Who Looks for Gold

narrative

Typology

feature

Czech title

Kdo hledá zlaté dno

Runtime

93

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1974

Production year

1974

Premiere

20.12.1974

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Menzel

Screenplay

Vojtěch Měšťan, Rudolf Ráž, Jiří Menzel, Zdeněk Svěrák

Screenstory

Vojtěch Měšťan, Rudolf Ráž

Summary

For many directors of the day, the transition from the 1960s Czechoslovak New Wave to the 1970s “normalisation” era was a very painful one. Director Jiří Menzel may have had an Oscar under his belt for the celebrated Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains, 1966), but his adaptation of Bohumil Hrabal's novel Skřivánci na niti (Skylarks on the String) found itself locked away in a vault by the authorities until after the Velvet Revolution (though produced in 1969 it was only released as late as 1990). Although Menzel was at the peak of his directorial powers, the experience meant he did not return to film directing until 1974 with this doctrinarian “building a better future” film about a young clockmaker (Jan Hrušínský), who after leaving the army only finds his true fulfilment while working on the construction of an electricity plant in Dalešice. Among these “right-minded” workers, the man discovers the real meaning of life and finds the strength to split up from his bourgeoisie-minded girlfriend. Despite lacking Menzel’s personal stamps of playfulness and poeticism, the film can be described as a solid piece of work. Zdeněk Svěrák serves as co-writer alongside Menzel – the pair would cooperate heavily on projects over the ensuing decades.

Synopsis

Láďa Kratochvíl has completed his military service and returns back home to carry on his profession of a watchmaker, looking forward to see his girlfriend - a hairdresser Petra. He plans to propose her a marriage, but they do not have a place to live together, and moreover, his job is not very well paid. That is why he is leaving to Moravia to get a job at a huge construction of a Dalešice dam. He is offered a job as a lorry driver. Láďa is happy about the work, as well as about the wages, but he is missing Petra a lot. His nostalgia will be cured by girlfriend Petra's visite. She comes to see him on Fridays, trying to persuade him to come back to Prague with her. Due to Petra, Láďa neglects his working duties and is transferred to a less attractive job. He tries hard to retrieve the lost credit, helping his co-worker Miky at a complicated repair of a new caterpillar. Doing so, Láďa has lost a lot of spare time, and Miky takes him to Prague to see Petra. Láďa is badly surprised seeing her locked with another man. The love has ended up for him. Láďa doesn't allow to be persuaded into returning to Petra but decides to come back to the construction site. He makes his money by doing a fair job on a new modern excavator entrusted to him by his fellow workers.

Cast

Jan Hrušínský

hodinář Láďa Kratochvíl, později řidič

Jana Giergielová

kadeřnice Petra

Július Pántik

řidič Miky Polievka

Alois Liškutín

vedoucí autoprovozu Dalibor

František Husák

Pepík Němec

Míla Myslíková

kantýnská Marcela

František Řehák

Petřin otec

Blažena Holišová

Petřina matka

Blanka Lormanová

Láďova sestra

Oldřich Vlach

Jirka, Láďův švagr

Otakar Dadák

řidič Jan Vízner, Marcelin muž

Jiří Jurka

řidič Slávek

Leopold Franc

řidič Provazník

Svatopluk Skopal

řidič Král

Oldřich Slavík

stavebník Nováček

Jan Heger-Kučera

Ferda

Jaroslav Rava

řidič Lojza

Karel Bělohradský

řidič Vyskočil

Jiří Koukola

řidič

Alexej Okuněv

zelinář Ivan

Ferdinand Krůta

hodinářský mistr

Jan Řeřicha

nešikovný hodinář později pumpař

Eugen Jegorov

hluchoněmý hodinář

Miroslav Masopust

taxikář Béďa Hustoles

Miloslav Štibich

Hořínek, soused ve vile

Alois Vachek

zákazník zelinářství

Karel Hovorka

řidič Julinek

Mária Nováková

kadeřnice

Taťána Radechovská

zmrzlinářka

Jiří Prokel

redaktor

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Miloš Kohout

Assistant Director

Miroslav Balajka, Lilian Havlíčková

Second Unit Photography

Petr Čech

Camera Operator

Bohumír Schwarzer

Production Designer

Bohumil Pokorný

Sound Designer

Milan R. Novotný

Special Effects

Trikový ateliér FSB

Production Manager

Jan Šuster

Unit Production Manager

Rudolf Mos, Zdena Sirotková

Unit Production Manager

Marie Ryšlinková

Consultant

Ing. J. Žáček, Přemysl Háček, Vladimír Ludka, Jaroslav Rybníček, J. Cejnar

Cooperation

zaměstnanci Vodního díla Dalešice, Jiří Kučera, Jitka Radová, Růžena Hejsková

Music

Music Composed by

Angelo Michajlov

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Songs

Na naší půdě, Mám ráda žužu, Cikánka, Vklouzlo do nás kouzlo, Kamarád

Songwriter

Angelo Michajlov (Na naší půdě), Bohuslav Ondráček (Mám ráda žužu), Karel Vacek (Cikánka), Angelo Michajlov (Vklouzlo do nás kouzlo), Bill Monroe (Kamarád)

Writer of Lyrics

Zdeněk Svěrák (Na naší půdě), Zdeněk Borovec (Mám ráda žužu), Jiří Štaidl (Vklouzlo do nás kouzlo), Marko Čermák (Kamarád)

Singer

Zdena Adamová (Na naší půdě), Naďa Urbánková (Mám ráda žužu), Jitka Molavcová (Vklouzlo do nás kouzlo), Tomáš Linka (Kamarád)

Production info

Original Title

Kdo hledá zlaté dno

English Title

Who Looks for Gold

Working Title

Frajeři na blátě

Copyright

1974

Production Year

1974

Premiere

20.12.1974

Creative Group

Miloš Brož

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 13. filmový festival mladých Trutnov

1975
Trutnov / Czechoslovakia
Július Pántik

Vítěz

Festival: 13. festival českých a slovenských filmů Praha

1975
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jaromír Šofr