The Masked Face

narrative

Typology

feature

Czech title

Tvář pod maskou

Runtime

79

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1970

Production year

1970

Premiere

08.01.1971

Language version

Czech

Director

Rangel Valčanov

Screenplay

Rangel Valčanov

Screenstory

Rangel Valčanov

Summary

After seeing his dramatised parable Ezop (Aesop, 1969) barred from cinemas, Rangel Valčanov went on to create two feature films during the early years of Czechoslovakia’s era of “normalisation”: Tvář pod maskou (The Masked Face, 1970) and Šance (Chance, 1971). In making Tvář pod maskou, the experienced Bulgarian director devised his own subject matter and screenplay, and turned to a cast of Czech actors. Josef Somr plays photographer Pepek, who, with the help of his wife Sima (Luba Skořepová), earns his living by casting death masks. Friend Lojza agrees to have his mask cast while still living. Doctor Morávek, an acquaintance of both Pepek and Lojza, has advised that one needs such a mask to be able to examine one’s self during life. The time-consuming making of the mask evokes memories – not only those of Pepek and Sima, but most of all the recollections of Lojza. Long ago, he committed a murder for money. Ladislav Mrkvička stars in Valčanov’s motion picture about a man who in the end is destroyed by his hidden past.

Synopsis

Pepek and his wife Sima make their living by casting posthumous masks. One day, Pepek decides to make a mask of his friend Lojza alive. His idea was inspired by Doctor Morávek and his opinion that a live person, too, needs a mask so as be able to have a look at oneself. Lojza cannot even move during the casting to make the plaster harden properly. As they wait, Pepek's memories begin to pop up to his mind - how he met Sima, a circus-rider, who broke her leg and lost her work in the circus, and how they then began to live together. In addition, Sima returns to the past, her memories revolving around her childhood girlfriends and boyfriends. The next memory belongs to Lojza. He returns to the evening when Pepek invited Lojza and his Marie for dinner. While Sima was preparing fish they had caught together in a drowned quarry, the two men left to buy drinks. On the way, Lojza spotted a woman publican counting the sales. He made an excuse to Pepek he would pop back home for cognac, but instead returned to the publican, killed her and stole the money from her. Finally, Pepek removes the mask from Lojza's face. Lojza wants to reveal his crime to him, but Pepek cuts him short, saying it is already too late. Lojza cannot sleep and chats with Sima on the terrace. When the woman leaves, he leaps off the balcony and onto the street. Somebody puts a sheet of paper on his dead body with the sign "Mortal Danger".

Cast

Josef Kemr

Pepek

Luba Skořepová

Sima, Pepkova žena

Ladislav Mrkvička

elektrikář Lojza Suchý

Lenka Termerová

Marie Dvořáková, Lojzova přítelkyně

Míla Myslíková

hostinská Šulcová

Josef Elsner

MUDr. Morávek, ušní lékař

Bohuslav Kupšovský

rybář nespokojený s počasím

Bronislav Poloczek

Honza, Lojzův kolega

Karel Augusta

rybář

Josef Burda

rybář

M. Vymlátil

rybář

V. Bor

vedoucí orchestru

Jaroslav Devera

hudebník

K. Fiala

hudebník

Otto Freiman

hudebník

Květoslav Rohleder

hudebník

Z. Zrno

hudebník

Karel Dellapina

romantik

Lubomír Polách

starý pán

Václav Vodák

diplomat

Renata Jirousová

diplomatova dívka

Vladimír Kotrlík

muž v černém

Otakar Jan Karen

muž v černém

Jan Kmuníček

muž v černém

Zdeněk Novák (2)

muž v černém

Aleš Voves

muž v černém

Karel Bartoň

muž v černém

Eva Pondělíčková

zdravotní sestra

Jindřich Bonaventura

usmívající se muž

František Meluzin

umělec

Karel Vrtiška

tanečník

A. Šupka

drezér

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Lubomír Břinčil

Assistant Director

Viktor Karásek, Eva Kolářová

Screenstory

Rangel Valčanov

Shooting Script

Rangel Valčanov

Second Unit Photography

Pavel Dosoudil

Camera Operator

Pavel Nečesal

Production Designer

Boris Moravec

Set Designer

Jaroslav Česal, Karel Kočí, Bohuslav Varhaník

Costume Designer

Jan Kropáček

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

František Šindelář, Bohumír Brunclík (zvukové efekty)

Production Manager

Gustav Rohan

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslav Koucký, Jana Koubová

Unit Production Manager

Ingeborg Ullrichová

Cooperation

Ivana Nováková (2), Vilemína Binterová, Jiří Matolín

Music

Music Composed by

Angelo Michajlov

Selected Music

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Malá noční hudba), Johann Sebastian Bach (Suita pro orchestr č. 3 D dur /Air/)

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Zrána slniečko vychodí

Writer of Lyrics

Eduard Krečmar

Singer

Ladislav Mrkvička [dab], Angelo Michajlov, Luba Skořepová [dab], Hana Hegerová, dětský sbor (Zrána slniečko vychodí)

Production info

Original Title

Tvář pod maskou

English Title

The Masked Face

Working Title

Cvoci

Copyright

1970

Production Year

1970

Premiere

08.01.1971

Creative Group

Karel Cop

Technical info

Versions

Czech