Those Wonderful Men with Crank / Those Wonderful Movie Cranks

historical, comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Báječní muži s klikou

Runtime

84

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1978

Production year

1978

Premiere

03.08.1979

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Menzel

Screenplay

Oldřich Vlček, Jiří Menzel

Screenstory

Oldřich Vlček

Summary

For film audiences, movies devoted to the pioneers of cinema have a nostalgic charm – and Jiří Menzel’s picture is no exception. Shot for the 80th anniversary of the establishment of Czech cinema, this movie is based on the lives of real historical figures whose identities were concealed by new names, which still made it easy to guess who they were. The owner of Prague’s first permanent cinema, Viktor Ponrepo, is called Vilém Pasparte in Báječní muži s klikou (Those Wonderful Men with Crank), the film pioneer Jan Kříženecký had his name changed to Jakub Kolenatý, and the cabaret artist and first Czech film actor Josef Šváb-Malostranský became Jára Šlapeta. Other characters in this whimsical comedy about the beginnings of film in the Czech lands also have real prototypes, as do the films made by the fictional heroes of Those Wonderful Men with Crank. Although Jiří Menzel used his knowledge of archive materials and historical facts in his eighth film, he and fellow screenwriter Oldřich Vlček did not adhere too closely to real life. Consequently, the filmmakers not only offer a vivid and informed insight into history, but also provide an entertaining spectacle conceived as retro-nostalgia. The cinematographer Jaromír Šofr and composer Jiří Šust made an important contribution to the film’s alluring atmosphere. Menzel made use of a playful and poetic narrative approach, which provided him with a safe and crowd-pleasing setting during the difficult “normalisation” era of Soviet entrenchment that followed the Warsaw Pact invasion. The director entrusted the lead role in this joyful tribute to the difficult craft of filmmaking to Rudolf Hrušínský, who had already been a perceptive collaborator in the nostalgic tragicomedy Rozmarné léto (Capricious Summer, 1967). While the role of the mercurial comedian Šlapeta was played by Vladimír Menšík, Menzel symbolically reserved the part of the first Czech director for himself. The co-screenwriter Oldřich Vlček appears in this timeless film in a smaller role as Berousek.

Synopsis

Returning home to Prague, the magician Pasparte, an owner of a circus caravan, a projector, and a father of Pepička, meets his dying colleague who entrusts his beautiful daughter Aloisie to his care. In Prague they all take up their lodgings at the house At Blue Fish in which they intend to arrange the programmes. The firm is owned by widow Evženie with whom Pasparte shares flat and bed. Evženie is jealous of Aloisie therefore Pasparte sends Aloisie as a housewife to the single man Jakub Kolenatý who earns his living by photographing and wants to record the revived pictures of Prague. Pasparte wants to found in Prague the first permanent Czech movie theatre in which there would be projected also the original Czech films. Therefore he applies for licence and joins Jakub who enables him to shoot the documentary record of famous actress Emilie Kolářová-Mladá. Emilie does not like the cinematograph and after she finds out that secretly her performance was filmed she destroys in anger the scanned material. The expectations of the men with crank are lost and Pasparte prepares, to his daughter's delight, to leave Prague. But closely to the departure he gets the licence and this is what decides. He marries Evženie to get money for the movie theatre and becomes a respected owner of the first permanent movie theatre. Aloisie returns to Jakub and they love one another. When Emilie learns about success of film roles of famous Sarah Bernhardt she is desirous to offer her services to cinematography.

