Crime in the Night-Club

music, comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Zločin v šantánu

Runtime

83

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1968

Production year

1968

Premiere

20.12.1968

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Menzel

Screenplay

Josef Škvorecký, Jiří Suchý, Jiří Menzel

Screenstory

Josef Škvorecký

Summary

Following Zločin v dívčí škole (The Crime at the Girls’ School, 1965), director Jiří Menzel returned to his collaboration with novelist Josef Škvorecký. But prior to this 1968 motion picture, he had become famous for creating Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains, 1966) and the stylish Rozmarné léto (Capricious Summer, 1967), a bittersweet comedy based on a novel by Vladislav Vančura. The story of Zločin v šantánu (Crime in the Night-Club), played out according to a screenplay Menzel devised with Škvorecký, takes place in the timeless atmosphere of an elegant cabaret. The star turn at the venue is the beautiful singer Clara Regina (Eva Pilarová). A minister who is smitten with the performer gifts her pearl necklace, but it is stolen by her husband, a magician. He blames the theft on shy assistant Pepíček (Jiří Suchý), who, along with defence lawyer (Jiří Šlitr), falls victim to blind justice in an unfair world full of intrigue… The form of this outwardly noncommittal crime musical, featuring the songs of Šlitr and Suchý, is influenced by the dark atmosphere that pervaded society after the Prague Spring efforts at reform were crushed in August 1968: the two convicts, performed by this duo from Prague’s Semafor theatre, can now do nothing but sing.

Synopsis

The charming singer Clara Regina has many admirers. Even the minister of justice fights for her favour, especially enchanted by Clara's lullaby. The singer is also secretly loved by assistant Pepíček Janáček. Clara's successes with men are watched with displeasure by her jealous husband, Ikaro Volante. The minister sends a bouquet and a pearl necklace to the singer. The juggler Piterman steals the pearls but frames Pepíček. At court, Pepíček is defended by the inexperienced lawyer Vilém Bojanovský. During the process, it turns out that the pearls are fake. The minister denies this, but, just to make sure, has the juggler eliminated when the next investigation leads to him. Pepíček is accused of Piterman's murder. When the defender with the help of his colleague Stella proves Pepíček innocent, the public prosecutor orders the defender arrested as well. Vilém has an alibi, but the minister who can prove it denies everything. The two men, Pepíček and Vilém, are sentenced and imprisoned in one cell. In the backyard of the prison, gallows are built. The desperate Clara entreats for them with the minister who promises to help only if she sings his favourite lullaby to him. He, however, sends a special agent after the messenger carrying the letter granting the two prisoners pardon. Pepíček and Vilém, standing under the gallows, say their last wish - to sing a song. They sing until everybody at the place of execution falls asleep, but the messenger with the promised pardon is still not coming...

