The Miraculous Brain Teaser

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production year

1967

Premiere

5 April 1968

Runtime

79 min

Category

film

Genre

children

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Zázračný hlavolam

Czech title

Zázračný hlavolam

English title

The Miraculous Brain Teaser

Summary

Documentary film maker Václav Táborský made just two fiction feature films: the family drama Útěk do větru (Taking Refuge in the Wind, 1965) and the modern fairytale Zázračný hlavolam (The Miraculous Brain Teaser, 1967). Both pictures contain documentary-style elements woven into the story. The main character in this film is young underdog Franta, who recovers a miraculous brain teaser that can fulfil any wish from a scrap metal collection container. The loser suddenly becomes the centre of attention among his friends. However, as soon as the adults learn of the brain teaser’s miraculous powers, they try to take hold of it for their own ends… Antonín Vomáčka plays Franta in the actor’s only film role (he would later become an accomplished television director). This largely forgotten film includes performances from a number of well-known actors, including Pavel Landovský as police lieutenant Venouš, and Luděk Sobota, then 24, who debuts in the role of a physics teacher.

Synopsis

Franta is an unlucky fellow, spoiling everything he lays his hands on. The gang of boys headed by dashing Jindřich thus refuses to respect him and accept him among themselves. One day, on the "salvage of scrap iron" Sunday in the little town, Franta discovers an interesting brain teaser on a heap of discarded iron. He offers it to the boys in exchange for riding an old motorcycle and to Helena for a handful of cherries, but everybody refuses him tauntingly. At home, however, Franta finds out that the brain teaser has the miraculous power to fulfil all his wishes. And thus, Franta begins to "make miracles". First only at home, later also at school and then throughout the little town. His schoolmates and Helena now fight for his favour. Jindřich and Béďa as well as the adults want to get hold of the brain teaser, the latter to use it for the "common good". But the children unite and manage to defend the teaser from the adults. Franta, with its help, organizes a grandiose revel with fireworks on the main square. Eventually, however, the adults indeed manage to seize the brain teaser, but break it for they do not know how to work with it. All the magic disappears at once and only the faithful Mářa remains with Franta. But when he leaves with her, he again finds a weird object. Who knows, it might well be magical, too...

Cast

Antonín Vomáčka

Franta

Zdeněk Jánský

Béďa

Josef Novotný (1)

Jindřich

Martina Podéšťová

Helena

Miroslava Untermüllerová

Mářa

Jan Vostrčil

předseda národního výboru Bohouš

Josef Koza

náčelník hasičů Hubert

Pavel Landovský

poručík VB Venouš

Vladimír Stach

ředitel školy

Helena Růžičková

cukrářka, Béďova matka

Lubomír Kostelka

cukrář, Béďův otec

František Vicena

Frantův otec

Eliška Kuchařová

Frantova matka

Jan Pohan

školník

Václav Trégl

Frantův děda

Luděk Sobota

učitel fyziky

Pavel Navara

příslušník SNB

Václav Kotva

závozník

Antonín Soukup

stařeček

Jiří Růžička

tlustý spolužák

Andrej Kvašňák

fotbalový reprezentant, on sám

J. Krameš

polykač ohně

MUDr. Jaroslav Bůžek

lékař

J. Půlpán

řidič dodávky

Ivan Hajniš

hudebník

Jaroslav Šedivý

hudebník

J. Jop

hudebník

J. Křtěn

hudebník

Pavel Pešta

hudebník

M. Pokoj

hudebník

K. Skerenčák

hudebník

Z. Burda

hudebník

J. Šindelářová

slečna

S. Urbanec

vrhač nožů

M. Urbancová

partnerka vrhače nožů

Vincenc Vávra

požárník

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jiří Růžička st.

Shooting Script

Václav Táborský

Director of Photography

Josef Střecha

Second Unit Photography

Miroslav Sinkule

Camera Operator

Vojtěch Kuthan

Production Designer

Leoš Karen

Assistent Production Designer

Leopold Zeman

Set Designer

B. Janáč, Karel Kytka, František Straka

Costume Designer

Zdena Kadrnožková

Film Editor

Antonín Zelenka

Assistant Film Editor

Eliška Willigová

Sound Designer

Josef Vlček

Production Manager

Ladislav Kalaš

Unit Production Manager

František Štěpánek, Adolf Široký

Unit Production Manager

Václav Polák

Cooperation

Pavla Marková (klapka), O. Malásková (fotograf)

Music

Music Composed by

Bohuslav Ondráček

Music Performed by

Orchestr Karla Krautgartnera (Music Conducted by Karel KrautgartnerJosef Vobruba)

Production info

Original Title

Zázračný hlavolam

Czech Title

Zázračný hlavolam

English Title

The Miraculous Brain Teaser

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

children

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production Year

1967

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 14 February 1967
technical Screenplay approved 24 April 1967
start of filming 20 June 1967
end of filming 19 September 1967
projection approval 19 December 1967

Premiere

premiere 5 April 1968 /suitable for youths/ (celostátní)
premiere 3 May 1968 /suitable for youths/ (kino Hvězda /1 týden/, Praha)

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Švabík – Procházka, Jan Procházka (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Erich Švabík (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

79 min

Original length in metres

2 236 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

Awards

Vítěz

Exhibition: 6. přehlídka československých filmů pro děti a mládež Gottwaldov

1968
Zlín / Czechoslovakia
Václav Táborský