How Honza Almost Became a King

fairytale

Typology

feature

Czech title

Honza málem králem

Runtime

86

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1977

Production year

1977

Premiere

15.07.1977

Language version

Czech

Director

Bořivoj Zeman

Screenplay

Oldřich Kautský, Bořivoj Zeman

Screenstory

Oldřich Kautský, Bořivoj Zeman

Summary

Bořivoj Zeman is today assured of his place in the history of Czech fairy tales thanks to the cult films Pyšná princezna (The Proud Princess, 1952) and Byl jednou jeden král (Once Upon a Time, There Was a King, 1954). In 1968, he added to these movies with the fairy tale musical Šíleně smutná princezna (Incredibly Sad Princess), in which the lead roles were played by Helena Vondráčková and Václav Neckář, who were popstars at the time. The storybook tale Honza málem králem (How Honza Almost Became a King) tries to follow up on this success by casting Jiří Korn in the lead role (although the popular singer was dubbed by Michal Pavlata.) The film, however, does not rely on musical numbers – it contains only three songs by Jiří Sternwald. Despite the fact that the screenwriter was Oldřich Kautský, as was the case for the aforementioned Zeman films from the 1950s, How Honza Almost Became a King from 1977 did not enjoy the same mass popularity as some of the director’s other movies (including, among others, two comedies about a curmudgeonly Prague ticket inspector Dovolená s Andělem (Holiday with Angel, 1952) and Anděl na horách (Angel in the Mountains, 1955)). In the last title from his filmography, the then 65-year-old screenwriter and director offered a comic variation on the classic story of Hloupý Honza (“Silly Honza” – a kind of Czech version of Simple Simon). In Zeman’s film, however, the folk hero turns out to be a clever and energetic young man, who teaches a lesson to a stingy farmer, a jealous royal drummer, and a conceited princess, who pretends to be mute and takes the lives of her suitors. However, even the light-hearted and convivial Honza comes to realise that his love for the simple village girl Mařenka is more important than adventure, property, a princess and half a kingdom… Some of the motifs in the story are vaguely reminiscent of the French costume drama romance Fanfan la Tulipe (1952). Besides casting Jiří Korn in his first major film role, the director also used experienced professionals. Naďa Konvalinková took the role of Mařenka, Honza’s mother was played by Marie Glázrová, the part of the proud princess was filled by Jorga Kotrbová, and her father, the king, was played by František Filipovský.

Synopsis

Honza used to lie happily on the furnace but now his mother insists that he sets off to the world to get some experience. The friendly young man helps to ants, although they bite him immediately. He treats a hungry tramp and himself from a food supply of a silly market woman, to whom he explains it in a smart way. He protects a pretty Mařenka from an undesirable courting of the royal drummer. He starts to work for a greedy farmer. The first one, who gives a notice to the other one, will give the other one's ear a tweak. Therefore the farmer does not fire him even when Honza eats a whole goose after a heavy work. The young man is brought away by soldiers led by the offended drummer an although he runs away he gets to the castle anyway. There are no more suitors coming to the enchanted princess. Those who tried to make her talk again without success were executed. Mařenka goes nearly mad after her beloved Honza leaves, but his mother takes care of her. In the meantime Honza is forced to save the king's only daughter. When he is alone with the stuck-up princess he gives her a kiss and she starts to shout immediately. But when she is supposed to show how she can speak again in the palace, as a revenge she acts as she is dumb and Honza gets nearly executed. He may though speak with the princess one more time. The smart young man gives her a spanking and the king and courtiers like her loud protesting. Honza accepts happily instead of the promised princess and the kingdom a box of gold coins. He looses the coins on the way but he meets happily her beloved Mařenka and his mother who was waiting for him.

Film online

Cast

Jiří Korn

Honza zvaný Hloupý

Marie Glázrová

Honzova máma

Jorga Kotrbová

princezna

Zdeněk Dítě

vojevůdce

Josef Kemr

bubeník

Jan Skopeček

člen královské rady

Valerie Kaplanová

kmotra s kosou

Lubomír Kostelka

chudý pocestný

Petr Nárožný

sedlák Matěj

Čestmír Řanda

hospodský

Adolf Filip

kovář

Ivana Motyčková

Anička, kovářova dcera

Vladimír Hlavatý

chalupník s krávou

František Kovářík

děda s károu

Václav Lohniský

košíkář

Bořivoj Navrátil

vůdce loupežníků

Karel Effa

loupežník s jizvou

Lubomír Lipský

loupežník s bradavicí

Mirko Musil

pachtýř

Jiří Lír

dvořan s bradkou

Oldřich Velen

klíčník

Ivan Glanc

zelinář

Jiří Sládek

katův pacholek

Vítězslav Černý

žalářník/vesničan

Karel Engel

zbrojnoš

Karel Hábl

zbrojnoš

Petr Jákl

zbrojnoš

Jaroslav Klenot

zbrojnoš

Jiří Kosek

zbrojnoš

Ludvík Krejčík

zbrojnoš

Jindřich Sejk

zbrojnoš

Rudolf Schut

zbrojnoš

Petr Skarke

zbrojnoš

Zdeněk Srstka

zbrojnoš

František Svojan

zbrojnoš

Vladimír Šlehofer

zbrojnoš

Jaroslav Tomsa

zbrojnoš

Jaroslav Vlk

zbrojnoš

Jaroslav Zvolský

zbrojnoš

Zdeněk Vlček

zbrojnoš

Václav Pešák

dubl za Korna

Karel Vítek

dubl za Kemra

Dubbing

Michal Pavlata

hlas Honzy

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Milan Jonáš

Assistant Director

Stanislav Ulver, Zdenka Barochová

Shooting Script

Bořivoj Zeman

Second Unit Photography

Richard Valenta

Camera Operator

Jiří Maxa

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Set Designer

Vladimír Ježek, Žák Jiří (2), Ladislav Winkelhöfer

Costume Designer

Jan Kropáček

Sound Designer

František Černý

Production Manager

Jaroslav Prokop

Unit Production Manager

František Jaderník, Jaroslav Vágner

Unit Production Manager

Petr Truneček

Cooperation

Jana Prokopcová, Miroslav Pešan, Rimma Stejskalová, Gabriela Pitráková, Michal Krška

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Sternwald

Music Performed by

FISYO, Orchestr Václava Hybše

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Songs

Svítí, svítí slunce nad hlavou, Kam ten potůček, kam tak spěchá, Volám háje lesy, ty můj Honzo, kde jsi

Songwriter

Jiří Sternwald (Svítí, svítí slunce nad hlavou), Jiří Sternwald (Kam ten potůček, kam tak spěchá), Jiří Sternwald (Volám háje lesy, ty můj Honzo, kde jsi)

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Sternwald (Svítí, svítí slunce nad hlavou), Jiří Sternwald (Kam ten potůček, kam tak spěchá), Jiří Sternwald (Volám háje lesy, ty můj Honzo, kde jsi)

Singer

Jiří Korn (Svítí, svítí slunce nad hlavou), Naďa Konvalinková (Kam ten potůček, kam tak spěchá), Jiří Korn (Kam ten potůček, kam tak spěchá), Naďa Konvalinková (Volám háje lesy, ty můj Honzo, kde jsi)

Production info

Original Title

Honza málem králem

English Title

How Honza Almost Became a King

Copyright

1977

Production Year

1977

Premiere

15.07.1977

Creative Group

Karel Cop

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 17. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1977
Zlín / Czechoslovakia