Windy Sea

Country

Czechoslovakia, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Copyright

1973

Production year

1973

Premiere

3 May 1974

Runtime

92 min

Category

film

Genre

drama

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Větrné moře

Czech title

Větrné moře

English title

Windy Sea

Parallel title

Poputnyj veter

Summary

During the 1970s and 80s, high-budget historical epics were among the films produced within the framework of “brotherly” cooperation between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. One example is this adaptation of the Jiří Marek short story Život pod praporem (Life Under the Banner), filmed in 1973 by Azerbaijani director Eldar Kulijev. The story is set after the 1918 Bolshevik revolution in Baku, where Jan Vacek, a Russian revolutionary of Czech background, organises the retreat of communist forces following the fall of the short-lived Baku Commune. The inspiration for the lead character, portrayed by Alois Švehlík, was real life revolutionary Ivan Prokof'jevič Vacek (1870–1951). Josef Illík served as cinematographer for this adventure film, and was given considerable scope to shoot countless expensive scenes featuring battles and large crowds. Alongside its Soviet stars, the film features several Czechs portraying nefarious foreigners and their Czech colleagues (Josef Langmiler and Radovan Lukavský play English capitalists seeking to exploit Caspian oil).

Synopsis

It is the year 1918 and Baku, the Azerbaijan port and gateway to the oil rigs in the Caspian Sea, is tormented by fights for power. The commune has fallen and the Esars, who seized power, imprisoned most of the Communist commissars. One of the commissars who is now contemplating further move with the help of Petrov, the group leader, is Jan Vacek, a respected man of Czech origin. It is decided that the group must hold their positions in the desert near Baku, but the seriously wounded mounted messenger changes the plans. The folk commissars are ordering to step back from the area and evacuate to Astrakhan.Vacek wants to verify the message through a telegraph, but is surprised by the Whiteguards. He manages to escape only thanks to a courageous help of his younger brother Eduard. The Mensheviks and Essars sell the rights for oil rigs to the Americans. They have a military protection of the Cossacks led by commander Bičecharov, Jan's greatest enemy. He manages to capture the commissar and urges the cruel Cossack officer Talybov to beat the prisoner. Jan is saved by his true friend, Alibaba. The strike of oil-rig workers presses the English to allow the evacuation of the Red. Alibaba and Jan save by a risky action also a list of Bolsheviks illegally working in Baku. The ships with evacuees are sailing across the Caspian Sea, but have no water or food supplies. Alibaba dies while trying to secure some water and food stock. In the end, the action is a success. Jan receives congratulations, but the fight is far from being over. Jan's new adjutant is called Alibaba...

Note

The main hero is based on a real character of a revolutionary Ivan Prokopovič Vacek (1870–1950). He came to Baku as a young boy with his father, who came from the East Bohemian village of Žiželice as a gunsmith. Ivan Vacek was trained in the same profession and later he actively participated in World War I and World War II. His life story was captured by the Czech writer Jiří Marek after his visit to Azerbaijan in the novel Life under the Flag, published in the Květy magazine.

Cast

Alois Švehlík

Dubbing Petr Oliva
komisař Jan Prokopovič Vacek

Hasan Mammedov

Dubbing Jaroslav Moučka
spolubojovník Alibaba

Josef Langmiler

představitel britské naftařské společnosti Rosher

Jana Gýrová

Janova manželka Marie

Gleb Striženov

Dubbing Martin Růžek
ministr Vasin

Radovan Lukavský

velitel britské jednotky major Smith

Gennadij Judin

Dubbing Luděk Munzar
velitel Gríša Petrov

Murad Jagizarov

Dubbing Miroslav Moravec
kozácký důstojník Talybov

Gasan aga Turabov

Dubbing Jiří Holý
ataman Bičerachov

Gasangara Gasan-zade

Dubbing Bedřich Prokoš
Michtar-kiši

Josef Šebek

Dubbing Alfred Strejček
Janův bratr Eduard

Gusejnacha Sadychov

Dubbing Vladimír Šmeral
Allahverdidaj

Alladin Abbasov

Dubbing Soběslav Sejk
komisař Amiraslanov

Ismail Osmanly

Dubbing Václav Voska
lékař Gajbov

Nikolaj Barmin

Dubbing Miloš Willig
rudoarmějec Fjodor

Amalija Panachova

Dubbing Consuela Morávková
Chadidža, Alibabova sestra

Gadži Murad

Dubbing Ota Sklenčka
lodník Enver-kiši

Karel Šebesta

politruk v Astrachani

Vadim Gračov

rotmistr Saveljev

Miroslav Krejča

Smithův adjutant

Zdeněk Najman

Dubbing Stanislav Fišer
hospodský Duchanščik

Miroslav Mokošín

Dubbing Ferdinand Krůta
stařík-telegrafista

Bachadur Alijev

naftař

Ramiz Melikov

důstojník

Ladislav Žid

důstojník

Karel Augusta

esaul-důstojník

Miloslav Homola

důstojník v salónním voze

Zdena Burdová

politrukova sekretářka

Karel Bělohradský

muž u průmyslníka

Stanislav Juna

muž u průmyslníka

Zdeněk Skalický

muž u průmyslníka

Vladimír Štros

muž u průmyslníka

Muchtar Manijev

Gusejnacha Sadychov

Jusuf Velijev

N. Gusejnov

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Miroslav Kubišta, Ramiz Alijev

Assistant Director

Viktor Karásek, Vagif Asadullajev, Rafik Dadašev, Hana Cvejnová

Screenstory

Jiří Marek

Based on

Jiří Marek (Život pod praporem – povídka)

Screenplay

Jusif Samed ogly, Ludvík Toman

Shooting Script

Eldar Kulijev

Director of Photography

Josef Illík

Second Unit Photography

Adolf Hejzlar

Camera Operator

Jiří Ondráček

Set Designer

Antonín Chloupek, Vladimír Ježek, Ladislav Winkelhöfer

Film Editor

Tajira Babajeva, Galina Šatrova

Sound Designer

Alekper Gasan-Zade

Unit Production Manager

Antonín Navrátil, Rudolf Mos, Ibragim Safarov, Tamara Kazačenko

Unit Production Manager

Jiřina Soběhartová

Dialogues of Czech version

K. M. Walló

Direction of Czech version

K. M. Walló

Music

Music Composed by

Polad Bjulbjul-ogly

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín), Orchestr Karla Vlacha

Songs

Ó, hřebíčku zahradnický

Singer mužský hlas

Production info

Original Title

Větrné moře

Czech Title

Větrné moře

English Title

Windy Sea

Parallel Title

Poputnyj veter

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama

Origin country

Czechoslovakia, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Copyright

1973

Production Year

1973

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 6 March 1973
start of filming 12 March 1973
technical Screenplay approved 3 May 1973
end of filming 7 December 1973
projection approval 29 January 1974

Premiere

premiere 3 May 1974

Creative Group

Dramaturgická skupina Karla Copa, Karel Cop (vedoucí dramaturgické skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

92 min

Original length in metres

2 580 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Prémie Českého literárního fondu za rok 1974

1975
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Josef Illík

Vítěz

Event: Prémie Českého literárního fondu za rok 1974

1975
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Ludvík Toman