The Ugly Village

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1975

Production year

1975

Premiere

21 November 1975

Runtime

83 min

Category

film

Genre

drama

Typology

featurelong

Original title

Škaredá dědina

Czech title

Škaredá dědina

English title

The Ugly Village

Working Title

Bratři

Summary

After his chilling condemnation of the communist regime in Ucho (The Ear, 1970), director Karel Kachyňa was forced to strictly adhere to the “normalization” era ideology of Prague's Barrandov film studios. This is evident in his subsequent adaptation of a short story by Petr Jilemnický, O dvoch bratroch (The Story of Two Brothers) – a socially critical piece, which tells the story of two siblings of different temperaments. The narrative takes place in the Moravian-Silesian village of Žitková during the Great Depression. The industrious Josef returns to his father’s house with his family. However his younger brother, the greedy alcoholic Vendel, disapproves of his conduct. For he desires to inherit his father’s farmstead himself…. In Škaredá vesnice (The Ugly Village, 1975) Karech Kachyňa utilises contrived folklore motifs. To achieve a greater degree of authenticity, the cast is comprised mostly of lesser-known actors. The film is dominated by an impressive performance from Petr Čepek in the role of the ex-serviceman Vendel Juriga.

Synopsis

Veteran Jurga plays the cimbalom and sings about the ugly village of Žitková. On the Epiphany Day in 1932, farmer Jurica receives a letter from his son Josef - the economic crisis deprived him of his job, because of which he had left for town to look for a job years ago. He would now like to return to his parents' house with his wife Marie and little son Jurka. Vendel, Jurica's younger son, does not like the idea; he feels they - that is, himself, his father and mother and his wife Tereza and little daughter Bertina - do not have enough as it is. But old Jurica is not about to let his elder son down; he values the hardworking Josef far more than Vendel, who has an addiction for alcohol. This is also the reason why Jurica has not yet turned the farm over to Vendel. Vendel keeps spinning unrealistic plans in order to get money. He takes out fire insurance, because some time ago the house of farmer Hodula burnt down and the farmer was able to build a new one quickly with the indemnity. Josef and Marie move into the outbuilding and start working at the farm. Tereza keeps poisoning Vendel's mind against them; she had hoped to become the landlady and now she has nothing. Vendel is in debt; he even cons out of Josef the little money he has saved. During the traditional ritual celebrating the coming of spring, Bertina tumbles into the brook and falls seriously ill. Marie wants to take the child to the doctor, but the parents refuse. The local herbwoman is unable to help her, so the little girl dies. Vendel's drinking and obvious greed make Josef hold on to his share in the farm, although Marie begs him to go back to town. One day, most of the family goes to the market. Vendel gives matches to the local character and takes him to the barn. Josef returns just in time to extinguish the starting fire. Summoning all his strength, he fights off the furious Vendel who attempts to kill him. Josef, Marie and their little son then leave the farm and return to town.

Note

All of the dancers are members of the crew named Chorea Bohemica.

Cast

Vilém Pfeiffer

gazda Fabián Jurica

Mária Markovičová

gazdina Juricová

Petr Čepek

Vendel, mladší syn Juricových

Marie Málková

Tereza, Vendelova žena

Karel Chromík

Jožin, starší syn Juricových

Jana Hlaváčková

Marie, Josefova žena

Václav Babka

vojenský vysloužilec Jurga

Rudolf Hrušínský ml.

slabomyslný Ondryš

Luděk Munzar

Tunin Uherek

Brigita Hausnerová

Márika Hodulová

Michal Gazdík

Štefan, Máričin milý

Katka Zatovičová

Bertina, dcerka Vendela a Terezy

Petr Přívozník

Jurka, synek Josefa a Marie

Valerie Kaplanová

kořenářka zvaná Bohyně

Antonín Ženčák

kmocháček Martin

Gustav Hrabal

pojišťovací agent

Ludvík Kacer

Jura Soviš, Máričin ženich

Rudolf Šimara

řídící učitel

Milan Holubář

gazda Hodula, otec Máriky

Zdeněk Vašek

kostelník

Miroslav Bezdíček

správce lomu Šopík

Vlastimila Vlková

bába kořenářka

Eva Foustková

bába kořenářka

Ferdinand Šnajberk

hostinský Rotter

Jaroslav Pfleger

správce

Jiří Trapek

tanečník

Josef Šilha

tanečník

Vratislav Marek

tanečník

Michael Pohl

tanečník

Martin Cejp

tanečník

Tomáš Sychra

tanečník

Jiří Fiala (3)

tanečník

Jiří Leitgeb

tanečník

Miloš Bejček

tanečník

Jiří Vajčner

tanečník

členové souboru Malá Rusava

členové souboru Vonica

Dubbing

Slávka Hozová

hlas Máriky

Petr Svojtka

hlas Štefana

Jan Pohan

hlas pojišťovacího agenta

Mirko Musil

hlas kostelníka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Milada Mikešová

Assistant Director

Jiří Světlík, Hana Gelná

Based on

Peter Jilemnický (O dvoch bratoch – povídka ze sbírky Kompas v nás)

Shooting Script

Karel Kachyňa

Script Editor

Václav Šašek

Second Unit Photography

Oldřich Hubáček

Camera Operator

Hanuš Bečvář

Production Designer

Oldřich Okáč

Set Designer

Josef Müller, Milan Rališ, Jiří Žůček

Costume Designer

Svatava Sophová

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

Jiří Lenoch

Production Manager

Karel Vejřík

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslava Semrádová

Music

Selected Music

Jaroslav Krček (Masopust /motivy pro píšťalku/), Jaroslav Krček (Pochovávání basy /úprava lidových písní/)

Music Performed by

FISYO, Chorea Bohemica

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO), Jaroslav Krček (Chorea Bohemica)

Songs

Žitková, Žitková, My tři králové, Zajali, zajali, Učeš si hlavičku jako makovičku, Ore, šohájek, ore, na vysokej hore, Oj, maměnko, maměnko milá, Poslyš, Bože, Keď sa Jano do vojny bral

Singer

Václav Babka [dab] (Žitková, Žitková), Luboš Holý (Žitková, Žitková), dětský sbor (My tři králové), Václav Babka [dab] (Zajali, zajali), Luboš Holý (Zajali, zajali), dívčí sbor (Učeš si hlavičku jako makovičku), Václav Babka [dab] (Ore, šohájek, ore, na vysokej hore), Luboš Holý (Ore, šohájek, ore, na vysokej hore), dětský sbor (Oj, maměnko, maměnko milá), sbor (Poslyš, Bože), Václav Babka [dab] (Keď sa Jano do vojny bral), Luboš Holý (Keď sa Jano do vojny bral)

Production info

Original Title

Škaredá dědina

English Title

The Ugly Village

Working Title

Bratři

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

drama

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1975

Production Year

1975

Premiere

21 November 1975

Creative Group

Karel Cop

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

83 min

Versions

Czech