The Guard

psychological

Typology

feature

Czech title

Hlídač

Runtime

90

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1970

Production year

1970

Premiere

14.08.1970

Language version

Czech

Director

Ivan Renč

Screenplay

Ivan Renč

Screenstory

Ivan Renč

Summary

Czech screenwriter and film director Ivan Renč (born in 1937), father of film director Filip Renč, has been largely relegated to oblivion. His only full-length picture is this 1970 psychological drama in which Jiří Hrzán played a very uncharacteristic principal part. In the story – deliberately set in an indeterminate space-time continuum – the popular comic actor portrays Josef Vildomec, an exemplary prison warder who behaves decently towards the prisoners but vents his piled-up anger, brutally tormenting his dog. Gradually, however, the surrounding reality gets the better of him – eventually the same cruelty and callousness besetting those around him take over in his behaviour towards the convicts. The film, a dark depiction of the destruction of human normality that occurs during abnormal times, can be considered one of the final echoes of the free era of the 1960s.

Synopsis

A young prison guard, Josef Vildomec, returns home from the night shift to his widowed mother, who is very proud of him. Her deceased husband was a gendarme and the son recently found a similar job. Every night before bedtime, Josef walks with his dog to an abandoned place and there severely beats the animal. To the prisoners, however, he behaves kindly and even gives some cigarettes to prisoner Červinka, who is in close confinement without food. The old thief and recidivist makes the naive Vildomec believe in his innocence and Vildomec begins to advocate him to his own cost. The young man indulges in day-dreaming during the long shifts and, over a picture of a lighthouse, imagines himself as its courageous and devoted watchman. Then he begins to court the foster daughter of the sexton of the local small church, mulatto Marie, and marries her. The mother is jealous of her daughter-in-law. Červinka rises to the occasion and escapes during Vildomec's shift. And not only that. He hides close to his house and seduces his Marie. He tells her that Josef is a brute and tortures the prisoners. He easily manages to convince her when he shows her from his shelter how Vildomec beats the dog. Marie flees with the criminal who, before their escape, destroys the house facilities. Josef Vildomec then instantly changes. He tears off the picture of the lighthouse and begins to torture the prisoners after the example of his colleagues. He, however, stops torturing his dog and, on the contrary, begins to pamper him.

Cast

Jiří Hrzán

vězeňský dozorce Josef Vildomec

Věra Tichánková

Josefova matka

Karel Mareš

vězeň Alois Červinka

Helene Verschuur

mulatka Marie, Josefova žena

Miloš Willig

dozorce Pěnkava

Otto Ohnesorg

kostelník a švec Šalama, Mariin pěstoun

Václav Král

ředitel věznice

Nataša Gollová

cukrářka Mašková

Jindřich Heidelberg

policista

Miloslav Novák

policista

Antonín Loužecký

vězeň Zach

Jaromír Šnajdr

vězeň Mezuna

Karel Bodnár

švihák

Jitka Cerhová

dámička

E. Poláchová

dámička

Pavel Paulus

Josef jako dítě na fotografii

D. Svobodová

Viola, Josefova sestra, na fotografii

A. Truneček

muž v buřince

F. Kabát

hudebník

F. Kabát st.

hudebník

V. Rejlková

hudebnice

Dubbing

Jana Šulcová

hlas Marie

Jiří Pleskot

hlas Šalamy

Crew and creators

Director

Ivan Renč

Second Unit Director

Jan Kratochvíl

Assistant Director

Žofie Futerová, Dagmar Švejdová

Screenstory

Ivan Renč

Screenplay

Ivan Renč

Shooting Script

Ivan Renč

Second Unit Photography

Richard Valenta

Production Designer

Milan Nejedlý

Set Designer

I. Houser, Zdeněk Jeřábek, Milan Nejedlý, Miloš Sršeň

Costume Designer

Jaromír Gál

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

Milan R. Novotný

Production Manager

Jan Balzer

Unit Production Manager

Jan Šuster, Jan Vild

Unit Production Manager

Mach Oldřich (výroba)

Cooperation

Jan Sedláček (2), Jitka Faktorová (2), Jitka Šulcová

Music

Music Composed by

Luboš Fišer

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Zahučaly hory, zahučaly lesy, U studánky seděla

Songwriter

lidová píseň (Zahučaly hory, zahučaly lesy)

Writer of Lyrics

lidová píseň (Zahučaly hory, zahučaly lesy)

Singer

Jiří Hrzán (Zahučaly hory, zahučaly lesy)

Production info

Original Title

Hlídač

English Title

The Guard

Copyright

1970

Production Year

1970

Premiere

14.08.1970

Creative Group

Novotný – Kubala, Bedřich Kubala, Ladislav Novotný

Technical info

Format

Betacam

Versions

Czech