Adelheid

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1969

Production year

1968—1969

Premiere

6 February 1970

Runtime

99 min

Category

film

Genre

drama, psychological

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Adelheid

Czech title

Adelheid

English title

Adelheid

Summary

In a historical drama that takes place shortly after the Second World War in the Sudeten borderlands, director František Vláčil delved for the first time into the recent Czech past. Nonetheless, along with his masterpieces Ďáblova past (The Devil’s Trap, 1961), Marketa Lazarová (1967), and Údolí včel (The Valley of the Bees, 1967), he tackled another story in which the “momentous” events of history have a dramatic impact on the fates of individuals. The protagonist is Viktor Chotovický, a former lieutenant in the Czechoslovak foreign legion who arrives in the remote hamlet of Černý Potok as a national administrator of confiscated property. He is billeted in the devastated residence of Heidenmann, a local Nazi activist who is in prison awaiting death. Heidenmann’s daughter, a proud and desperate young woman who expects to be expelled from the country along with the other Germans, is assigned to the taciturn man as his housekeeper. A strong emotional bond develops between Viktor and Ahelheid – two traumatized and disillusioned individuals without any future – but this only serves to hasten an inevitable tragedy. Vláčil had already encountered the writer Vladimír Körner while making his previous film, The Valley of the Bees, a medieval drama about the strength and weakness of religious fanaticism. The writer’s novella inspired the film, whose powerful, bitter, and pessimistic tone owes much to the generation behind the Czech New Wave revisiting the subject of the Second World War. Like Vlačil’s other work, the visual aspect of his storytelling plays a key role in Adelheid (which is the first colour film in his oeuvre). The fact that Vláčil worked closely with cinematographer František Uldřich, one of his favourite collaborators since The Valley of the Bees, contributed a lot to this. The film’s strength also lies in the director’s traditionally strong casting – Petr Čepek took the leading male role and the debutante Emma Černá played the character Adelheid with a vulnerable intransigence. As Sergeant Hejna, Miloš Forman’s “professional non-actor,” Jan Vostrčil, gave one of his most controlled performances.

Synopsis

It is the year 1945 and the war is over. Viktor Chotovický, a lieutenant of the Czechoslovak foreign army until recently, arrives at the frontier village of Černý Potok as the state-appointed administrator of a confiscated farm. The saturnine and taciturn young man takes over part of the despoiled building - more reminiscent of a small manor - whose former owner, the active Nazi Heidenmann, is in jail waiting for trial. Sergeant Hejna assigns Adelheid, Heidenmann's daughter, to clean and cook for Viktor. Every day after work, Adelheid returns to join the other Germans waiting for expulsion. Viktor has a painful stomach illness and needs regular warm food. He thus asks if the girl could stay in the house overnight. The two shy people get nearer each other only with difficulty, further obstructed by the language barrier. Despite this, they spend a night together as lovers. The next morning Adelheid learns that her father was executed. The young woman locks herself in her room. Hejna warns Viktor against Adelheid's brother Hansgeorg, who was reportedly killed on the front, but has been spotted in the location. In the morning, Viktor finds Hejna, who spent the night on the farm, murdered. He himself is attacked by the young Nazi soon thereafter. Adelheid interferes in the fight and hits Viktor with an iron stick. Viktor is saved by Czech soldiers. Hansgeorg is killed and Adelheid is arrested. Although Viktor apologizes for her and defends her, the young woman faces a trial. Soon, Adelheid hangs herself.

Note

Both the opening title and the production lists include the name of Bohumil Vávra, who was originally supposed to appear in the role of the parish priest, but the scene with him was cut out before the film was presented.

Cast

Petr Čepek

Viktor Chotovický, poručík v záloze

Emma Černá

Adelheid Heidenmannová

Jan Vostrčil

strážmistr Hejna

Pavel Landovský

gardista Jindra

Jana Krupičková

děvče

Lubomír Tlalka

Dubbing Josef Somr
gardista Karel

Miloš Willig

štábní kapitán

Karel Hábl

poručík

Zdeněk Mátl

Dubbing Oto Ševčík
Hansgeorg Heidenmann, bratr Adelheid

Alžběta Frejková

stará Němka

Vlasta Petříková

žena

Bohumil Vávra

farář

v konečné verzi vystřižen

Dubbing

Jindřich Narenta

hlas Němce na poli

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Aleš Dospiva

Assistant Director

Milena Třešková

Script Supervisor

Eva Kubesová

Based on

Vladimír Körner (Adelheid – novela)

Script Editor

Antonín Máša

Director of Photography

František Uldrich

Second Unit Photography

Jiří Macák

Camera Operator

Vladimír Murat

Production Designer

Jindřich Goetz

Assistent Production Designer

Jaromír Švarc

Set Designer

Jiří Cvrček, Jaromír Dědek, Oldřich Halaza

Costume Designer

Theodor Pištěk ml.

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Assistant Film Editor

Vilemína Binterová

Sound Designer

František Fabián

Production Manager

Věra Kadlecová

Unit Production Manager

Miroslav Dousek, Václav Havlík

Unit Production Manager

Vladimír Tišer

Cooperation

Jan Kuděla (fotograf)

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Selected Music

Johann Sebastian Bach (Ježíši, má radosti /Jesu, meine Freude/), Johann Sebastian Bach (Dobře temperovaný klavír /Das Wohltemperierte Klavier/), Johann Strauss ml. (Povídky z vídeňského lesa), Johann Strauss ml. (Veselá vojna /Der lustige Krieg/), Georg Fürst (Badonviller-Marsch)

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín), Kühnův smíšený sbor (Music Conducted by Pavel Kühn)

Music Advisor

Zdeněk Liška

Songs

Jesu, meine Freude

Songwriter Johann Sebastian Bach
Writer of Lyrics Johann Franck
Singer Kühnův smíšený sbor

Production info

Original Title

Adelheid

Czech Title

Adelheid

English Title

Adelheid

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama, psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1969

Production Year

1968—1969

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 22 May 1968
technical Screenplay approved 30 September 1968
start of filming 10 November 1968
end of filming 21 April 1969
the first film copy approved 11 September 1969
projection approval 25 September 1969

Premiere

festival premiere 15 October 1969 (20. filmový festival pracujících – podzim ´69)
premiere 15 January 1970 /unsuitable for youths/ (kino Paříž /3 týdny/, Praha)
premiere 6 February 1970 /unsuitable for youths/ (celostátní)
renewed premiere 28 January 2016 /suitable for all ages without limit/

Studio

Barrandov

Distribution

Ústřední půjčovna filmů (původní 1970), Národní filmový archiv (obnovená 2017)

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Novotný – Kubala, Bedřich Kubala (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Ladislav Novotný (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

99 min

Original length in metres

2 800 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm, DCP 2-D, BRD

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

colour

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech, German, Slovak

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 4. festival českých a slovenských filmů FINÁLE Plzeň

1990
Plzeň / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 8. filmový festival mladých Trutnov

1970
Trutnov / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 20. filmový festival pracujících – podzim ´69

1969
100 měst / Czechoslovakia

Revue