The Secret of the Great Story-Teller

comedy, biography

Typology

feature

Czech title

Tajemství velikého vypravěče

Runtime

101

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1971

Production year

1971

Premiere

28.04.1972

Language version

Czech

Director

Karel Kachyňa

Screenplay

Jaroslav Dietl, Karel Kachyňa

Summary

In 1955, French author Andre Maurois published an eponymous biography of the life of 19th century French writer Alexandre Dumas. In 1971, this work was adapted for the screen by experienced Czech screenwriter Jaroslav Dietl. Directed by Karel Kachyňa, the film relates dramatic stories from the life of Alexandre Dumas, père. This prolific novelist, playwright and journalist lived a colourful life, offering the filmmakers plenty of opportunities to relate his passion and longing for excellence, amidst a society ill-tuned to this intense, unconventional man. Martin Štěpánek flexes his acting muscles in the title role. Brother Petr Štěpánek portrays Dumas’s son. Also performing in the film are actors Jana Hlaváčová and Otakar Brousek.

Synopsis

Alexander Dumas was an author of more than four hundred novels, a hundred of theatre plays and many stories and articles. A man of a varied origin, a grandson of a black slave woman and a French marquis, a son of a brave Napoleon's general, came to Paris in the twenties of the 19th century. He was nobody and couldn't do anything but he was self-confident and gaped for learning and success. Thanks to good handwriting he became a scribe. The wise librarian Lassage provided him with a vast amount of books and Dumas read them. He decided to become a dramatist. Before he succeeded at the stage of Comédie Française, he made the tailor Katerina a single mother of his first-born son Alexander. He had to learn diplomatic behaviour. He gained a fancy of the prima donna Mars after his second theatre play. He persuaded the Duke of Orleans that he did not parody his court and marriage. He became famous; however he was never rich enough, as he played ducks and drakes with his big money. When he married an actress Ferrier years later, his son performed a scandal as Dumas had never married his mother. The writer finally mollified his son and made him start writing. Dumas won also a trial in which he was accused of exploiting unknown authors who had written parts of novels for him. Many of great plans failed - sick and poor Dumas found a caring shelter in a family of his son - a successful dramatist. Alexander Dumas senior died when he had run out of his will to write.

Cast

Martin Štěpánek

spisovatel Alexandr Dumas st.

Petr Štěpánek

Alexandr, Dumasův syn

Otakar Brousek

baron Taylor, komisař Comédie Française

Jana Hlaváčová

krejčová Kateřina Labayová

Slávka Budínová

herečka Marsová

Milena Dvorská

herečka Ida Ferriérová

Jana Švandová

Melánie Walderová

Petr Kostka

spisovatel Viktor Hugo

Carmen Mayerová

Julietta Drouetová

Vladimír Šmeral

kritik Nodiere

František Němec

spisovatel Eugene de Mirecourt

Ladislav Trojan

spisovatel Maquet

Josef Chvalina

kritik Lassage

Jiří Císler

kníže Edoardo Allata

Zuzana Martínková

kněžna Naděžda Nariškinová

Hana Houbová

spisovatelka George Sandová

Lubor Tokoš

architekt Durant

Josef Karlík

prokurista nakladatelství

Zdeněk Kryzánek

generál Foy

Vladimír Brabec

vévoda z Orleánsu

Zdeněk Hodr

inspicient Garnier

Jindřich Narenta

Mirecourtův advokát

Heda Škrdlantová

císařova neteř

Marie Popelková

švagrová vévody z Orleánsu

Ivo Niederle

komorník François

Josef Burda

Danglar/muž od Nodiera

Marcela Baťková

Marguerita

Viktor Maurer

Napoleon

Ladislav Frej

vévoda de Guise/herec

Adolf Filip

generál Morcerf/herec

Ludmila Grossmannová

stará kněžna

Anna Gabrielová

Kateřina M.

Ladislav Gzela

zastavárník

Karel Hovorka

písař

František Hanzlík

Saint Gaudeus

Zdeněk Hess

Anthony

Helena Jehličková

Madame Récamier

Karel Anderle

Aramis

Miloslav Průša

d'Artagnan

Josef Šolc

Porthos

Josef Červinka

Richelieu

Zdena Dančíková

Constance Bonacieuxová

Jana Gýrová

Mylady/herečka

Stanislav Juna

abbé Faria

Emil Iserle

biskup

Jan Kotva

Jakub/písař

Jana Hana Duffková

šlechtična

Vladimír Pospíšil

Karel Savojský

Alena Janošková

dvorní dáma

Ilona Jirotková

dvorní dáma

Josef Janoušek (2)

notář/divák u soudu/číšník

Julie Jenšíková

hraběnka B.

Jan Kanyza

mladík

Jana Posseltová

Nichette

Marta Richterová

vévodkyně

Eduard Pavlíček

arcibiskup

Stanislav Němec

herec/alchymista

Eva Rubínová

komorná

Josef Šebek

Saint Megni/herec

Ladislava Tschamundjiová

Haydée/exotická bruneta

Ivan Chrz

gardista

Zdeněk Houška

gardista

Petr Lebeda

gardista

František Plecháček

gardista

M. Lhotský

gardista

Milan Procházka

gardista

Alois Vachek

předseda soudu

Luka Rubanovičová

Adéle Hervey

Pavel Jiras

sluha v livreji

Jiřina Zemanová

vévodkyně

Vítězslav Brandejský

hudebník

František Hotový

hudebník

Zdeněk Kodat

hudebník

Karel Kos

hudebník

Vilém Linke

hudebník

Čestmír Preclík

hudebník

Alois Zouhar

hudebník

Jindřich Čmugr

hudebník

Václav Sedlák

hudebník

Vladimír Svoboda

hudebník

A. Vališ

hudebník

Regina Kociánová

baletka

Helena Postránecká

baletka

Jana Kolenatá

baletka

O. Pobuda

baron z M.

František Miroslav Doubrava

divadelní zřízenec

Ladislav Kazda

divadelní zřízenec

Viktor Očásek

starý úředník

Josef Coufal

muž od Nodiera

Zdeněk Janata

číšník

M. Banseth

číšník

J. Komberec

číšník

L. Koulík

číšník

J. Lederer

číšník

R. Pěkný

číšník

I. Šlár

číšník

M. Havelka

Karel VII.

E. Saudková

Sorelová

M. Šamalová

rusovláska

Renée Nachtigallová

švadlena

Hana Čížková

švadlena

Commentary

Dubbing

Zdena Procházková

hlas cíařovy neteře

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Milada Mikešová

Assistant Director

Karel Brchel, Jaroslava Čapková

Based on

Jaroslav Dietl (Alexandr Dumas starší – třídílná televizní hra), André Maurois

Shooting Script

Karel Kachyňa

Script Editor

Pavel Hajný

Second Unit Photography

Adolf Hejzlar

Camera Operator

Antonín Mařík

Production Designer

Oldřich Okáč

Art Director

Zdeněk Rozkopal

Costume Designer

Ester Krumbachová

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

Jiří Lenoch

Production Manager

Karel Vejřík, Jiří Šebor

Unit Production Manager

Karel Škop, Rudolf Mos

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslava Semrádová

Consultant

Maria Ullrichová, Eva Kröschlová, Ivan Chrz

Cooperation

Jaromír Švarc, Jindřich Panáček, Jaroslava Sýkorová, Vilemína Binterová

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Choreographer

Eva Kröschlová

Production info

Original Title

Tajemství velikého vypravěče

English Title

The Secret of the Great Story-Teller

Copyright

1971

Production Year

1971

Premiere

28.04.1972

Creative Group

Zdeněk Dufek

Technical info

Versions

Czech