The Seven Ravens

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production year

1967

Premiere

3 November 1967

Runtime

95 min

Category

film

Genre

drama, psychological

Typology

featurelong

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

Josef Hajdučík

Rus Viktor

Luděk Eliáš

řezník Robert

Jiří Bednář

student Zdeněk

Jiří Ostermann

židovský lékař Pavel

Mikuláš Ladižinský

hajný Jožin Bátrla

Jela Bučková

Zuzka, dcera hajného

Zdeněk Kampf

starosta

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

Antonín Klimša

vesničan

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

Milan Šulc

lékař

K. Přibylová

nevěsta

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Věra Ticháčková

Assistant Director

Josef Sandr, Lenka Němečková

Screenstory

Jiří Křižan

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

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

English Title

The Seven Ravens

Working Title

Konfident / Nůž v zádech

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

drama, psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production Year

1967

Premiere

3 November 1967

Creative Group

Šebor – Bor, Vladimír Bor, Jiří Šebor

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

95 min

Versions

Czech