Evil Night

detective, crime

Typology

feature

Czech title

Zlá noc

Runtime

87

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1973

Production year

1973

Premiere

14.12.1973

Language version

Czech

Director

Václav Matějka

Screenplay

Zdenek Zaoral, Milan Jonáš, Václav Matějka

Summary

This whodunnit sees the murder of signal box operator Marie (Carmen Mayerová) set off a chain of dramatic events at an open-cast brown coal mine. The suspects are mainly workers employed at the giant bucket-wheel excavator. The woman’s young lover Honza (Michal Pavlata) is provided with an alibi by his other lover, although he is unsure of his own innocence, thinking he may have caused Marie a fatal injury during a brawl. The possible perpetrators also include Franta who is found in possession of the victim’s savings book, and Tony whose financial fortunes have suddenly improved in an inexplicable manner. Only a painstaking reconstruction of the crime conducted by police detectives under the leadership of a public security force (the term used to describe the “police” during the socialist era) captain, played by Vladimír Ráž, leads to the unmasking of the real culprit… Zlá noc (Evil Night) was inspired by the novel Minuta smrti (Minute of Death). Film publicist Zdenek Zaoral contributed to the script of the crime drama. It was shot by seasoned director Václav Matějka in 1973.

Synopsis

In a opencast brown coal-mine, a group of miners has been working on a giant excavator. The youngest one, a belt watchman Honza Semerád is about to split up with his ex-girlfriend, a signalwoman Mary, who is pretty but a bit older than him. Honza is in love with a nurse Zdenka, but Mary forces him to continue their relationship. At a birthday party thrown by an excavator driver Tony, Mary tears up her black stockings. Her wild quarrel and later a fight with Honza ends in a site shed by her fall and injured head. Honza, feared of killing her, runs away. On the following morning, Mary is found dead at a nearby rail track. Honza refuses to tell where he spent the evening and is arrested. Later, his girlfriend Zdenka confirms his alibi and Honza is released. The police investigate other suspects of the murder: Franta, who has Mary's deposit book and Tony, who needed money and he has a lot of money all of a sudden. An old locksmith Kverka, a witness to Honza's escape from the site shed, asks him for five thousand crowns to keep silent. Later the blackmailer dies under a drifted soil. Feeling guilty, Honza confesses to the murder and is again arrested. It is only in prison when he realizes that Mary was wearing a different pair of stockings when she was found dead. A murder re-enactment results in the revelation of the real murderer - her rejected suitor, electrician Dobiš. He killed also Kverka, who helped him to carry the dead body on the rail track and also kept blackmailing him.

Cast

Michal Pavlata

hlídač pásu Honza Semerád

Jiří Vala

elektrikář Václav Dobiš

Jiří Krampol

bagrista Tony Karpíšek

Zdeněk Kryzánek

buldozerista Šefčík

Karel Augusta

klapkař Franta Pomezný

Josef Koza

důchodce Kverka, výpomocný zámečník

Carmen Mayerová

hradlářka Marie Hamzová

Vladimír Ráž

kriminalista, kapitán VB

Adolf Filip

kriminalista Bláha

Jaroslava Schallerová

ošetřovatelka Zdenka

Jaroslava Brousková

zdravotní sestra Milena

Petr Kostka

poručík VB Eda Krátký

Václav Babka

vedoucí brigády Šmarda

Jana Andresíková

Růžena Malásková, Frantova přítelkyně

Karolina Slunéčková

úřednice spořitelny

Ladislav Bambas

nový dělník Hubáček

František Horák

Zdenčin otec

Karel Bělohradský

strážmistr VB

Milan Sandhaus

nadpraporčík ve vězení

Rudolf Kalina

řidič VB

Jiří Ptáčník

Petr, Zdenčin bývalý přítel

Miroslav Malkovský

strojvůdce

Jiří Pleskot

ředitel spořitelny

Karel Zich

zpěvák

Jan Teplý

nadstrážmistr VB

Viktor Maurer

číšník Bertík

Jaroslav Růžička (3)

strážný

Alois Bocek

strážný

Zdena Dančíková

dívka s trasírkou

Jaroslav Michálek

fotograf VB

Miroslav Schoř

lékař

Jan Milič

Milenin přítel

Karel Suchý

hudebník

Eduard Buberle

hudebník

Oldřich Buberle

hudebník

Jan Thorovský

hudebník

Milan Vitoch

hudebník

Dubbing

Lubor Tokoš

hlas Zdenčina otce

Lubor Tokoš

hlas lékaře

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Milan Kadlec

Based on

Jaroslav Andrejs (Minuta smrti – román)

Second Unit Photography

Václav Helliman

Camera Operator

Vladimír Murat

Production Designer

Jan Oliva

Set Designer

Jiří Cvrček, Bohumil Kadlec, J. Kaše

Costume Designer

Michael Romberg

Film Editor

Josef Valušiak

Sound Designer

Jiří Kejř

Production Manager

Ladislav Kalaš

Unit Production Manager

František Jaderník, Jaroslav Vlk

Unit Production Manager

Jan Milič

Consultant

JUDr. Přemysl Velický, Ing. Zdeněk Ochtábec

Cooperation

Daniela Pilařová, Richard Polák, Růžena Hejsková, Jana Šimonová, P. Sejrek

Music

Music Composed by

Luboš Fišer

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Zlá noc

Songwriter

Luboš Fišer (Zlá noc)

Writer of Lyrics

Zdeněk Borovec (Zlá noc)

Singer

Karel Zich (Zlá noc)

Production info

Original Title

Zlá noc

English Title

Evil Night

Copyright

1973

Production Year

1973

Premiere

14.12.1973

Creative Group

Karel Cop

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam

Versions

Czech