Four in a Circle

crime, psychological

Typology

feature

Czech title

Čtyři v kruhu

Runtime

88

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1967

Production year

1967

Premiere

02.02.1968

Language version

Czech

Director

Miloš Makovec

Screenplay

Miloš Makovec

Screenstory

Miloš Makovec

Summary

Scriptwriter and director Miloš Makovec came close to the genre of a pure psychological crime picture with his Čtyři v kruhu (Four in a Circle), shot in 1967. The hero of the story, a retired lawyer, arrives at his house in the countryside, inhabited by his two nephews. The older one, scientist Karel, becomes the victim of a faked suicide contrived by his jealous, incompetent brother Michal. A curiosity of the film is the stylish work of cameraman Bedřich Baťka, who in the same year also cooperated on the visually exceptional historical drama of František Vláčil, Marketa Lazarová (Marketa Lazarová, 1967). Popular actor Jan Tříska offers a concentrated dramatic performance in the character of the frustrated, rebellious Michal.

Synopsis

The lawyer Emil Fencl has retired and returns from his countryside place of work to Prague, to his own villa inhabited by his nephews - Karel with his wife Jitka and the single Michal. On the train, he meets a pleasant criminologist named Kudrna. Michal, a not too successful motorcycle racer, picks up his uncle at the railway station. From their conversation it becomes obvious that he is very jealous of Karel, a successful scientist who is soon to leave for a congress in the United States. Upon their arrival at the villa, there is a tragedy. Pressing the doorbell causes a gas explosion and a subsequent fire. Karel is found dead in his study. It seems that he himself took his life. The investigator, Captain Kudrna, finds out that Karel had just discovered the new element luridium and had no reason to commit suicide. Despite this, all attempts to prove foul play fail. Jitka returns from a business trip and is broken-hearted by the news of her husband's death. Michal confesses to the investigators that his brother might have been hurt when he told him about his love for Jitka. Equipment for producing microfilms is found in the house safe. Although the case is seemingly solved, Emil and Jitka suspect Michal of murder and gradually, this is confirmed to them. The envious unsuccessful young man wanted to steal the documents about the invention from his brother and convert it into money. When caught by Karel, he intoxicated him and arranged the suicide. In the same way, he now tries to get rid of his sister-in-law and uncle. Then he leaves for the motorcycle races. But Emil reveals his plans and saves both himself and Jitka. When Michal spots both the witnesses and intended victims of another crime standing at the start of the race, he deliberately causes a motorcycle accident in which he dies.

Cast

Jan Tříska

motocyklový závodník Michal Fencl

Otomar Krejča

JUDr. Emil Fencl, Michalův strýc

Marie Tomášová

Jitka, Michalova švagrová

Věra Uzelacová

Lída, Michalova milenka

Karel Höger

kapitán SNB Kudrna

Zdeněk Hodr

dr. Karban, zástupce Karla Fencla

Mirko Musil

řidič Tatry 603

Oldřich Velen

praporčík VB

Stanislav Fišer

vyšetřovatel SNB Fišer

Kamil Blahovec

vyšetřovatel SNB

Jiří Zahajský

vyšetřovatel SNB

Jan Cmíral

popelář

Jaroslav Mareš

popelář

Bohumil Koška

popelář

Dagmar Kofroňová

listonoška

Miloš Makovec

policejní lékař

Stanislav Hájek

průvodčí ve vlaku

Pavel Navara

příslušník VB

Luďa Marešová

žena u vily

Anna Makovcová

žena u vily

Jiřina Bílá

žena u vily

Jan Diviš

muž u vily

Miloslav Šindler

muž u vily

Saša Grossová

žena v okně

Václav Volk

starší střízlík

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

František Matoušek

Assistant Director

Miloslav Čech, Miroslava Vopěnková

Screenstory

Miloš Makovec

Screenplay

Miloš Makovec

Shooting Script

Miloš Makovec

Second Unit Photography

Zdeněk Prchlík

Camera Operator

Vladimír Zajíc

Production Designer

Karel Lier

Set Designer

Bedřich Čermák, František Straka, Rudolf Žofka

Costume Designer

Svatava Sophová

Sound Designer

František Černý

Production Manager

Ladislav Hanuš

Unit Production Manager

Eva Hrubá, Jaromír Lukáš, Luděk Marold

Cooperation

Růžena Hejsková, Ivana Skabranská, Libuše Jahodová

Music

Music Composed by

Miloš Vacek

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Čtyři v kruhu

English Title

Four in a Circle

Copyright

1967

Production Year

1967

Premiere

02.02.1968

Creative Group

Feix – Brož, Miloš Brož, Karel Feix

Technical info

Format

Betacam

Versions

Czech