The Limping Devil

music, comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Kulhavý ďábel

Runtime

79

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1968

Production year

1968

Premiere

13.09.1968

Language version

Czech

Director

Juraj Herz

Screenplay

Jaroslav Klíma, Juraj Herz

Screenstory

Jaroslav Klíma

Summary

A musical comedy about a young man who finds himself in conflict with the Devil. Very loosely inspired by a novel of the same name by French author Alain-René Lesage, this bizarre but gripping tale from 1968 was directed by Juraj Herz, who also served as screenwriter and star. But the hero of the story is young Honza Novák (Václav Neckář), who is deeply in love with Zuzana (Jana Šulcová). The lecherous satyr Asmodej (Herz) tries in vain to persuade our naive protagonist that love is merely a foolish whim. The episodic tale plays with various historical eras and stylised period settings. But even during preproduction, Kulhavý ďábel (The Limping Devil) found itself falling victim to a new tighter regime introduced by the censor. Sadly, this had a profound impact on the final outcome. In 1968, Herz found solace by bringing to cinemas a far more uncompromising and personal triumph, namely Spalovač mrtvol (The Cremator).

Synopsis

A baleful limping man walks through Prague. He is Asmodeus, the fiend of lustfulness, entertaining himself by putting together by magic couples of lovers. He only fails at the swimming pool. Zuzana, the good-looking blonde, ignores the men whom the devil foists off onto her. She loves Honza and the boy shares her feelings. The fiend is annoyed by the couple and tries to provoke a row. He sends heavy rain to force them into a hotel and then warns Zuzana's father by phone, but the young lovers manage to get out in time. Then the obstinate Asmodeus takes Honza in his sleep to the Institute for Emotional Disorders, where he shows him the ugly sides of love - hysteria, voyeurism, fetishism, suicide attempts... He also tries to lure Honza with the passionate nurse Kateřina but Honza only wants Zuzana. Honza again finds himself in a dream where Asmodeus shows him around the different historical periods where pure and faithful love was only rewarded with cruelty. The fiend brings Zuzana together with Rudolf, the charming elderly senior consultant doctor, in an attempt to make the youth jealous. Honza resists and wakes up from the dream. The fiend sets fire to the house where Zuzana lives. The enamoured youth throws himself into the fire and saves the girl. Honza and Zuzana are at their wedding. They are both happy and the disappointed devil leaves. Rudolf meets the newlyweds in front of the town hall registry office and Zuzana gladly lets him kiss her.

Cast

Juraj Herz

ďábel Asmodeus

Václav Neckář

Honza Novák

Jana Šulcová

Zuzana, Honzova dívka

Oľga Šalagová

ošetřovatelka Kateřina

František Zvarík

primář Rudolf

Václav Štekl

otec Zuzany

Robert Morávek

blázen s věnečkem

Jaroslav Neduha

blázen s kozou

Josef Bartoš

blázen

Karel Linc

blázen

Jiří Lír

blázen

Jiří Hálek

blázen

Petr Prouza

blázen

JUDr. Otakar Rödr

blázen

Václav Soldát

blázen

Zdeněk Šmidrkal

blázen

J. Horák

blázen

P. Tins

blázen

J. Ungár

blázen

Eva Blažková

bláznivá žena

Hana Houbová

bláznivá žena

Marie Hübschová

bláznivá žena

Jiřina Jandová

bláznivá žena

Eva Řepíková

bláznivá žena

Růžena Vlčková

bláznivá žena

H. Bohatová

bláznivá žena

L. Geussová

bláznivá žena

D. Hůlková

bláznivá žena

E. Janoušková

bláznivá žena

Zuzana Dubská

ošetřovatelka

Václav Halama

ošetřovatel

Viktor Maurer

ošetřovatel

Jindřich Poledňa

ošetřovatel

Rudolf Veselý

ošetřovatel

Václav Vodák

ošetřovatel

L. Jirotka

ošetřovatel

K. Zintl

tatínek

Jiří Štěpnička

brýlatý hoch

František Kopal

hudebník

Ota Jahn

hudebník

Zdeněk Rytíř

hudebník

Karel Svoboda

hudebník

Václav Šimeček

hudebník

Milan Vobliza

hudebník

Hana Bažantová

zdravotní sestra

Olga Blechová

zdravotní sestra

Marta Richterová

zdravotní sestra

Hana Talpová

zdravotní sestra

Soňa Zborníková

zdravotní sestra

O. Hiršalová

zdravotní sestra

A. Hůlková

zdravotní sestra

L. Kymlová

zdravotní sestra

M. Pirnerová

zdravotní sestra

Karel Klement

dubl za Juraje Herze

Jaroslav Klenot

dubl za Václava Neckáře

Dubbing

Jan Tříska

hlas primáře Rudolfa

Crew and creators

Director

Juraj Herz

Second Unit Director

Tomáš Svoboda

Assistant Director

Jaroslav Toms, Jana Rozbrojová

Screenstory

Jaroslav Klíma

Shooting Script

Juraj Herz

Second Unit Photography

Ladislav Chroust

Camera Operator

Jan Hanzal

Production Designer

Zbyněk Hloch

Set Designer

Bedřich Čermák, Karel Kytka, František Straka

Costume Designer

Olga Dimitrovová

Sound Designer

František Černý

Production Manager

Ladislav Hanuš

Unit Production Manager

Eva Hrubá, Jordan Balurov, Jaromír Lukáš

Cooperation

Ivana Skabranská, Diana Heringová

Music

Music Composed by

Jan Klusák

Music Performed by

Orchestr Karla Krautgartnera, Lidový soubor bratří Lakatošových, skupina Mefisto, Traditional Jazz Studio

Music Conducted by

Josef Vobruba (Orchestr Karla Krautgartnera)

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Štaidl

Production info

Original Title

Kulhavý ďábel

English Title

The Limping Devil

Copyright

1968

Production Year

1968

Premiere

13.09.1968

Creative Group

Novotný – Kubala, Bedřich Kubala, Ladislav Novotný

Technical info

Format

Betacam

Versions

Czech