The House of Lost Souls

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production year

1967

Premiere

20 October 1967

Runtime

83 min

Category

film

Genre

crime

Typology

featurelong

Original title

Dům ztracených duší

Czech title

Dům ztracených duší

English title

The House of Lost Souls

Summary

During the 1960s, Czechoslovak detective films were a rather rare sight. This atmospheric 1967 drama from director Jiří Hanibal was an exception to the rule. Pavel Hejcman, a writer of crime and adventure novels, co-wrote the script with Hanibal. This intimately conceived snapshot maintains a slow pace. But the gripping tale of the hunt for the murderer of an escaped psychiatric patient – and a former Nazi war criminal to boot – continues to electrify audiences to this day with its well-constructed story and ominous atmosphere. The film’s authentic feel is also achieved thanks to its mix of non-actors and professional performers (the renowned Jiří Adamíra takes the lead role as Detective Havel). The trail of the craven offenders leads us back to a wartime past, and to the theft of rare paintings. But the unveiling of one of the perpetrators comes with a surprising twist.

Synopsis

Escaped inmate of a mental home Franz Moose has been found shot dead in the forest. In the course of their investigation, District Commander Havel and Lieutenant Mareš slowly work their way through the complicated case. Havel learns from the employees' testimonies that Moose was facing trial for war crimes before he was finally sent to the hospital. There he shared his room with Kozdera, spent his time painting, and made several attempts to escape. Sometimes he was visited by a German citizen named Gebauer. Havel wants to interrogate Kozdera but the unfortunate patient gets killed before he can do so. After examining Moose's pictures, police are led to a spot in the forest, the Golden Meadow, where they discover valuable paintings, obviously hidden there by Moose. Havel and his colleagues manage to trace Ute, whose portrait they find in Moose's room. However, Ute has died long ago; her daughter Irena gives the investigators a photograph that also shows Werner, the male nurse from the hospital. It is now obvious that he was Moose's accomplice, and that he got rid of his unwanted partner in crime. When they return to the hospital, however, they find Werner poisoned by adrenaline. It seems that the case is closed but then there is a call from Mr Gebauer, requesting the inheritance left by Moose. He suggests a meeting at the Karlova Studánka spa. Havel lays a trap for the prospective Czech buyer of the paintings and the instigator of the crime. It is Alena Rýdlová, head of the hospital administration, who arrives at the meeting.

Note

During the shooting of the film, its theme was already treated byl Pavel Hejcman as a novel, published by the Svoboda Publishing House under the title House Behind the Rainbow Wall. It was concurrently also adapted and broadcasted on the Czechoslovak Radio.

Cast

Jiří Adamíra

kapitán SNB Havel

Miroslav Zounar

poručík SNB Mareš

Jana Štěpánková

úřednice Alena Rýdlová

Alexandra Myšková

sestra Filiberta vlastním jménem Anna Václavíková

Jiřina Jirásková

MUDr. Radka Dvořáková

Radoslav Brzobohatý

MUDr. Jan Kolář

Josef Bláha

primář MUDr. Holý

Jan Jánský

ošetřovatel Werner

Stanislav Litera

pacient Josef Kozdera zvaný Kazate

Karel Dellapina

správce garáží

Eva Kubešová

Marta Holá, primářova žena

Ota Sklenčka

policejní lékař

Vladimír Menšík

praporčík VB Skořepa

Milan Riehs

kunsthistorik

Jiří Cimický

pacient Beneš

Jiří Kostka

hajný Pešek

Jana Marková

Irena Schwarzová

Jiří Fuchs

pacient Beránek

Stanislava Bartošová

dívka z archivu

Eva Schneiderová

sestra Vaňková

Jan Kotva

Irenin přítel

Antonín Kryl

řidič

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Ota Koval

Assistant Director

Karel Kovář, Marta Kunstová

Screenstory

Pavel Hejcman

Shooting Script

Jiří Hanibal

Script Editor

Věra Kalábová

Second Unit Photography

Václav Helliman

Camera Operator

Bohumil Vodička

Production Designer

Milan Nejedlý

Set Designer

František Kacafírek, František Jandus, Karel Kočí, Jaroslava Vilímková

Costume Designer

Jan Kropáček

Film Editor

Zdeněk Stehlík

Sound Designer

Ladislav Hausdorf

Production Manager

Eliška Nejedlá

Unit Production Manager

Vladislav Špidra, Jiří Zika

Unit Production Manager

Ján Doman

Consultant

pplk. Josef Menoušek, doc. MUDr. Josef Prokůpek, MUDr. Zbyněk Souček

Cooperation

Elena Strupková, Marta Strangmüllerová, Miloslava Vojnová, Jiří Hlupý

Music

Music Composed by

Evžen Illín

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Dům ztracených duší

English Title

The House of Lost Souls

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

crime

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production Year

1967

Premiere

20 October 1967

Creative Group

Šebor – Bor, Vladimír Bor, Jiří Šebor

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

83 min

Versions

Czech