Death Chooses

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1972

Production year

1972

Premiere

23 March 1973

Runtime

92 min

Category

film

Genre

detective, crime

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Smrt si vybírá

Czech title

Smrt si vybírá

English title

Death Chooses

Summary

In 1972, director Václav Vorlíček created one of the most overlooked items from his filmography – this crime drama, based on a screenplay by translator Jaroslav Kořán. Following a series of fantastical comedies, including “Pane, vy jste vdova!” (You Are a Widow, Sir, 1970) and Dívka na Koštěti (The Girl on the Broomstick, 1971), in Smrt si vybírá (Death Chooses, 1972) Vorliček focuses on gradually revealing the secret life of a postal driver. Radek Šimek has been shot, and colleague Honza Marek tries to solve the case by himself. The trail leads all the way to the members of the band Flamingo, primarily to beautiful singer Klára. Václav Postránecký plays the role of the amateur detective in this simple tale. Jana Šulcová stars as Klára (her singing parts are dubbed by the real singer of the actual Flamingo band, Marie Rottrová).

Synopsis

Radek Šimek, a mail-van driver, is shot dead behind the viaduct in the Prague quarter of Hlubočepy. Robbery is soon ruled out as a motive because Šimek was transporting only a small amount of money. Driver Honza Marek, who took turns with Šimek, starts investigating of his own accord. Although he co-owned a used Russian Volga car with Šimek, he realizes he knew very little about his friend's private life. He looks up Klára, the pretty singer of a music group called Flamingo, whose photograph he found in Šimek's book. The girl is shocked by the news that Šimek was murdered. At the time of the murder, she and her group were recording at the radio studio, so they have an alibi. Křížek, manager of the group, is known to the police as a hustler and profiteer. Honza starts running errands for the group with his car, just as Šimek did. Křížek sends him to the town of Liberec to find out if Šimek had delivered an antique gold watch to the foreign manager Dittmar as a bribe for a contract he promised. Klára accompanies Honza on the trip and the two young people become friends. Dittmar catches Honza in his room and beats him up. Later on, Honza finds the watch in a locker he and Šimek shared in the garage. His colleague Vodička hands the watch in to the police. Honza then finds out that Míra, the sound engineer who is platonically and jealously in love with Klára, never attended recording sessions with the group. Míra stops Honza's car at the same spot where he had stopped Šimek some time ago. Fortunately, his attempt to shoot his rival is not successful. Police cars and mail-vans alerted by Vodička prevent the murderer from escaping.

Film online

Cast

Václav Postránecký

řidič Honza Marek

Jana Šulcová

zpěvačka Klára Hirschová

Jan Libíček

Křížek, manažer skupiny Flamingo

Jaroslav Moučka

Vodička, Markův kolega

Jaroslav Drbohlav

zvukař Míra

Ladislav Mrkvička

kytarista Miky

Gustav Heverle

vyšetřovatel, kapitán VB

Petr Pospíchal

Horáček, pomocník vyšetřovatele

Lubor Tokoš

manažer Joachim Dittmar

Miloš Willig

průvodce v muzeu

Oldřich Velen

lékař VB

Oskar Gottlieb

konferenciér

Karel Pavlík

Dubbing Jiří Bruder
vedoucí pošty

Bohumil Šmída

expert na starožitnosti

Svatopluk Skládal

vrchní číšník

Richard Kovalčík

Dubbing Oldřich Vízner
vedoucí skupiny Flamingo

Vladimír Figar

hráč na klávesové nástroje

Jan Hasník

kytarista skupiny Flamingo

Jiří Urbánek

baskytarista skupiny Flamingo

Radek Dominik

Dubbing Jan Kanyza
bubeník skupiny Flamingo

Rudolf Březina

tenorsaxofonista skupiny Flamingo

Zdeněk Braunschläger

rozhlasový režisér

Jan Cmíral

nadstrážmistr VB

Jaroslav Klenot

příslušník VB

Jiří Mikota

příslušník VB

Jaroslav Tomsa

příslušník VB/vazoun

Miroslav Saic

mladý příslušník VB

Karel Černoch

hvězda pop music

Eugen Jegorov

hvězda pop music

Karel Štědrý

hvězda pop music

Karel Fridrich

vrátný v poštovních garážích

Věra Hanslíková

matka Radka Šimka

Richard Záhorský

otec Radka Šimka

Vít Pešina

listonoš a řidič

Václav Vondráček

poštovní úředník

Věra Kolářová

listonoška

Alexandra Koutná

blondýna

Jaroslava Pokorná

recepční hotelu Imperiál

Jiřina Bílá

uvaděčka

Ladislav Šimek

recepční

Miloslav Šindler

naskakující muž

Eduard Žemla

novinář

Anna Zemková

zpěvačka v Liberci

Jindra Kvardová

zaměstnankyně muzea

Alexander Hemala

mladík na koncertě

Dubbing

Luděk Munzar

hlas lékaře

Karel Augusta

hlas příslušníka VB /mimo obraz/

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Miloš Kohout

Assistant Director

Ivana Tokošová

Script Supervisor

Dagmar Švejdová

Screenstory

Jaroslav Kořán

Director of Photography

Rudolf Stahl ml.

Second Unit Photography

Karel Dobřichovský

Camera Operator

Jiří Zavřel

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák, Jindřich Goetz

Assistent Production Designer

Bohumil Nový

Set Designer

Bedřich Čermák, František Straka, J. Sieber

Costume Designer

Theodor Pištěk ml.

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

František Fabián

Production Manager

Jiří Krejčí

Unit Production Manager

Vlasta Mathauserová, Josef Mojžíš, Věra Winkelhöferová

Consultant

mjr. Miloslav Šimek, Josef Zelenka

Cooperation

Olga Hrčková (klapka), Jaromír Komárek (fotograf), Jitka Šulcová

Music

Music Composed by

Karel Svoboda

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Štěpán Koníček), skupina Flamingo (Music Conducted by Richard Kovalčík)

Songs

Život utíká

Songwriter Karel Svoboda
Writer of Lyrics Zdeněk Rytíř
Singer Jana Šulcová [dab]Marie Rottrová

Tak pouze láska kouzlit umí

Songwriter Karel Svoboda
Writer of Lyrics Vladimír Poštulka
Singer Milan Drobný

Mistrál

Songwriter Karel Svoboda
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Štaidl
Singer Karel Gott

Mandarín

Songwriter Karel Svoboda
Writer of Lyrics Vladimír Poštulka
Singer Jiří Korn

Bílé tulipány

Songwriter Karel Svoboda
Writer of Lyrics Vladimír Poštulka
Singer Naďa Urbánková

Production info

Original Title

Smrt si vybírá

Czech Title

Smrt si vybírá

English Title

Death Chooses

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

detective, crime

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1972

Production Year

1972

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 7 March 1972
start of filming 22 March 1972
technical Screenplay approved 11 May 1972
end of filming 23 October 1972
projection approval 7 November 1972

Premiere

premiere 23 March 1973

Creative Group

Dramaturgická skupina Miloše Brože, Miloš Brož (vedoucí dramaturgické skupiny), Výrobní skupina Jiřího Šebora, Jiří Šebor (vedoucí výrobní skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

92 min

Original length in metres

2 555 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech