The Secret of the Gold Buddha

crime, narrative

Typology

feature

Czech title

Tajemství zlatého Buddhy

Runtime

99

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1973

Production year

1973

Premiere

01.06.1973

Language version

Czech

Director

Dušan Klein

Screenplay

Otto Zelenka, Ladislav Fuks, Dušan Klein

Summary

Novelist Josef Nesvadba’s science fiction works have several times been adapted for the big screen. But the book that serves as a template for Tajemství zlatého Buddhy (The Secret of the Gold Buddha) is something of an exception for the author, presenting, as it does, a crime story set during the realities of the 1890s. Directed by Dušan Klein – whose filmography underscores a penchant for the detective genre – this 1973 film tells the story of the family machinations of a wealthy factory owner in north Bohemia. That owner, Riessig, has his rich aunt declared not legally competent. But a gold Buddha statue conceals evidence that the doctors involved in the wrongful diagnosis were bribed. Meanwhile, a group of textile workers, sick of exploitation at the hands of their greedy boss, go on strike. Otakar Brousek takes the lead role as the wicked factory owner, while his unfortunate auntie is played by Blanka Waleská.

Synopsis

The Svahov factory owner Riessig celebrates the engagement with a sugar mill owner's daughter. Due to her dowry he broke away from madam von Waldberg. He let his old aunt baroness declared insane. A clerk of a co-operative Oul, Janata, got secretly a gold statuette of Buddha from her. It is 1871 and Krasl, a teacher, tells his pupils in Prague about the liberal times in which they are lucky to live. The workers working for Riessig work fourteen hours a day for poor wages. Their strike ends up in police shooting after which several people were wounded and shot dead. The political leader Herrmann sends Krasl to Svahov. Janata was shot dead and it seems the bullet came out by mistake during the fights. The teacher Krasl learns, contrary to neglected investigation, that Janata had been killed. The victim's daughter Albína is afraid that her lover Zeman will be accused of the crime and she rather gets in his way. Before his escape, Zeman got money from Riessig for the information about who has got the Buddha statuette. He wants to extort Riessig and Riessig lets him killed by the police. Madam von Waldberg discloses Krasl that the statuette contained documents proving that the psychiatrists having declared the rich baroness insane had been bribed. The factory owner lets Janata's house set on fire. Krasl, however, finds the statuette hidden in a beehive in the garden. He submits the found documents to Herrmann. The corruptible politician gives the only evidence, proving the factory owner's guilt, directly to Riessig. Krasl is transfered to a remote village school where he tells children about the liberal times.

Film online

Cast

Eduard Cupák

učitel František Krasl

Otakar Brousek

baron Riessig, majitel textilky

Blanka Waleská

baronka, Riessigová teta

Jana Preissová

Albína Janatová

Milena Dvorská

von Waldbergová, baronova milenka

Václav Postránecký

dělník Jarek Zeman, Albínin milý

Josef Mixa

dělník Scheu

Jaroslava Tichá

Scheuova manželka

Stanislav Zindulka

dělník Jouza

Ilja Prachař

starosta Melichar

Antonín Hardt

strážmistr

Bohumil Šmída

četník Šulc

Milan Sandhaus

Janata, činovník družstva Oul

Alena Kreuzmannová

Rieberkreuzerová

Miloš Willig

lékař

Josef Karlík

politický předák JUDr. Herrmann

Jarmila Horská

Duriniová

Oldřich Velen

ředitel školy

Hana Packertová

prostitutka v hotelu

Gustav Opočenský

hostinský

Viktor Očásek

velkoobchodník Artur Schlieffer

Eva Lorenzová

komorná

Stanislav Litera

komorník

Jan Kraus

výrostek

Leoš Kaltofen

recepční

Marie Cingrošová

Melicharová

Emil Rohan

kočí dostavníku

René Přibil

mladík v dostavníku

Pavel Osif

dragoun

Pavel Rusý

dragoun

Hana Merhautová

venkovská žena

Jarmila Nedvídková

venkovská žena

Jiřina Zemanová

venkovská žena

Jan Zetek

četník

Jiří Flíček

dělník

Bohumil Procházka

dělník

Karel Chromík

dělník

Růžena Novotná

manželka raněného

Libuše Chrastilová

tanečnice

Ivan Martin

tanečník

Dana Špédlová

tanečnice

Václav Brouček

tanečník

Zdeněk Munzar

dirigent orchestru

Josef Krásný

hudebník v kavárně

Pavel Vondruška

hudebník v kavárně

Vladimír Janota

hudebník

Pavel Kandrik

hudebník

Miroslav Odvárko

hudebník

Jiří Schenzer

hudebník

Josef Janoušek (2)

lokaj

Ladislav Schwarz

lokaj

Vlastimila Vlková

starší žena

Miroslav Jíra

dubl za E. Cupáka

Dubbing

Vlastimil Brodský

hlas velkoobchodníka Schlieffera

Crew and creators

Director

Dušan Klein

Second Unit Director

Helena Rohanová

Assistant Director

Milan Klacek, Jana Novotná

Based on

Josef Nesvadba (Tajemství zlatého Buddhy – román)

Shooting Script

Dušan Klein

Script Editor

Josef Šihavý

Second Unit Photography

Rudolf Holan

Production Designer

Milan Nejedlý

Set Designer

Jaroslav Chytrý, Jan Hodný, Karel Kočí

Costume Designer

Fernand Vácha

Sound Designer

Jiří Kejř

Production Manager

Jiří Beránek

Unit Production Manager

Vlasta Synkulová, Jaroslav Vágner

Unit Production Manager

Jiří Ostrý

Cooperation

Josef Kraus, Jaroslav Trousil, Jana Vohryzková, Helena Lehovcová

Music

Music Composed by

Svatopluk Havelka

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Tajemství zlatého Buddhy

English Title

The Secret of the Gold Buddha

Copyright

1973

Production Year

1973

Premiere

01.06.1973

Technical info

Format

35mm

Versions

Czech