The Cape of Good Hope

drama

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Mys Dobré naděje

Runtime

93 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1975

Production year

1975

Premiere

14.05.1976

Language version

Czech

Director

Otakar Fuka

Summary

Not surprisingly, the end of World War II was an inspirational historical period for a number of Czech filmmakers. In this milieu, they could portray the activities of those Czechs who were forced into passivity during the occupation. The setting of this drama, which takes place at the beginning of May 1945, is the Elbe, a river serving as both an escape and a traffic route for the retreating Germans. The Moldau cargo ship carrying explosives has a Czech crew; a decision is made to thwart some enemy plans... The leading roles in this war picture are played by Josef Větrovec, Jaromír Hanzlík and Eduard Cupák. The part of Polish girl Wanda was an early appearance by Simona Stašová. The screenwriter and director Otakar Fuka demonstrated his interest in WWII not only in Mys Dobré naděje (Cape of Good Hope, 1975), but also in drama Piloti (Pilots, 1988) and Soviet war epic Boj o Moskvu (The Battle of Moscow, 1985), for which he was part of a directors' collective.

Synopsis

It is early May 1945 and the war is ending. The region adjacent to the river Elbe is full of retreating German soldiers and evacuated townsfolk. The cargo ship "Moldau" with a Czech crew escorted by German soldiers cruises the river. The explosives transported on it are supposed to assist the withdrawal of a German army unit from one of the settlements. Mechanic Rudl, shipman Vrána and steersmen Vaniš plan to take flight as soon as the boat arrives on shore, but the Germans keep detaining other men to add to the crew for unloading the dangerous cargo: Čenda, an escaped forced labourer, inspector Říha and mechanic Kříž. Vrána obtains secret documents about the planned destruction of Prague from the German anti-Fascist Neumann and promises to take them to his homeland. Vaniš is forced by German officers to steer a small boat in which they plan to escape dressed up in civilian clothes. A shot from a Soviet tank destroys the cargo ship. Vaniš saves himself by jumping into the water only to run into a Polish girl Wanda who in panic shoots and wounds him. Escape by dry land is impossible and everybody attempts to save their lives by sailing up river to Bohemia. Říha is hiding a briefcase filled with jewellery and banknotes. He turns tail and deserts the boat only to be killed by a shot from a Wehrmacht soldier's rifle. The friendly crew of a Dutch ship joined by the crew from "Moldau" celebrate the approaching peace, but are attacked by a German plane. Kříž dies in the attack. The crew learns from the radio about the Prague uprising and when they arrive on the border of the former Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, they are greeted by Czechoslovak flags.

Note

The film script won the Literary Fund Award on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the liberation of Czechoslovakia.

Cast

Josef Větrovec

kapitán Vrána

Ota Sklenčka

inspektor Říha

Jaromír Hanzlík

strojník Rudla

Otto Lackovič

mechanik Kříž

Eduard Cupák

kormidelník Jiří Vaniš

František Skřípek

uprchlík z totálního nasazení Čenda Beran

Simona Stašová

polská dívka Wanda

Jan Pohan

Gretschnel

Consuela Morávková

Hilda, Gretschnelova žena

Miriam Chytilová

Gerta, dcera Gretschnelových

Milan Sandhaus

německý komunista strojník Neumann

Jindřich Narenta

oberleutnant Lang

Gerhard Sgalitzer

Kratzer

Jan Teplý

oberscharführer SS

František Haszprunar

správce zdymadla Schönwald

Stanislav Litera

domobranec

Karel Augusta

domobranec

Václav Kotva

hradlař

Josef Hajdučík

velitel partyzánů

Roman Hemala

feldvébl

Ilona Jirotková

bledá dívka

Zdeněk Kutil

příslušník wehrmachtu

Jožka Stoklasa

holandský kapitán Ort

Pavel Spálený

příslušník protiletecké obrany

Tomáš Hádl

příslušník protiletecké obrany

Jan Kuželka

člen holandské posádky

Bert Schneider

člen holandské posádky

Karel Meister ml.

člen holandské posádky

Aleš Máčel

člen holandské posádky

Pavel Jiras

eskorta

Milan Kolbava

eskorta

Alex Jandouš

četník

Ludvík Pozník

četník

Crew and creators

Director

Otakar Fuka

Second Unit Director

Lubomír Břinčil

Assistant Director

Miroslav Balajka, Marie Beránková

Shooting Script

Otakar Fuka

Script Editor

Pavel Torda

Second Unit Photography

Josef Pechar

Camera Operator

Jiří Knotek

Production Designer

Jiří Hlupý

Set Designer

Zbyněk Benýšek, Jiří Cvrček, Bohumil Kadlec

Film Editor

Zdeněk Stehlík

Sound Designer

František Černý

Production Manager

Jaroslav Solnička

Unit Production Manager

František Jaderník, Milan Štěch

Consultant

plk. Ing. Augustin Procházka, Jiří Kubát

Cooperation

A. Černá, Československá plavba labsko-oderská, Miloslava Kostková, Vladimír Souček, Erika Vojáčková, Boris Moravec ml.

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Šust

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

Škoda lásky

Songwriter

Jaromír Vejvoda (Škoda lásky)

Writer of Lyrics

Jaromír Vejvoda (Škoda lásky)

Singer

mužský sbor (Škoda lásky)

Production info

Original Title

Mys Dobré naděje

English Title

The Cape of Good Hope

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

drama

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1975

Production Year

1975

Premiere

14.05.1976

Creative Group

Miroslav Hladký

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

93 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Čestná uznání Federálního ústředního výboru Svazu protifašistických bojovníků

1976
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Otakar Fuka

Vítěz

Festival: 14. festival českých a slovenských filmů Brno

1976
Brno / Czechoslovakia
Otakar Fuka

Vítěz

Event: Čestná uznání Federálního ústředního výboru Svazu protifašistických bojovníků

1976
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Josef Větrovec

Vítěz

Event: Čestná uznání Federálního ústředního výboru Svazu protifašistických bojovníků

1976
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Augustin Procházka

Vítěz

Event: Čestná uznání Federálního ústředního výboru Svazu protifašistických bojovníků

1976
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Josef Pechar

Vítěz

Event: Literární soutěž k 30. výročí osvobození Československa Sovětskou armádou

1976
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Ladislav Langpaul

Vítěz

Event: Čestná uznání Federálního ústředního výboru Svazu protifašistických bojovníků

1976
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Ladislav Langpaul

Vítěz

Event: Literární soutěž k 30. výročí osvobození Československa Sovětskou armádou

1976
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Otakar Fuka