The End of the Agent W4C

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production year

1966—1967

Premiere

6 October 1967

Runtime

86 min

Category

film

Genre

parody, spy

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Konec agenta W4C prostřednictvím psa pana Foustky

Czech title

Konec agenta W4C prostřednictvím psa pana Foustky

English title

The End of the Agent W4C

Working title

Konec agenta W4C

Summary

Václav Vorlíček’s Konec agenta W4C prostřednictvím psa pana Foustky (The End of Agent W4C), a James Bond-style parody of films about indestructible secret agents, is a rarity in Czechoslovak cinematography. The most bizarre aspect of the 1967 film is that viewers behind the Iron Curtain had no opportunity to see any Bond movies at that time, as censors regarded them as an example of reviled Western popular culture. However, cooperation between Vorlíček and playwright Oldřich Daněk resulted in a screenplay in which characters and tropes from the decadent “capitalist” genre come face to face with the small Czech reality. The focus of this encounter – as seen in numerous other parodies and comedies over the decades – is a regular Czech guy, Foustka, an unassuming, naive and good-natured accountant who owns a little dog named Pajda. Foustka sparks a situation in which secret service officers from around the world battle to obtain a secret military plan to make use of Venus hidden in an ordinary salt cellar. The most important of them is Cyril Juan Borguette (an utterly elegant Jan Kačer), the world’s greatest spy, codenamed agent W4C. The absurdly conceived picture packed with verbal and situational humour still has a fresh feel today, despite the fact that Daněk, who penned the story and co-wrote the screenplay, did not provide Vorlíček with material of the quality of his favoured writer Miloš Macourek, with whom the director had worked a year previously on the successful comedy Kdo chce zabít Jessii? (Who Wants to Kill Jessie?). The detachment of Foustka, as portrayed with inimitable humanity by Jiří Sovák, allows him to come out on top in the cold world of hard-bitten, merciless spies and femme fatales (personified by the sensuous Alice, played by Květa Fialová).

Synopsis

The invincible agent Cyril Juan Borguette alias W4C has been assigned a mission to go to a certain hotel in an "unknown city" - Prague, get hold of a saltcellar with a plan for the military exploitation of Venus hidden in it, and hand it over to the beautiful agent Alice. He will have to compete for the saltcellar with other agents working for the world's various greater and smaller powers. The head of a counter-intelligence unit in the "unknown city" gets news of agent W4C's mission. Deficient in personnel, he nominates accountant Foustka as agent 13B. Mr Foustka takes his dog Pajda with him and the two head for the airport. Pajda helps him track down agent W4C in a classy hotel that becomes the battleground for the interests and plans of the secret agents from different countries, each trying to get hold of the precious saltcellar. The accountant joins this high-stakes game. He saves the beautiful agent Alice from drowning in the swimming pool, wins a swimming race and finally also finds the saltcellar, the secret of which is worth one billion Czechoslovak crowns. Alice and the agent W4C win nothing at all. Alice ends up all alone because when a special alarm clock explodes, shoes are all that remains of the great agent. Mr Foustka is not pleased either. He has dreamt of becoming the head accountant but is instead promoted to number one agent.

Film online

Cast

Jan Kačer

agent W4C Cyril Juan Borguette

Květa Fialová

agentka Alice Robertsová

Jiří Sovák

účetní Josef Foustka

Jiří Pleskot

šéf agentury nejmenované podmocnosti

Jiří Lír

agent Stern

Jaroslav Kepka

agent s plamenometem

Václav Kotva

agent v krbu

Otto Šimánek

zbrojíř du Jardin

Antonín Šůra

reportér/francouzský policista

Věra Bauerová

recepční

Jan Cmíral

pořadatel

Jaroslav Heyduk

agent ve světlíku

Hana Talpová

barmanka, agentka G 15

Luďa Marešová

dáma v baru

Petr Čepek

ekvádorský plavec

Valtr Taub

velký šéf

Miloš Vavruška

snědý muž s kinžálem

Antonín Pražák

řidič na letišti

Karel Bezděk

příslušník VB

Oldřich Hoblík

příslušník VB

Jiří Sedlmayer

příslušník VB

Vladimír Hora

hudebník

Viktor Klinger

hudebník

Karel Kos

hudebník

Čestmír Preclík

hudebník

Jana Weberová

dívka

Dana Reimová

sekretářka

Zdeněk Skalický

vrchní na schodech

Isabella Tylínková

zpěvačka

Zuzana Talpová

slečna u baru

K. Hejl

dubl za Kačera

Dubbing

Vladimír Šmeral

hlas rezidentova nadřízeného

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jiří Mikeťuk

Screenstory

Oldřich Daněk

Shooting Script

Václav Vorlíček

Script Editor

Alexandr Kliment

Director of Photography

František Uldrich

Second Unit Photography

Jiří Macák

Camera Operator

Petr Pešek

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Set Designer

Jiří Cvrček, Jiří Drégr, Oldřich Halaza

Costume Designer

Soňa Vorlíčková

Sound Designer

František Fabián

Production Manager

Věra Kadlecová

Unit Production Manager

Miroslav Dousek, Václav Havlík

Unit Production Manager

Vladimír Tišer

Cooperation

Luďka Žáková, E. Husmannová, Bohumil Nový

Music

Music Composed by

Svatopluk Havelka

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín),

Songs

Konec agenta W4C

Songwriter Svatopluk Havelka
Writer of Lyrics Pavel Kopta
Singer Judita Čeřovská

Production info

Original Title

Konec agenta W4C prostřednictvím psa pana Foustky

Czech Title

Konec agenta W4C prostřednictvím psa pana Foustky

English Title

The End of the Agent W4C

Working Title

Konec agenta W4C

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

parody, spy

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production Year

1966—1967

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 23 August 1966
technical Screenplay approved 20 September 1966
start of filming 17 October 1966
end of filming 7 May 1967
projection approval 28 June 1967

Premiere

premiere 6 October 1967 /suitable for youths/
renewed premiere 11 December 1981 /suitable for youths/

Studio

Barrandov, Hostivař

Distribution

Ústřední půjčovna filmů (původní 1967 a obnovená 1981)

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Novotný – Kubala, Bedřich Kubala (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Ladislav Novotný (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

86 min

Original length in metres

2 440 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,66, 1:2,35

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

stereo

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech