The Death of the Black King

crime

Typology

feature

Czech title

Smrt černého krále

Runtime

111

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1971

Production year

1971

Premiere

31.03.1972

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Sequens

Screenplay

Jiří Marek, Jiří Sequens

Summary

Following the TV series Hříšní lidé města pražského (The Sinful People of Prague, 1968), director Jiří Sequens and screenwriter Jiří Marek revisited the Prague of the 1930s to create four crime comedies. The plot of this 1971 film focuses on a murder investigation team led by executive Vacátko. Like the previous features Pěnička a Paraplíčko (Burglar and Umbrella, 1970), Partie Krásného dragouna (Game of a Handsome Dragoon, 1970) and Vražda v hotelu Excelsior (Murder in the Excelsior Hotel, 1971), Smrt černého krále (The Death of the Black King, 1971) draws on the book Panoptikum hříšných (The Freak Show of Sinners) by Jiří Marek. Vacátko and his colleagues, Bouše and Brůžek, investigate the deadly robbery of money collector Král, who is entangled in a case of embezzlement. Jaroslav Marva, Josef Bláha and Josef Vinklář portray the First Republic police investigators in this routine feature film. Vlastimil Brodský plays Král, while his real-life wife Jana Brejchová stars as the collector’s daughter Magda.

Synopsis

Good-looking Magda Králová meets Josef Kořínek, called Pépi, on the tram; she has no idea that Pépi, who purports to be a student, is in fact a pickpocket. Meanwhile, Magda's father, Ludvík Král, a collector for the Globus company, is having a drink with his friends at a garden restaurant, despite suffering from a severe pain in his stomach. His young boss, Vili Berger, a joint owner of Globus, seeks him out and gives him a cheque for 42 thousand crowns to be cashed. Vili, however, is not about to send thirty thousand of this to his father in Brno for a business transaction, but plans to elope to Vienna with his secretary Zuzanka and keep the extra money he has secretly added to the amount of the cheque. The next morning, Král receives another cheque from the company secretary Hrádek, this time for twenty thousand. Král collects the money at the bank and buys stationery and an envelope at the tobacconist's. In the evening, Hrádek reports to the police that Král is missing. Inspector Bouše finds the collector dead, tied up and without the money, on the bank of a brook. When interrogating Berger junior and Hrádek, police counsellor Vacátko finds out that they have probably attempted embezzlement, but Berger senior denies it, because the insurance company would not give him any compensation for the money. Gradually, Pépi, Magda's boyfriend Vycpálek and Král's friends become murder suspects, but there is no evidence. It is not until the funeral that an elderly country woman with a headscarf, Král's sister-in-law, turns up. The investigators find out that Král had sent the money to her and then pretended to have been murdered. In this way, the gravely ill Král wanted to provide for his daughter Magda and his wife. The first time the two cold and unfeeling women start crying is when they learn that they cannot keep the embezzled money.

Film online

Cast

Jaroslav Marvan

policejní rada Karel Vacátko

Josef Bláha

inspektor Josef Brůžek

Josef Vinklář

inspektor Josef Bouše

Vlastimil Brodský

inkasista Ludvík Král

Jana Brejchová

Magda, Králova dcera

Antonie Hegerliková

Králova žena

Josef Somr

podkoní Karel Vycpálek, Magdin druh

Josef Kemr

flétnista Franc Florián

Stanislav Fišer

kapsář Josef Kořínek zvaný Pépi

Valtr Taub

prokurista Hrádek

Jaroslav Moučka

zahradník Standa Kopečný

Nina Popelíková

teta z Brodu

Petr Čepek

Vili Berger

František Hanus

továrník Berger, Viliho otec

Carmen Mayerová

sekretářka Zuzana Vorlová

Zdeněk Dítě

policejní komisař ze Záběhlic

Ota Sklenčka

MUDr. Vejvoda

Jiří Smutný

strážník Hrůza

Jaroslav Mareš

výčepní Evžen

Věra Nerušilová

zpěvačka

Vladimír Bičík

pokladník na nádraží

František Poupě

harmonikář

Josef Skrčený

trafikant

Miloš Willig

pokladník v bance

Josef Koza

vrátný

Bohumil Koška

četník

Karel Braniš

hudebník

Antonín Brynda

hudebník

Václav Libich

hudebník

Josef Schwarz (2)

hudebník

Zuzana Gančevová

tanečnice

Karel Hovorka

tanečník

Milan Charvát

tanečník

Antonín Loužecký

tanečník

Olga Švejdarová

tanečnice

Eva Cízlová

tanečnice

Slávka Hamouzová

tanečnice

Vlastimila Vlková

žena na pohřbu

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jiří Mikeťuk

Assistant Director

Alena Mikeťuková

Based on

Jiří Marek (Otec Goriot ze Záběhlic – povídka ze sbírky Panoptikum hříšných lidí)

Shooting Script

Jiří Sequens

Script Editor

Věra Kalábová

Second Unit Photography

Michal Kulič

Camera Operator

Luděk Kopal

Production Designer

Karel Černý

Set Designer

Karel Kočí, Žák Jiří (2)

Costume Designer

Vladimír Synek

Film Editor

Jan Chaloupek

Sound Designer

Adolf Nacházel

Production Manager

Josef Císař

Unit Production Manager

Josef Hudlička, Karel Hyka

Unit Production Manager

Milena Andrejsková

Cooperation

Miloš Červinka, Jindřich Panáček, Hana Jozífková, Jana Suková

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Selected Music

Carl Maria von Weber (Koncert pro klarinet a orchestr)

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Kočka ze Záběhlic, Zasviť mi ty, slunko zlaté /Vystěhovalec/, Zmáčkněte knoflíky perleťový

Songwriter

Zdeněk Liška (Kočka ze Záběhlic), Alois Jelen (Zasviť mi ty, slunko zlaté /Vystěhovalec/), Zdeněk Liška (Zmáčkněte knoflíky perleťový)

Writer of Lyrics

Vladimír Sís (Kočka ze Záběhlic), Karel Maria Drahotín Villani (Zasviť mi ty, slunko zlaté /Vystěhovalec/), Vladimír Sís (Zmáčkněte knoflíky perleťový)

Singer

Věra Nerušilová (Kočka ze Záběhlic), Věra Nerušilová (Zmáčkněte knoflíky perleťový)

Production info

Original Title

Smrt černého krále

English Title

The Death of the Black King

Working Title

Otec Goriot ze Záběhlic

Copyright

1971

Production Year

1971

Premiere

31.03.1972

Creative Group

Miloš Brož

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech