The Unfortunate Bridegroom

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production year

1966—1967

Premiere

30 June 1967

Runtime

93 min

Category

film

Genre

comedy

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Svatba jako řemen

Czech title

Svatba jako řemen

English title

The Unfortunate Bridegroom

Summary

Actor Vladimír Pucholt gained note for performances in movies such as První den mého syna, (Chance Meeting, 1964), Starci na chmelu (Hop-Pickers, 1964) and Lásky jedné plavovlásky (Loves of a Blonde, 1965). However, it was Svatba jako řemen (The Unfortunate Bridegroom, 1967) that would turn out to be the actor’s final Czechoslovak film before he went into exile. In this tragicomedy from experienced director Jiří Krejčík, Pucholt plays an awkward but industrious member of the police (VB). The director’s previous work, stylish comedy Pension pro svobodné pány (Bed Time Story, 1967), was also based on a story and script by Zdeňek Mahler. Celebrated as one of the most popular 1960s Czechoslovak films, The Unfortunate Bridegroom is set in a small town during a single day. An exuberant nature, coupled with two vodkas, sees store girl Hanička end up in the company of three men one evening. The next morning, she reports to the police that she has been raped. The police promptly arrest the trio. One of them, a young man, is set to be married that very morning. And he has no recollections of what happened the night before. Following a detailed reconstruction, along with the intervention of the alleged victim’s mother, it begins to appear that no rape actually occurred – and that, in fact, the yearning and calculating Hanička made up the incident... This comedy with a moral subtext offers viewers strong characters, albeit far from sympathetic ones. However, audiences can be somewhat won over by the believability of the on-screen characters, and be somewhat unsettled by the less-than-generous representations of the Czech character. While the seemingly virtuous Hanička tries to find a partner at almost all costs, and the police diligently try to make sense of the whole mess, the parents of the bridegroom-to-be set out to ensure the wedding takes place, in spite of their son's alleged crime. The film benefits from strong acting performances and an elegant take on human nature. The zeal of Pucholt’s freshman cop is mitigated by his older, more experienced colleague, played by iconic Czechoslovak New Wave “non-actor” Jan Vostrčil. Hanička is sensitively and playfully portrayed by Iva Janžurová. The role of the groom-to-be is performed by Jiří Hrzán, while Pavel Landovský turns in a commanding performance as the second of the accused trio.

Synopsis

One evening shop assistant Hanička meets three drunk young men at the station. She refuses their repeated invitations to join them for more drinks, even though one of the men appeals to her. After a while, however, even she gets tipsy because another suitor, a district party secretary, pours two vodkas into her lemonade during dinner. Then Hanička really does go off with the three young men. The next morning she goes to the police and complains that the men have raped her. The investigation is assigned to a young inexperienced policeman whose zeal has to be moderated by an older officer. In a short time the police arrest and identify all three men. One of them is a taxi driver, another an extravagant teddy-boy, and the third is a respectable young man who is supposed to be getting married in a few hours. The respectable young man doesn't even remember anything. The policemen give in to his pleas and let him go to his wedding, but with them escorting him. Despite all attempts to keep the whole matter from the wedding guests, everything comes out. The bride's mother succeeds in persuading Hanička to drop her accusation. From the whole account of the night in question it anyway looks as if no rape took place. The wedding can go ahead and Hanička is left once again waiting sadly for her train on the station.

Film online

Cast

Iva Janžurová

prodavačka Hanička

Vladimír Pucholt

rotný VB Stoklasa

Jan Vostrčil

podpraporčík VB, náčelník

Stella Zázvorková

matka nevěsty

Jiří Hrzán

ženich Venda

Alena Walterová

nevěsta Blaženka

Jan Schánilec

pásek Peckář

Jan Libíček

tajemník

Pavel Landovský

řidič Lojza

Ilja Prachař

major, Vendův strýc

Josef Hlinomaz

helikonista

Jiří Lír

vedoucí samoobsluhy

František Bohdal

manžel tety Růži

Václav Kotva

pokladník na nádraží

Ludmila Roubíková

zřízenkyně na nádraží

Lubomír Kostelka

fotoreportér

Ivana Karbanová

Máňa, dcera tety Růži

Karel Hovorka

tajemníkův kolega

Vladimír Hrabánek

muzikant Pepa

Alena Bradáčová

slečna

Pavla Pekárková

slečna

Ivana Herglotzová

slečna

Milada Ježková

matka s dítětem v náručí

Robert Marek

Dubbing Milan Mach
ředitel pojišťovny

Eva Řepíková

svatebčanka

Antonín Samler

číšník v nádražní restauraci

Alois Vachek

muž na korbě auta

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Věra Ženíšková

Assistant Director

Zeno Dostál, Milena Voborská

Screenstory

Zdeněk Mahler

Based on

Václav Fürst (Svatebčanem ze služební povinnosti – skutečný případ z časopisu Kriminalistický sborník, 1961, č. 10)

Shooting Script

Jiří Krejčík

Script Editor

Václav Šašek

Director of Photography

Josef Střecha

Second Unit Photography

Ivan Wurm

Camera Operator

Antonín Vojáček

Production Designer

Oldřich Okáč

Set Designer

František Jandus, Miloslav Dvořák, P. Mejsner

Sound Designer

Dobroslav Šrámek

Production Manager

František Milič

Unit Production Manager

Karel Hyka, Václav Havlík

Unit Production Manager

František Nedvěd

Consultant

kpt. Josef Houra, Václav Měřička

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Štěpán Koníček), Orchestr Karla Duby

Songs

Už mou milou do kostela vedou

Songwriter Fred RoseHy Heath
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Štaidl
Singer Karel Hála

Dej mi pár okovů

Songwriter Fred RoseHy Heath
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Štaidl
Singer Karel Hála

V Hodoníně za vojáčka mňa vzali

Songwriter lidová píseň
Writer of Lyrics lidová píseň
Singer Jiří HrzánPavel Landovskýsbor

Oči má sněhem zaváté

Songwriter Jiří Štaidl
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Suchý
Singer Iva Janžurová

Ej, od Buchlova

Singer Pavel Landovský

Taková to byla velká láska

Songwriter Jaromír Vomáčka
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Vitinger
Singer Yvetta Simonová

Živijó, živijó

Singer sbor

Za rok se vrátím

Songwriter Eduardo di Capua

Production info

Original Title

Svatba jako řemen

Czech Title

Svatba jako řemen

English Title

The Unfortunate Bridegroom

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

comedy

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production Year

1966—1967

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 11 November 1965
technical Screenplay approved 21 April 1966
start of filming 22 July 1966
end of filming 30 January 1967
projection approval 05/1967

Premiere

premiere 30 June 1967

Studio

Hostivař

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

93 min

Original length in metres

2 637 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

Event: Peněžitá odměna za film v rámci hodnocení produkce Filmového studia Barrandov v roce 1967

1968
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Zdeněk Mahler

Vítěz

Event: Ceny Trilobit 1967

1968
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Iva Janžurová

Vítěz

Event: Peněžitá odměna za film v rámci hodnocení produkce Filmového studia Barrandov v roce 1967

1968
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Krejčík