The Silence of Men

detective, psychological

Typology

feature

Czech title

Mlčení mužů

Runtime

77

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1969

Production year

1969

Premiere

14.11.1969

Language version

Czech

Director

Josef Pinkava

Screenplay

Josef Bouček, Josef Pinkava

Summary

Director Josef Pinkava would occasionally incorporate more serious themes in his family films for children and teenagers. One such example of this approach was his 1969 adaptation of a Josef Bouček book that combines a detective story with a psychological drama. The starting point of the narrative is the discovery by the film’s 12-year old protagonist that adults do not always tell the truth. Young Standa Hálek finds out that his parents have lied to him. Everyone else around him already knows what he does not – his parents are getting divorced. Following the violent death of the boy’s neighbour, postman Škvor, Standa becomes closer to young lawyer Böhm. However, circumstances lead Standa to suspect the honest young man has committed a crime… The film failed to pack out cinema theatres, but it nevertheless provided an excellent debut for Erik Pardus. He went on to become a much sought after actor (Dospěláci můžou všechno – Adults Are Allowed Everything, 1969; Romance za korunu – Romance for a Crown, 1975, among others). The role of lawyer Böhm went to Svatopluk Matyáš.

Synopsis

Twelve-year old Standa is bored. He would like to go out but it is pouring outside. When he wants to borrow an umbrella from his neighbour, the old postman Škvor, he finds him hanging dead. At that instant, the open mouth of the shocked boy is covered by the hand of a man hidden behind the door. The young man begs Standa for silence, explaining that he has nothing to do with the death of the old man but does not want to get involved in the case. He introduces himself as Mirek and promises Standa to explain everything later. The boy finds out that his new acquaintance works as a lawyer in a legal advice centre. Standa is soon to move with his parents to another town. But both his mother and father begin to behave weirdly and Standa catches them lying. The worst betrayal, however, is to learn about his parent's divorce - and that only from his friend living in the same house. He seeks for help from Mirek but the young man does not have time for him either and arranges to meet him only the next day. Standa afterwards spots the daughter of old man Škvor in Mirek's window. The next day, Mirek goes for the meeting, but it is already too late - Standa, vexed by yet another presumed lie of an adult, has already gone to the police to give his testimony about Mirek's presence in Škvor's flat. But the only intention of Mirek was to protect the reputation of his future father-in-law. The honest postman indeed took his own life. The pension of his unexpectedly deceased friend was left in his hands and Škvor was afraid to be considered an embezzler. Standa then leaves the town with his mother without even having the possibility to explain everything to Mirek.

Cast

Erik Pardus

Standa Hálek

Svatopluk Matyáš

JUDr. Miroslav Böhm

Jana Štěpánková

Standova matka

Václav Babka

Standův otec

Gustav Opočenský

kapitán SNB

František Šolc

listonoš Alois Škvor

Nina Popelíková

Slavíková

Rudolf Vavřínek

Lojza

Božena Böhmová

domovnice, Lojzova matka

Jitka Zelenohorská

úřednice na poště

Adolf Minský

Standův dědeček

Josef Haukvic

poručík SNB

Stanislav Junek

strážmistr SNB

Antonín Ženčák

železničář

Steva Maršálek

muž s mopedem

Milan Rabas

taxikář

Blanka Hlavová

sekretářka

Dubbing

Jiří Krampol

hlas MUDr. Böhma

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Zdeněk Zydroň

Assistant Director

Zdeňka Stiborová

Based on

Josef Bouček (Mlčení mužů – kniha)

Shooting Script

Josef Pinkava

Script Editor

Milan Šimek

Second Unit Photography

Emil Bártek

Production Designer

Milan Nejedlý

Set Designer

František Santarius

Costume Designer

Naďa Škapová

Sound Designer

Radomír Koutek

Production Manager

Zdeněk Stibor

Unit Production Manager

Vojtěch Kunčík

Music

Music Composed by

Luboš Fišer

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Mlčení mužů

English Title

The Silence of Men

Copyright

1969

Production Year

1969

Premiere

14.11.1969

Technical info

Format

35mm

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Exhibition: 1. přehlídka československých a zahraničních filmů pro děti Ostrov nad Ohří

1969
Ostrov nad Ohří / Czechoslovakia
Erik Pardus

Vítěz

Festival: 4. mezinárodní festival dětských filmů Teherán

1969
Teherán / Iran