Film online

Cast

Rudolf Hrušínský

kouzelník Vilém Pasparte

Vladimír Menšík

kabaretiér Jára Šlapeta

Jiří Menzel

fotograf Jakub Kolenatý

Vlasta Fabianová

divadelní umělkyně Emilie Kolářová

Blažena Holišová

vdova Evženie Slavíková, Paspartova družka

Hana Burešová

Aloisie, Paspartova schovanka

Jaromíra Mílová

Pepička, Paspartova dcera

Josef Kemr

Benjamín Furore, otec Aloisie

Oldřich Vlček

Berousek, obchodník s filmy

Josef Somr

úředník

Vladimír Huber

sluha Hynek

Marie Rosůlková

dáma na oživlé fotografii

Ludvík Hradilek

mladík Frič

Miloslav Štibich

mechanik René Tuháček

Jana Eichlerová

Gábina

Jiří Forst

promítač Holoubek

Antonín Klepáč

opilec

Martin Hradilek

chlapec Josef

Vladimír Hrabánek

společník dámy na oživlé fotografii

Jiří Knot

černý myslivec

Miloš Šustr

farář

soubor kresleného divadla Františka Kratochvíla

mimové

František Kratochvíl

vedoucí mimů

Petr Gotlieb

mim

Jarmila Kotýnková

mimka

Jaromír Lurovský

mim

Jan Šimek

mim

Jiří Štibich

mim

Eva Tůmová

mimka

Hana Tůmová

mimka

Renata Vatková

mimka

Ivana Vítová

mimka/tanečnice

skupina Riegel Baník Praha

skupina historického šermu

Vilém Lipský

majitel biografu

Oldřich Unger

majitel biografu

Jaroslav Vozáb

majitel biografu

Josef Střecha

penzista

Jaromír Štemberg

ženich

Eva Svobodová (2)

akrobatka

Miroslav Buberle

výrostek

Jiří Fajt

rozhodčí

Václav Kotva

zápasník

Stanislav Štícha

zápasník

Miroslav Krejča

poselstvo

Rudolf Kalina

poselstvo

Alois Vachek

poselstvo

Miloslav Průša

šermíř/novomanžel

Karel Anderle

šermíř/mládenec v Tyrolích

Antonín Češpivo

šermíř

Petr Lebeda

šermíř

Tomáš Olexa

šermíř

František Plecháček

šermíř

Milan Procházka

šermíř

Tomáš Svoboda (2)

šermíř

Josef Šolc

šermíř

Stanislav Boguňa

muzikant

Jan Klaus

muzikant

Bohuslav Pok

muzikant

Eva Rohanová

muzikantka

Václav Veselý

muzikant

Soňa Holečková

tanečnice

Jindra Janoušková

tanečnice

Libuše Kosová

boxerka

Lenka Lajčíková

boxerka

Hana Pokorná

boxerka

Jitka Valinová

boxerka

Michaela Macasová

dívka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Hana Hanušová

Assistant Director

Dobroslav Zborník, Magda Vodičková

Screenstory

Oldřich Vlček

Script Editor

Věra Kalábová

Second Unit Photography

Richard Valenta

Camera Operator

Jiří Ondráček

Production Designer

Zbyněk Hloch

Set Designer

Jiří Forst, Jaroslav Lehman, Ladislav Rada

Costume Designer

Theodor Pištěk ml.

Film Editor

Jiří Brožek

Sound Designer

Milan R. Novotný

Special Effects

Trikový ateliér FSB

Production Manager

Jan Šuster

Unit Production Manager

Rudolf Mos, Jaroslav Bouček

Unit Production Manager

Miloslav Doležal

Consultant

Jaroslav Bouček, Zdeněk Štábla, Jiří Janda (3), Ing. František Šebesta

Cooperation

Národní technické muzeum v Praze, Jiří Kučera, Jitka Radová, Eva Horázná, Rimma Stejskalová, Michael Poledník

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Šust

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Songs

V Praze vždy na jaře, Amálka je ráda

Songwriter

Jiří Šust (V Praze vždy na jaře), Jiří Šust (Amálka je ráda)

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Šust (V Praze vždy na jaře), Jiří Šust (Amálka je ráda)

Singer

Vladimír Menšík (V Praze vždy na jaře), Vladimír Menšík (Amálka je ráda)

Production info

Original Title

Báječní muži s klikou

English Title

Those Wonderful Men with Crank / Those Wonderful Movie Cranks

Copyright

1978

Production Year

1978

Premiere

03.08.1979

Creative Group

Miloš Brož

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD, HD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 1. mezinárodní festival komediálních filmů Vevey

1981
Vevey / Switzerland
Jaromíra Mílová

Vítěz

Festival: 1. mezinárodní filmový festival Houston

1979
Houston / United States of America