The Seven Ravens

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production year

1966—1967

Premiere

3 November 1967

Runtime

95 min

Category

film

Genre

drama, psychological

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Sedm havranů

Czech title

Sedm havranů

English title

The Seven Ravens

Working title

Konfident / Nůž v zádech

Summary

Set amidst the gloomy backdrop of the Beskid mountains in November 1944, this dramatic story tells the tale of seven fugitives who team up with a group of partisans. During a sabotage operation – the destruction of a bridge – they discover a traitor in their midst. The men, who have differing motives for their resistance activities, engage in endless finger-pointing, while at the same time battling for their very lives against an advancing heavily armed German army division... Experienced director Vladimír Čech brings this somewhat recombined war film to life via a screenplay written by Jiří Křižan. In 1967, Křižan was just starting out as a screenwriter, and Sedm havranů (The Seven Ravens) offered him the opportunity to create a powerful, dramatic, wartime script, set in a beloved and iconic backdrop – namely the Beskids, part of the Carpathians. The lead roles in this film about the erosion of trust are given to lesser-known actors, who offer authentic and energetic performances.

Synopsis

November 1944. The Ostrava Gestapo order an informant Čermák to find and catch an escaped Russian prisoner who has been working in underground a factory on the production of a secret weapon. In the Beskids Mountains seven fugitives - seven ravens - meet in a half-burnt cottage. They include men who want to fight against the Germans, but also a Jew in hiding to avoid the transports, a black-marketeer and the young Russian Viktor. The energetic Lojza takes command, and with the help of the gamekeeper Jožin he re-establishes communication with a partisan brigade led by Jenda. At a joint action - the blowing up of a bridge, however, they are surprised by the Germans. Everyone believes that someone must have betrayed them. Their suspicions are confirmed by the gamekeeper, which finds a message for the Gestapo under a tree-stump. Victor senses that the others do not trust him, and playing cards he takes action, putting together samples of the handwriting of everyone in the group and setting off after the gamekeeper to compare them with the writing on the message. Before the men have time to talk, however, Viktor has to escape from the approaching villagers. After returning from a meeting with Vašek, one of the "ravens", the gamekeeper's daughter Zuzka finds her father murdered. Panic breaks out in the group. The men all suspect each other and no one trusts anyone. Tension rises and ends in shooting. Only Pavel, Vašek and Viktor remain alive. The message that he took from the gamekeeper falls out of Vašek's pocket. The men flee further into the mountains. One of them is a traitor.

Cast

Luděk Eliáš

řezník Robert

Jiří Bednář

student Zdeněk

Jiří Ostermann

židovský lékař Pavel

Mikuláš Ladižinský

hajný Jožin Bátrla

Jela Bučková

Zuzka, dcera hajného

Oto Ševčík

důstojník SS Fridrich

Ladislav Fišer

donašeč Čermák

Ladislav Knížátko

německý důstojník

Vlasta Kleinová

vesničanka, Zuzčina příbuzná

Miloš Willig

partyzánský velitel Jenda

Zuzana Šavrdová

sekretářka Bětuška

Oldřich Lukeš

vesničan na úřadě

Milena Geislerová

Lojzova žena

Miloš Vavruška

příslušník SS

Jaroslav Horký

příslušník SS

Milan Jonáš

příslušník SS

Štěpánka Ranošová

žena v okně

K. Přibylová

nevěsta

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Věra Ticháčková

Assistant Director

Josef Sandr

Script Supervisor

Lenka Němečková

Screenstory

Jiří Křižan

Director of Photography

Václav Huňka

Second Unit Photography

Emil Sirotek

Camera Operator

Emil Hora

Production Designer

Jaroslav Krška

Art Director

Bohuslav Kulič

Set Designer

Jaroslav Lehman, Ladislav Rada, Josef Pavlík

Film Editor

Antonín Zelenka

Sound Designer

Pavel Jelínek

Production Manager

Josef Ouzký

Unit Production Manager

Jan Šuster, Růžena Hulínská

Unit Production Manager

Boris Adamec

Consultant

pplk. Petr Sekanina

Cooperation

Jarmila Knížková (klapka)

Music

Music Composed by

Štěpán Lucký

Music Performed by

Jiří Reinberger /varhany/

Songs

Už mou milou do kostela vedou

Production info

Original Title

Sedm havranů

Czech Title

Sedm havranů

English Title

The Seven Ravens

Working Title

Konfident / Nůž v zádech

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama, psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production Year

1966—1967

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 14 September 1966
technical Screenplay approved 13 October 1966
start of filming 19 October 1966
end of filming 29 May 1967
projection approval 21 July 1967

Premiere

premiere 3 November 1967 /unsuitable for youths/ (kina 64 U Hradeb /1 týden/ a Praha /2 týdny od 10. 11./, Praha)
premiere 3 November 1967 /unsuitable for youths/ (celostátní)

Studio

Barrandov

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

95 min

Original length in metres

2 698 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,66, 1:2,35

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech