Psychological motion pictures with very young actors assigned as the heroes were the forte of director Ota Koval. Two of his films explore issues surrounding the solidarity to be found in a children's gang. The movies in question are the World War I-era family film set in Pilsen, Družina Černého pera (The Black Feather Group, 1973), and My tři a pes z Pětipes (We Three and the Dog from Fivedogs), an adaptation of Václav Čtvrtek’s book from 1971. This holiday picture, also released in 1971, follows the adventures of Tonda, a boy from Prague. He makes friends with local children in Pětipsy (which translates as “Fivedogs”) while staying with acquaintances, and also becomes close with classmate Ruda, whom everybody thinks of as something of a bighead. Together the little heroes attempt some night fishing aimed at catching a local legend – a giant eel that always proves elusive. Jiří Kúkol and Robert Krásný are terrific as Tonda and Ruda, respectively. Director Koval also gave one of the smaller roles to Viktorie Čermáková, the girl that plays the title role in his 1970 debut Lucie a zázraky (Lucy and Miracles). She also appears in The Black Feather Group.
The summer holidays are approaching and the children are bragging about all the exciting places they are going to visit during the long-awaited two months of summer. Only Tonda is not looking forward to staying in Prague over the holidays. He brightens up after his father announces that the boy can visit some friends of the family in the village of Pětipsy. His joy is unalloyed even after his school friend Ruda ridicules the village of Pětipsy, saying it will be a boring little place. As soon as Tonda arrives at the home of the Ludvík family, he runs off to the river and soon tries his luck at fishing. He is surprised to see Ruda on the other bank. When he sets off after him, he is surrounded by a group of village boys. They think that Ruda, whom they dislike for his showing off, is Tonda's friend. But finally they accept Tonda as one of the gang. Tonda is beginning to fall for Anča. To win her over, he decides to catch the big eel that apparently lives in the river. The boys are delighted at his idea and they all want to help. But his only catch is a car tyre with "I've moved out. Eel" written on it. The children suspect that Ruda is behind the stunt. Tonda refuses to give up his idea and heads off hunting at night. He meets Ruda on the river and the two boys go looking for the eel together. The hunt is another failure. They try again in the morning. When the eel approaches, the other children come running to help and they all battle with the eel, together with Ruda. The eel escapes again. But the children are no longer disappointed; they will try it again the next time. They also make it up with Ruda, who has proved he too can be a good friend.
Houdek, Tondův otec
Houdková, Tondova matka
Žofie Futerová, Ivan Frič, Irena Klausová
Václav Čtvrtek (My tři a pes z Pětipes – kniha)
Jaroslav Lehman, Ladislav Rada, Žák Jiří (2)
My tři a pes z Pětipes
We Three and the Dog from Fivedogs
4 August 1972