How I Stole a Million

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production year

1966—1967

Premiere

29 September 1967

Runtime

90 min

Category

film

Genre

comedy

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Jak se krade milión

Czech title

Jak se krade milión

English title

How I Stole a Million

Working title

Jak jsem ukrad milión

Summary

The morality tale Jak se krade milión (How I Stole a Million, 1967) is about an orderly, upright citizen who is unable to withstand the vagaries of fate. This light comedy, one of the lesser known films by experienced director Jaroslav Balík, arose from the script of Jan Otčenášek, who also worked with the director on the war drama Reportáž psaná na oprátce (Report from the Gallows, 1961) and the drama Stín létajícího ptáčka (Shadow of a Flying Bird, 1977). The story concerns the poorly paid but conscientious accountant Šafránek, who one day finds that nine hundred crowns has unexpectedly fallen into his lap. His efforts to return the money are in vain. Opportunity eventually turns the tireless man of honour into a thief who begins to take advantage of the lack of controls in the accounts office. Šafránek then unsuccessfully tries to pull back from the larcenous role that fate has handed him. This gentle film criticising the theft of socialist property exceeds expectations thanks to an outstanding performance from Rudolf Hrušínský in the lead role.

Synopsis

The exemplary accountant Antonín Šafránek lives his orderly life as a citizen of a small town. His wife Eliška brings up their three children and desperately tries to get by on her husband's low salary every month. At the same time, she sadly watches the luxurious life of their neighbour Lejsek and other people like him who have no qualms about improving their standard of living by cheating. One day, the infallible Šafránek makes a mistake in the cash clearance and there are nine one-hundred Crown bills left in the safe. An unexpected company control carried out the next day passes without problems and the account is closed. The surprised accountant cannot return the money. The fair man is worried by the situation but eventually hands the money over to his wife, claiming them to be a bonus to his salary. The temptation is too strong. The insufficient control enables Šafránek to gradually steal one million Crowns. He has many problems to hide the banknotes at home and, under the pretext of a lottery winnings, buys innumerable gifts for the family. Most of the money, however, is still left. Šafránek makes up the death of an uncle whom he had not seen for years and from whom he may inherit some property, and leaves for Prague. There he, unexpectedly, finances a wild party for a group of tarts and parasites. The accountant returns home but soon afterwords, both his night friends and his alive uncle arrive at the town. The ministerial audit which he had anonymously set against himself, however, does not reveal anything. The superior to whom he had confessed talks him into concealing the whole thing. Šafránek climbs up to the church tower and throws the banknotes down to the square among his fellow-citizens.

Cast

Rudolf Hrušínský

účetní Antonín Šafránek

Slávka Budínová

Eliška, Šafránkova žena

Ivan Vyskočil

opravář Toník, starší syn Šafránkových

Jitka Zelenohorská

Eva, dcera Šafránkových

Josef Herčík

Pavlík, mladší syn Šafránkových

Čestmír Řanda

Farda, Šafránkův nadřízený

Svatopluk Beneš

kulturní referent Mareš

Libuše Švormová

lehká dívka Yvona

Josef Větrovec

účetní Pilc, Šafránkův kolega

Svatopluk Skládal

vedoucí samoobsluhy Lejsek

Jarmila Kolářová

sekretářka Vlasta Žaloudková

Jan Kotva

Mirek, Evin přítel

Ivana Herglotzová

Kamila

Daniela Lamplová

Zita

Vítězslav Dlouhý

Saša

Ilona Holmanová

Monika

Olga Bušková

nevěsta

Jindřich Narenta

vedoucí kontrolní komise

Gustav Heverle

člen komise

Jan Diviš

člen komise

Oldřich Velen

člen komise

Milan Jariš

člen komise

František Hruška

člen komise

Vladimír Linka

člen komise

František Miška

Pokorný, číšník v Est baru

Marta Kubišová

zpěvačka Ester

Josef Laufer

zpěvák v Lucerně

Václav Bouška

úředník

Jiří Hartman

nadřízený

Ladislav Hanuš

nadřízený

Ivo Niederle

příslušník VB

Viktor Maurer

prodavač v klenotnictví

Ivana Kudlová

prodavačka v klenotnictví

Vladimír Horka

kluk-družba

Josef Vytasil

kluk-družba

Josef Koníček

člen veselé společnosti

Allan Laufer

člen společnosti

Karel Kryška

člen společnosti

Gino Hašler

člen společnosti

Josef Koníček

člen společnosti

Drahuše Hodrová

členka společnosti

Jiří Růžička st.

člen společnosti

Helena Růžičková

členka společnosti

Olga Světelská

členka společnosti

Marta Richterová

členka společnosti

Mil. Voldová

členka společnosti

Vladimír Huber

číšník

Miroslav Neoveský

televizní hlasatel

Ivo Vrzal

mladík u muzea

Jan Malát (2)

ministrant

skupina Apollobeat

hudebníci v Est baru

skupina Olympic

hudebníci v Trilobit baru

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jiří Hartman

Assistant Director

Marta Křesinová, Dagmar Nováková

Shooting Script

Jaroslav Balík

Director of Photography

Josef Hanuš

Second Unit Photography

Ladislav Chroust, Josef Pechar

Production Designer

Bohuslav Kulič

Assistent Production Designer

Věra Líznerová

Set Designer

Vladimír Ježek, Karel Kracík, Ladislav Winkelhöfer

Costume Designer

Zdena Kadrnožková

Assistant Film Editor

Eva Horázná

Sound Designer

Roman Hloch

Production Manager

František Sandr

Unit Production Manager

Věra Winkelhöferová, Blažej Vráb

Unit Production Manager

Zora Rumlová

Cooperation

Ivana Nevolová (klapka), Jan Kuděla (fotograf)

Music

Music Composed by

Karel Mareš

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Štěpán Koníček), skupina Olympic, skupina Apollobeat

Choreographer

Josef Koníček

Songs

Měsíc

Songwriter Karel Mareš
Writer of Lyrics Eva Jarošová
Singer Yvonne Přenosilová

Čekám

Songwriter Karel Mareš
Writer of Lyrics Pavel Kopta
Singer Marta Kubišová

Začínat stále znova

Songwriter Karel Mareš
Writer of Lyrics Pavel Kopta
Singer Josef Laufer

Kdo vynalez'

Songwriter Karel Mareš
Writer of Lyrics Pavel Kopta
Singer Marta Kubišová

Fůra chyb

Songwriter Karel Mareš
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Štaidl
Singer Miki Volek

Oliver Twist

Songwriter Karel Mareš

Ain't She Sweet

Songwriter Milton Ager

Production info

Original Title

Jak se krade milión

Czech Title

Jak se krade milión

English Title

How I Stole a Million

Working Title

Jak jsem ukrad milión

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

comedy

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production Year

1966—1967

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 22 April 1966
technical Screenplay approved 13 July 1966
start of filming 16 August 1966
end of filming 17 February 1967
projection approval 13 June 1967

Premiere

premiere 22 September 1967 /unsuitable for youths/ (kina Hvězda /2 týdny/, Odboj /1 týden/, Varšava /1 týden/ a Orlík /1 týden od 6. 10./, Praha)
premiere 29 September 1967 /unsuitable for youths/ (celostátní)

Studio

Barrandov

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Šmída – Fikar, Ladislav Fikar (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Bohumil Šmída (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

90 min

Original length in metres

2 559 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