan Mach

vyšetřovatel Mádl

Jiří Bruder

nadporučík VB Hrabánek

Miloš Willig

major VB Vrabec

Lubomír Bryg

vrchní

Miroslav Bareš

velitel SNB

Dana Reimová

Jaroslava Holubová

Emil Strouhal

řidič služební Tatry 603

Zuzana Ondrouchová

Pavla, dcera docenta Černého

Viktor Maurer

číšník v zahradní restauraci

Jaroslav Válek

holohlavý příslušník VB

Ladislav Smoček

dr. Melíšek, odborník z muzea

Olga Navrátilová

laborantka

Jiří Polák (3)

Jeník

Jiří Sommer

řidič Pragy

Stanislav Sieber

řidič Pepík

Dubbing

Karel Hlušička

hlas dr. Melíška

Crew and creators

Director

Ivo Novák

Second Unit Director

Helena Rohanová

Assistant Director

Dagmar Zelenková, Jana Nováková (script)

Based on

Václav Erben (Poklad byzantského kupce – detektivní román)

Shooting Script

Ivo Novák

Second Unit Photography

Karel Dobřichovský

Camera Operator

Jiří Širc

Production Designer

Karel Škvor

Set Designer

František Kacafírek, Karel Kočí, Jaroslava Vilímková

Costume Designer

Theodor Pištěk ml.

Sound Designer

Jaromír Svoboda

Production Manager

Gustav Rohan

Unit Production Manager

Dana Dudová, Jan Syrový

Unit Production Manager

Milena Andrejsková

Consultant

František Pergl

Cooperation

Luďka Žáková, Eva Horázná, Štěpánka Stříbrná, Jan Kňákal

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Poklad byzantského kupce

English Title

The Treasure of a Byzantine Merchant

Copyright

1966

Production Year

1966

Premiere

27.01.1967

Creative Group

Feix – Brož, Miloš Brož, Karel Feix

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Odměna vedení Československého filmu za nejúspěšnější film roku 1966

1967
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Ivo Novák