The Valley of Beautiful Frogs

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1973

Production year

1973

Premiere

31 May 1974

Runtime

85 min

Category

film

Genre

children

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Údolí krásných žab

Czech title

Údolí krásných žab

English title

The Valley of Beautiful Frogs

Summary

In 1973, Stanislav Rudolf, a beloved novelist for many young female readers, undertook his first screenwriting assignment. During the 1970s and 80s, his books served to inspire countless Czechoslovak films, for example Metráček (Little Fatty, 1971) and Kopretiny pro zámeckou paní (Marguerites For the Lady of the Castle, 1981). Similarly to most of Rudolf’s works, the main character in this summer holiday story is an adolescent girl. Fifteen-year-old schoolgirl Jana (Milada Vnuková) meets Jindra at the swimming pool. But she is then forced to go to a Pioneer (the socialist era term for “scout”) camp, where thanks to her painful separation from Jindra, she refuses to partake in any of the camp’s activities. Her behaviour sees Jana face potential expulsion. But in the end, she realises that the Pioneer leader and other youngsters are trying to revive her spirits. This light-hearted film from director Jiří Hanibal evokes a carefree summer atmosphere, which, in retrospect can evoke a sense of nostalgia for the (perhaps non-existent) idealised “good old days”.

Synopsis

Summer holidays in a small town seem terribly boring to a fifteen-year-old girl called Jana. Everything changes, however, when she, at a local swimming pool, meets Jindra, a boy only a bit older than she is. Jindra is a good-looking boy and on top of that, he is interested in Egyptology and wants to study it. He can talk about his interest in such captivating manner that Jana is completely dazzled. But, in a few days, Jana is to leave for a summer camp, where she herself had applied earlier. Jana decides to stay at home, but her parents, who are to go to Bulgaria, send Jana uncompromisingly to the camp. Jana leaves with a sunken heart, but also with Jindra's promise that he will write to her every day. The camp is boring for Jana as she is boycotting the holiday activities as well as the attempts of other boys and girls to make friends with her. She awaits Jindra's letters in vain. On the day of family visits, when Jana and Madla, a girl from a children's home, stay without visitors and Jana decides to go to a distant village to a local post office with a young motorcyclist. As the bad luck would have it, they are stopped by the police and the young biker does not have a driving licence. Thus, Jana must return on foot. It starts pouring with rain and Jana is found soaked through and feverish late at night by the camp leader. Everybody takes care of her. Jana becomes aware of her silly behaviour and thankful for being allowed to stay at the camp, she takes the new chance and begins to enjoy summer days.

Cast

Milada Vnuková

Jana Málková

Jiří Vala

František Málek, Janin otec

Míla Myslíková

Janina matka

Vítězslav Jandák

vedoucí tábora Viky

Eduard Žemla

zdravotník a vedoucí Mirek

Zuzana Fišerová

Madla, dívka z dětského domova

Lenka Horáková

vedoucí 3. oddílu Olina

Ivan Pokorný

Jindra, Janin kamarád

Jana Kulendová

předsedkyně oddílu Andula

Lenka Fišerová

vedoucí 2. oddílu Věra

Miloš Drahota

Kuliočko

Miloš Šikola

kluk

Lucie Domesová

Nikol

Otakar Brousek ml.

motocyklista

Zuzana Zeithamlová

Veronika Babková, Janina sousedka

Jana Marková

matka Veroniky

Jiří Lír

otec Veroniky

Hana Jelínková

Marcela

Miroslav Krejča

praporčík VB

Oldřich Lukeš

Břicháček, Málkův kamarád

Jan Vančura

člen hudební skupiny Plavci

Milan Dufek

člen hudební skupiny Plavci

Antonín Hájek

člen hudební skupiny Plavci

Miroslav Řihošek

člen hudební skupiny Plavci

Jiří Veisser

člen hudební skupiny Plavci

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Josef Ryzec

Assistant Director

Karel Kovář, Miroslav Balajka, Lilian Havlíčková

Screenstory

Stanislav Rudolf

Shooting Script

Jiří Hanibal

Director of Photography

Jan Novák

Second Unit Photography

Ivan Wurm

Camera Operator

Luděk Kopal

Production Designer

Jaroslav Krška

Set Designer

Dvořák Josef (výprava), Rudolf Příhoda, Richard Staněk

Costume Designer

Ladislav Branč

Film Editor

Zdeněk Stehlík

Sound Designer

Ladislav Hausdorf

Production Manager

Josef Ouzký

Unit Production Manager

Růžena Hulínská, Jiří Mařas

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslava Semrádová

Consultant

Jiří Prchal

Cooperation

Antonín Heřman (vrchní osvětlovač), Miloslava Kostková, Zdeněk Dukát, Vladimír Hovorka, Jana Šimůnková, Věra Krpálková (2)

Music

Music Composed by

Angelo Michajlov

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Štěpán Koníček), Bambini di Praga (Music Conducted by Bohumil Kulínský), skupina Komety, skupina Plavci

Songs

Kam se všichni těší

Songwriter Angelo Michajlov
Writer of Lyrics Eduard Krečmar
Singer Magda HrnčířováBambini di Praga

Leť, písničko, k místům vzdáleným

Songwriter Angelo Michajlov
Writer of Lyrics Eduard Krečmar
Singer Vítězslav Jandák [dab]Karel Zich

Silný tým

Songwriter Angelo Michajlov
Writer of Lyrics Eduard Krečmar
Singer skupina Plavci

Noc je jako dáma

Songwriter Angelo Michajlov
Writer of Lyrics Eduard Krečmar
Singer skupina Plavci

Production info

Original Title

Údolí krásných žab

Czech Title

Údolí krásných žab

English Title

The Valley of Beautiful Frogs

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

children

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1973

Production Year

1973

Production specifications

projection approval 3 January 1974

Premiere

premiere 31 May 1974

Creative Group

Dramaturgická skupina Oty Hofmana, Ota Hofman (vedoucí dramaturgické skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

85 min

Original length in metres

2 384 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Exhibition: 6. přehlídka filmů pro děti Ostrov nad Ohří

1974
Ostrov nad Ohří / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 14. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1974
Zlín / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 3. festival dětských filmů České Budějovice

1974
České Budějovice / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 14. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1974
Zlín / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Exhibition: 6. přehlídka filmů pro děti Ostrov nad Ohří

1974
Ostrov nad Ohří / Czechoslovakia
Milada Vnuková