One of Them Is the Murderer

crime

Typology

feature

Czech title

Jeden z nich je vrah

Runtime

90

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1970

Production year

1970

Premiere

23.04.1971

Language version

Czech

Director

Dušan Klein

Screenplay

Václav Šašek

Screenstory

Jiří Podlesný, Luděk Staněk, Václav Šašek

Summary

In his feature-length film debut Místenka bez návratu (One-way Ticket, 1964), Dušan Klein showed his clear interest in the crime genre. Six years later, he confirmed he was pursuing this path by making the non-standard detective story Jeden z nich je vrah (One of Them is the Murderer, 1970), with the screenplay contributed by Václav Šašek. The protagonist is driver Karel Marek (Jiří Holý). After his release from prison, Marek searches for his former companions, whom he has shielded by taking a guilty verdict upon himself. Four other men had been instrumental in the smuggling of objects of art abroad. After catching up with the men, he shoots one of them in self-defence and blackmails the others, whilst plunging into desperation fomented by alcohol. Marek ends up murdered and, just like Inspector Hájek (Jiří Adamíra), viewers never learn who from among the suspects is the culprit... This drama about the elusiveness of guilt was well suited to the contemporary societal context, but it nevertheless belongs among the films audiences have forgotten.

Synopsis

Marek, formerly a driver of a long-distance lorry, has served his term for smuggling art works abroad and is released from jail. Years ago, he sacrificed himself and confessed his guilt on behalf of his companions - the drivers Krása, Jelínek and Hess and Novák from the Ministry of Culture who gave them tips. Marek finds Hess and tells him that now he expects the gang to compensate him for the wasted years of his life. Hess pulls a gun on him but Marek unexpectedly disarms him and shoots him dead. He lowers Hess' body in his car into the Slapy reservoir. He confesses his act to the other companions and, through blackmail, manages to receive from them a regular rent. He then drinks away the money in the company of the alcoholic and drug-addict Jarýnek. Four months later, the car containing the body is found. Investigator Hájek gradually puts together the pieces of the mosaic. Long ago, Marek's companions promised to take care of his family. But his wife committed suicide after she split with her lover and his children ended up in an orphanage. Marek, full of hatred, blackmails Krása, Jelínek and Novák and, by his excessive drinking, also commits slow suicide. One day, Marek is found dead. Although the autopsy proves that the hammer strokes were already given to a dead person and although Jarýnek confesses to the murder, Hájek wants to force Krása and the others to confess to the initial crime. Krása is weakening under the pressure, there is a danger he would confess, and is found hung. Hájek knows that one of the two remaining men is the murderer. Maybe even both of them...

Film online

Cast

Jiří Adamíra

vyšetřovatel Hájek

Bohumil Šmída

řidič Jan Krása

Ilja Prachař

referent ministerstva kultury Novák

Josef Somr

řidič Karel Jelínek

Bohuš Záhorský

policejní lékař

Jiří Holý

řidič Karel Marek

Václav Lohniský

narkoman Jarýnek

Zdeněk Kutil

řidič Karel Hess

Miloš Vávra

příslušník VB Votava

Josef Haukvic

příslušník VB Adam

Václav Sloup

mladý příslušník SNB

Jana Gazdíková

mladá žena u výslechu

Jaroslav Moučka

náčelník VB

Miriam Kantorková

Jarýnkova milenka

Jan Teplý

nadporučík, vězeňský vychovatel

Jiřina Bílá

Jelínkova žena

František Hanzlík

muž v uniformě

Zdeněk Hess

host ve vinárně

Marta Richterová

Novákova milenka

Zdeněk Skalický

číšník

Svatopluk Skládal

lékař v nemocnici

Gustav Vondráček

stráž ve vězení

Dubbing

Jan Schánilec

hlas příslušníka VB Votavy

Otto Šimánek

hlas příslušníka VB Adama

Crew and creators

Director

Dušan Klein

Second Unit Director

Jiří Růžička st.

Assistant Director

Marta Křesinová, Jarmila Navrátilová (2)

Screenstory

Jiří Podlesný, Luděk Staněk, Václav Šašek

Screenplay

Václav Šašek

Shooting Script

Dušan Klein

Script Editor

Pavel Hajný

Second Unit Photography

Karel Hejsek

Camera Operator

Viktor Růžička

Production Designer

Vladimír Labský

Set Designer

Vladimír Mácha, Václav Kozel, Vladimír Slepička

Sound Designer

Dobroslav Šrámek

Production Manager

Zdeněk Oves

Unit Production Manager

Antonín Navrátil, Vladislav Špidra

Unit Production Manager

Petra Havlínová

Consultant

mjr. Karel Plaček, kpt. Miloš Strnad

Cooperation

Hana Stibůrková, Růžena Hejsková, Aleš Voleman

Music

Music Composed by

Svatopluk Havelka

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Jeden z nich je vrah

English Title

One of Them Is the Murderer

Copyright

1970

Production Year

1970

Premiere

23.04.1971

Creative Group

Šmída – Dufek, Zdeněk Dufek, Bohumil Šmída

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam

Versions

Czech