Dear Aunts and Me

comedy, crime

Typology

feature

Czech title

Drahé tety a já

Runtime

76

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1974

Production year

1974

Premiere

23.05.1975

Language version

Czech

Director

Zdeněk Podskalský

Screenplay

Zdeněk Podskalský

Screenstory

Eva Jelínková

Summary

Zdeněk Podskalský is one of those filmmakers who did not succumb to ideological pressures, even in the 1970s, and who offered audiences quality entertainment, e.g. the musical Noc na Karlštejně (Night at Karlštejn, 1973), the tragicomedy Kulový blesk (Ball Lightning, 1978), and the crazy musical comedy Trhák (Blockbuster, 1980). Further proof of Podskalský’s appeal can be found in the comedy with crime elements Drahé tety a já (Dear Aunts and Me), which was made in 1974. The director used his own script as the basis for this ageless film, which was atypical for Podskalský’s film work (in the case of Ďábelské líbánky [Devilish Honeymoon, 1970] and Křtiny [Christening Party, 1981] he collaborated with the experienced Jaroslav Dietl). We can therefore view Dear Aunts and Me as the filmmaker’s authorial work. It is an impulsive, whimsical tale full of madcap ideas about two old sisters – the aging spinster Fany and the widow Andělka, who live together. One morning, the sisters go shopping. Fany, however, mistakenly identifies Michal, the fiancée of their niece Hermínka, as the perpetrator of an armed robbery in a savings bank. He comes to introduce himself to his girl’s aunts, but unexpectedly becomes a feared criminal sought by the police. When the sisters realise their mistake, they conduct their own investigations and ultimately nab the real criminal… This crime comedy, adorned with musical numbers, primarily owes a lot to Joseph Kesselring’s play Arsenic and Old Lace. As scriptwriter and director, however, Podskalský made a purely Czech film, using the sleepy atmosphere of a small, south Bohemian town and a cast of entertaining characters. Miroslav Ondřiček’s camerawork, which follows the action added dynamism to the story, as did the perfect casting. Nataša Gollová gives a towering performance in the role of Fany while Andělka is played by Eva Svobodová. Jiří Hrzán made good use of his comic talents as Michal, but Iva Janžurová remains rather underused in the role of Hermínka.

Synopsis

Two kind but foolish sisters live together in their villa in a small town in South Bohemia. Fany has never married and Andělka is a widow. In the morning, the two sisters go into town. They need to buy fuel oil, put money in the bank and give plums to the teller. In the meantime an smallish orange Škoda MB car parks at their house, with Hermínka, the old ladies' niece, and her fiancé Michal in it. Michal has forgotten to bring flowers and has to go into town to fetch them. At the bank, Fany wants to deposit money but the minute the teller opens the safe, a thief arrives. He knocks the teller and Fany unconscious and runs away with the money. When Fany comes to her senses again, she sees Michal and accuses him of being the thief. Michal prefers to get out of her way. The aunts are happy to see Hermínka but Michal is hiding from them in the woods, and Hermínka later drives him home to České Budějovice. Captain Jedlička investigates the theft and pays a visit to the aunts. Fany describes the thief, Michal, in great detail and also remembers that she has written down the banknote numbers, but she cannot find the piece of paper anywhere. On his next visit to their home, the captain learns from the old ladies that the thief had a dog with him that looked like their Bobina. Consequently, all the policemen in the town are given a photograph of the dog. Andělka goes to visit Hermínka and finds the "thief with the dog" at her place. After long explanations, the aunts finally understand that Michal is not the wanted criminal and now direct all their efforts to protecting Hermínka's fiancé. Andělka reveals to the chemist that Fany has seen the robber. Soon after this, an orange smallish car runs Fany down into a ditch. She manages to write down the car licence plate on a piece of paper, but loses it again. She eventually recovers the paper and the real culprit is proved guilty. It is the chemist. The aunts are happy that Michal is no longer suspected and don't even mind that the young man has managed to demolish their shed. After all, now they have a man around the house!

Film online

Cast

Nataša Gollová

Františka Toufarová zvaná Fany

Eva Svobodová

vdova Andělka Horáčková, Františčina sestra

Iva Janžurová

neteř Hermínka Sklenářová

Jiří Hrzán

číšník Michal, Hermínčin snoubenec

Ota Sklenčka

kriminalista kapitán SNB Jedlička

Svatopluk Beneš

drogista Vilda

Jiří Koutný

soused Tomeček

Věra Bublíková

pokladní spořitelny Svatoňová

Jan Faltýnek

strážmistr VB

Miriam Kantorková

hostinská

Jan Skopeček

železničář, manžel hostinské

Mirko Musil

pumpař Bouček

Jiří Bruder

nadporučík VB Bartoš

Karel Urbánek

poručík VB Pácl

Jana Švandová

drogistova milenka

Stanislav Fišer

kriminalista

Viktor Maurer

kriminalista

Karel Knechtl

příslušník SNB

Oldřich Hoblík

odborník-kynolog

Zdeněk Jarolímek

příslušník VB

Petr Šporcl

příslušník VB

Václav Syřiště

řidič VB/dubl za S. Beneše

Jan Kraus

vlasatý mládenec

Dagmar Stašíková

dáma s dogou

Jiří Reichert

kriminalista

Karel Engel

kriminalista

Jaroslav Tomsa

kriminalista

Otto Kotýnek

hudebník

Milan Svoboda

hudebník

Jan Štěpánek

hudebník

František Ťuík

hudebník

Karel Turnovský

hudebník

Jaroslav Klenot

dubl za N. Gollovou

Dubbing

Jana Švandová

hlas dámy s dogou

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jan Mimra

Assistant Director

Tomáš Urban, Daniela Pilařová

Screenstory

Eva Jelínková

Shooting Script

Zdeněk Podskalský

Script Editor

Milena Honzíková

Second Unit Photography

Eduard Kadeřábek, Ladislav Chroust

Production Designer

Boris Moravec

Art Director

Karel Saudek

Set Designer

Dvořák Josef (výprava), Petr Šťourač, Richard Staněk

Film Editor

Zdeněk Stehlík

Sound Designer

Josef Vlček

Production Manager

Ladislav Novotný

Unit Production Manager

Jan Vild, Jiří Holeček

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslav Smola

Music

Music Composed by

Václav Hybš

Music Performed by

FISYO, Orchestr Václava Hybše

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO), Václav Hybš (Orchestr Václava Hybše)

Songs

Chtěla bych být vločkou sněhovou, Parafráze na různé písně

Songwriter

Václav Hybš (Chtěla bych být vločkou sněhovou), Václav Hybš (Parafráze na různé písně)

Writer of Lyrics

Zdeněk Podskalský (Chtěla bych být vločkou sněhovou), Zdeněk Podskalský (Parafráze na různé písně)

Singer

Drahomíra Vlachová (Chtěla bych být vločkou sněhovou), Jiří Hrzán (Chtěla bych být vločkou sněhovou), Jiří Hrzán (Parafráze na různé písně)

Production info

Original Title

Drahé tety a já

English Title

Dear Aunts and Me

Working Title

Korunní svědkyně / Tety, ženich a pes aneb Drahé tety a já

Copyright

1974

Production Year

1974

Premiere

23.05.1975

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam

Versions

Czech