Bed Time Story

comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Pension pro svobodné pány

Runtime

89

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production year

1967

Premiere

26.04.1968

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Krejčík

Screenplay

Jiří Krejčík

Summary

The 1951 theatrical play Bedtime Story by Irish playwright Seán O’Casey inspired Czech director Jiří Krejčík to such a degree that after adapting the project for the small screen in 1965 he then brought it to the stage in Prague’s Činoherní klub. In 1967, yet another transformation was made; this time it was produced as a colour, widescreen, feature film, which to some degree compensated for the theatrical nature of the material. While Pension pro svobodné pány (Bed Time Story) is a situational farce, it also has much in common with the concept of the dramatic unity of time and place. It takes place during a single night in a London lodging house run by the old maid Mossie, whose strict rules ban lodgers from entertaining female guests. Despite Mossie’s eagle-eyed oversight, Bernard Mulligan manages to sneak a woman, Anděla, into his room. A whirlwind of comic dialogue and situations ensue between the lovers. Mulligan’s aim is to get Anděla out of his room before his roommate Halibut returns from the ball. But the exasperated, and later vengeful, Anděla wants to make the most out of the situation for herself – which, given Mulligan’s fears of being found out by the strict landlady, goes rather well (including the painful handing over of a twenty-pound cheque, and a jewel-encrusted ring as compensation)… This adeptly staged comedy remains boldly conservative, only slightly departing from its original theatrical form (thanks to cinematographer Rudolf Milič, even the location of the “London” suburbs, found by Krejčík in Prague’s Liboc, are reliably drawn from a mere vivified backdrop). Well-crafted dialogue and countless comical situations enable the two main stars, namely Josef Abrhám and Iva Janžurová, to display their comedic talents to the full. A number of actors in smaller roles also hit the mark – Věra Ferbasová, as the maid Mossie, and Jiří Hrzán as Halibut (a last-minute replacement for actor Vladimír Pucholt). Despite outwardly appearing to be little more than a light-hearted romp, Pension pro svobodné pány (Bed Time Story) finds strong solidarity with Czech cinema through the character of the bored and terrified Mulligan – a pitiful and willing victim of female domination, against which he tries to rebel in an infantile manner. The film shines for its allegorical reflection on the behind-the-scenes absurdity of bureaucratic institutions, and hypocritical social rules, which, with the advent of a full moon, even Halibut and Mossie eventually break too.

Synopsis

Visits by women are strictly prohibited in Ms Mossie's English pension for bachelors. Nevertheless, some of the younger tenants cannot resist the temptation and sometimes try to sneak a young lady to their room. The landlady, however, stands guard all night in the lodge, which becomes fatal to O'Brien - he is caught, the lady thrown out, and he himself receives immediate notice. Bernard Mulligan, however, is better off, managing to get his Anděla both to his room and to his bed. But morning is coming and Halibut, Mulligan's roommate, is soon to return home from a ball. Mulligan does his best to wake the girl up and get her out. The sleepy Anděla, however, instantly grasps that all her lover's tenderness is gone, and begins to torture him maliciously. She wishes the increasingly desperate man to put on the heating and make her breakfast, subsequently wheedles his picture out of him and suggests she might be pregnant. Then she finally gets dressed and even succeeds in extracting a diamond ring from the guy. Halibut returns and Anděla hides in the closet. Although the roommate is drunk as a dog, he still notices Mulligan's puzzled behaviour. Anděla smokes in the closet and burns Halibut's coat through. Then the crafty girl strips Mulligan of his cash, coat and twenty-pound check and eventually runs away through the window since the room is, luckily, on the ground floor. Halibut, trying to help his roommate, calls a psychiatrist for Mulligan, himself setting off to the roof in a somnambulist trance with the equally affected Ms Mossie.

Film online

Cast

Josef Abrhám

Bernard Mulligan zvaný Bertík

Jiří Hrzán

Halibut, Mulliganův spolubydlící

Věra Ferbasová

slečna Mossieová, majitelka pensionu

Naďa Urbánková

O'Brienova dáma

Jiří Hálek

muž na ulici/psychiatr

Josef Hlinomaz

policista

Soňa Zborníková

slečna

Gustav Oplustil

muž na chodbě

František Dráb

taxikář

Karel Hovorka

ošetřovatel

Ladislav Mrnka

ošetřovatel

František Závěta

ošetřovatel

Irena Šubrtová

jeptiška

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Věra Ženíšková

Assistant Director

Hana Kozlová

Based on

Seán O’Casey (Bedtime Story – divadelní hra)

Shooting Script

Jiří Krejčík

Second Unit Photography

Rudolf Milič ml.

Camera Operator

Jiří Zavřel

Production Designer

Jaroslav Krška

Art Director

Ester Krumbachová

Set Designer

Dvořák Josef (výprava), Richard Staněk

Costume Designer

Ester Krumbachová

Sound Designer

Dobroslav Šrámek

Production Manager

František Milič

Unit Production Manager

Karel Hyka, Václav Havlík

Unit Production Manager

František Nedvěd

Music

Music Composed by

Evžen Illín

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Do očí tvých černobrvých, Všechno je mi fuk

Songwriter

Johann Strauss ml. (Do očí tvých černobrvých)

Singer

Jiří Hrzán (Do očí tvých černobrvých), Josef Abrhám (Do očí tvých černobrvých), Iva Janžurová (Do očí tvých černobrvých), Iva Janžurová (Všechno je mi fuk)

Production info

Original Title

Pension pro svobodné pány

English Title

Bed Time Story

Copyright

1967

Production Year

1967

Premiere

26.04.1968

Creative Group

Feix – Brož, Miloš Brož, Karel Feix

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Múzy pražských diváků

1969
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Iva Janžurová

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
Rudolf Milič st.

Vítěz

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

1968
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Krejčík