Film online

Cast

Eva Pilarová

zpěvačka Klára Králová uměleckým jménem Clara Regina

Jiří Suchý

zřízenec Pepíček Janáček

Jiří Šlitr

JUDr. Vilém Bojanovský

Jitka Zelenohorská

Vilémova pomocnice Stella

Vlastimil Brodský

ministr spravedlnosti

Jiří Grossmann

eskamotér Piterman

Ferdinand Krůta

vrhač nožů Bobby Akurát

Jan Libíček

detektiv

Jan Přeučil

skákač Ikaro Volante, manžel Clary

Ladislav Vodička

Gub, agent pro zvláštní úkoly

Zdeněk Svěrák

státní žalobce

Karel Hovorka

inspicient

Vratislav Blažek

ceremoniář

Josef Langmiler

profesor

Karel Mareš

režisér/fízl

František Husák

Viktor/promovanec František Husák

Václav Halama

kulisák

Petr Kopřiva

číšník/promovanec

Jan Pech

fotograf

Milan Kindl

přísedící

Antonín Kryl

přísedící

Jindra Rathová

zapisovatelka

Jana Drchalová

artistka Lilly

Antonín Pražák

fízl

Pavel Bošek

novinář

Ladislav Smoljak

novinář

Miloslav Balcar

novinář

Alois Vachek

starý profesor

Rudolf Kalina

porotce

K. Gabriel

porotce

Emil Iserle

fotograf

Irena Pejšková

baletka

Stanislav Juna

promotor

Vratislav Blažek

ceremoniář

Karel Kochman

policajt

Stanislav Hájek

muž v černém

Miloš Kohout

muž v černém

M. Mareš

muž v černém

Zuzana Minichová

květinářka

Miloň Novotný

fotograf

Pavel Navara

vazoun

Karel Engel

vazoun

N. Slavčev

vazoun

Milan Dvořák

vedoucí hudebník

Petr Hejduk

hudebník

František Sojka

hudebník

Karel Turnovský

hudebník

Bohumil Zoula

hudebník

Rudolf Růžička (hudebník)

hudebník

I. Rajman

policajt

J. Kratochvíl

promovanec

Julie Kučerová-Nezavdalová

stařenka v obecenstvu u soudu

Jiří Kasík

dubl za Brodského

Jaroslav Tomsa

dubl za Šlitra

P. Stejskal

dubl za Grossmanna

Dubbing

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Miloš Kohout

Assistant Director

Eva Janíková, Jiřina Matiasková

Shooting Script

Jiří Menzel

Script Editor

Václav Šašek

Second Unit Photography

Jiří Macák

Camera Operator

Vladimír Murat

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Set Designer

Miroslav Fára, Karel Kočí, Václav Podhorský

Costume Designer

Svatava Sophová

Sound Designer

Jiří Pavlík

Production Manager

Karel Kochman

Unit Production Manager

Richard Němec, Artur Stacha

Unit Production Manager

Z. Čajkinová

Cooperation

Jitka Faktorová (2), J. Marková, Helena Lehovcová, Bohumil Nový

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Šlitr

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Songs

Ach, miluji vás, Balada pod šibenicí, Kolena, Boubelatá Betty, Co já všechno dovedu, Ukrejvám rozpaky, Ukolébavka, Kočičí bál, Na shledanou, Poklad, Slavně pějí sbory

Songwriter

Jiří Šlitr (Ach, miluji vás), Jiří Šlitr (Balada pod šibenicí), Jiří Šlitr (Kolena), Jiří Šlitr (Boubelatá Betty), Jiří Šlitr (Co já všechno dovedu), Jiří Šlitr (Ukrejvám rozpaky), Jiří Šlitr (Ukolébavka), Jiří Šlitr (Kočičí bál), Jiří Šlitr (Na shledanou), Jiří Šlitr (Poklad)

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Suchý (Ach, miluji vás), Jiří Suchý (Balada pod šibenicí), Jiří Suchý (Kolena), Jiří Suchý (Boubelatá Betty), Jiří Suchý (Co já všechno dovedu), Jiří Suchý (Ukrejvám rozpaky), Jiří Suchý (Ukolébavka), Jiří Suchý (Kočičí bál), Jiří Suchý (Na shledanou), Jiří Suchý (Poklad)

Singer

Jiří Šlitr (Ach, miluji vás), Eva Pilarová (Ach, miluji vás), Jiří Suchý (Balada pod šibenicí), Jiří Šlitr (Balada pod šibenicí), Eva Pilarová (Kolena), Jiří Suchý (Boubelatá Betty), Jiří Šlitr (Boubelatá Betty), Eva Pilarová (Boubelatá Betty), Jiří Šlitr (Co já všechno dovedu), Eva Pilarová (Ukrejvám rozpaky), Jiří Šlitr (Ukrejvám rozpaky), Eva Pilarová (Ukolébavka), Jiří Suchý (Kočičí bál), Jiří Šlitr (Kočičí bál), Jiří Suchý (Na shledanou), Eva Pilarová (Poklad), dětský sbor (Slavně pějí sbory)

Production info

Original Title

Zločin v šantánu

English Title

Crime in the Night-Club

Copyright

1968

Production Year

1968

Premiere

20.12.1968

Creative Group

Šebor – Bor, Vladimír Bor, Jiří Šebor

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD, HD

Versions

Czech