A Man on the Run

drama, narrative

Typology

feature

Czech title

Muž na útěku

Runtime

77

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1968

Production year

1968

Premiere

07.02.1969

Language version

Czech

Director

Václav Sklenář

Screenplay

Václav Sklenář, Luděk Staněk

Screenstory

Václav Sklenář, Luděk Staněk

Summary

Even in the late 1960s, the theme of uncovering former Nazis and dishing out retribution for their war crimes was still doing the rounds in Czechoslovak cinematography. The protagonist of this 1968 crime drama from director Václav Sklenář is mining engineer Kraus. He is revealed to be a former Gestapo officer, but given the lack of evidence he is only sentenced for the killing of one man. In prison, Kraus is secretly contacted by a group of Germans who promise to help him escape. The prisoner, however, finds out that they’re not interested in his freedom; rather they’re all too interested in his punishment. In addition, they want to obtain the address of his brother, another ex-member of the Gestapo... In this dramatic story of late revenge, the main role is played by Karel Dellapina, an experienced provincial theatre actor who began to appear before the camera in the mid-60s. A Man on the Run is the only motion picture in which the columnist and journalist Karel Kyncl appeared as an actor.

Synopsis

More than twenty years after the Second World War, a mining engineer named Fischer is revealed as a former member of the Gestapo, Karel Kraus. He is sentenced for murder to eight years in prison and now works with other prisoners on the renovation of the Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia in Prague. Then a car with a foreign registration begins to park regularly close to the construction site. Its crew, a man and a woman, contact the construction foreman, who probably would not reject a bribe offer to perform some service. The prisoner Bičík is appointed to work with Kraus; Bičík gives him a message from Kraus' brother Bert, who lives abroad, that he wants to help him escape. The pair of foreigners – possibly journalists – are joined by yet another three men. They all stay in a spa hotel near the western border and claim to be working on a story. The foreman makes all necessary arrangements to enable Kraus and Bičík to escape. Kraus, however, is not informed of this and wounds the foreman severely. The two men manage to flee during the consequent alert. Kraus gives some money to his co-prisoner who, according to their mutual agreement, reports himself to the police saying that Kraus drowned while trying to escape. Kraus soon realizes that his liberators are not interested in his rescue at all – all they want is to get the address of his brother, another former Gestapo member, and to get their revenge on him. In the meantime, the police launches a search for the escaped prisoner. In the hotel, Kraus knocks his guards out and escapes through the window. Two of his guards, however, catch up with him in a car and run over the man who, in their opinion, has not been adequately punished for his war crimes. After some time, news about the death of the businessman Bert Kraus appears in the press.

Cast

Karel Dellapina

vězeň Karel Kraus

Otakar Váňa

vězeň Jan Bičík

Hana Kreihanslová

Krausova manželka

Karel Kyncl

novinář Reichenbach

Monika Švábová

Rosa Fürstová

Paul Leclér

Pierre Knox

Jan Diviš

Richard Welter

Josef Cincibus

Leo Bärtl

Jiří Svoboda

fotograf Robert Luc

Leoš Suchařípa

spisovatel

Jan Kropáček

kapitán SNB Berka

Miroslav Nosek

vězeň

František Hlinovský

vězeň

Karel Fiala

vězeň

František Jedlička

farář

Danuše Klichová

spisovatelova milenka

Hana Klichová

modelka

Jiří Mezek

strážmistr

Klementina Zunová

Krausova matka

Monika Vydrová

zapisovatelka

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

Zdenek Zaoral, Michaela Kirchnerová, Lilian Havlíčková

Shooting Script

Václav Sklenář

Script Editor

Václav Šašek

Camera Operator

Karel Hurský

Production Designer

Jaroslav Krška

Set Designer

Dvořák Josef (výprava), Jaroslav Chytrý, Richard Staněk

Costume Designer

Jan Kropáček

Film Editor

Antonín Zelenka

Sound Designer

Ladislav Hausdorf

Production Manager

Eliška Nejedlá

Unit Production Manager

Vladislav Špidra, Jiří Zika

Unit Production Manager

Richter Pavel (2)

Consultant

mjr. Ota Tvrz

Cooperation

J. Růžičková (2), J. Štěpková, Anna Mejtská, Eliška Švarcová, Karel Vacek

Music

Music Composed by

Josef Ceremuga

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Muž na útěku

English Title

A Man on the Run

Copyright

1968

Production Year

1968

Premiere

07.02.1969

Creative Group

Šebor – Bor, Vladimír Bor, Jiří Šebor

Technical info

Format

35mm

Versions

Czech