Who Comes before Midnight

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1979

Production year

1979

Premiere

30 May 1980

Runtime

89 min

Category

film

Genre

crime

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Kdo přichází před půlnocí

Czech title

Kdo přichází před půlnocí

English title

Who Comes before Midnight

Summary

Outside of his career as an agent in the StB secret police, Ivan Gariš (real name Antonín Prchal) also worked as a writer and screenwriter. From 1971-1981, Gariš specialised in criminal and spy thrillers, naturally intertwined with a strong ideological component (for example Cesty mužů – Roads of Men, 1972; Akce v Istanbulu – Operation in Istanbul, 1975). In the criminal drama Kdo přichází před půlnocí (Who Comes before Midnight, 1979), Gariš and director Zbyňek Brynych focus on a band of thieves who rob a van carrying a million crowns in cash for the payment of the staff at a farming cooperative. A trio of recidivists carry out the crime under the leadership of a former worker at the cooperative – the passionate stamp collector Chota. Criminologist Bárta is on the tail of the gang, assisted by a relative – a pickpocket. One interesting component of this movie is that certain scenes were shot in a number of real-life locations which served as the meeting point for the Prague criminal underground (for example the Marica bar, where some faces of the local underworld are seen passing by).

Synopsis

The accountants at a agricultural cooperative near Prague have completed the calculation of wages. The driver with the cashier are leaving for a bank in Prague to withdraw the cash amounting to over one million crowns. On returning back, an oncoming heavy truck appears, crashing into their car. The injured men cannot defend themselves, and the whole cash is stolen from them. The accident was deliberately prepared by three backsliders - Kratochvíl, Morávek and Zábojník. All was conceived by a different person though: Oldřich Chot - an obsessed stamp collector who used to work on the farm. The robbers do not know him; there is a go-between, Chot's friend Štěpánek, who collects the money from Kratochvíl. The banknote numbers might be registered, and Chot is not willing to take any risk. He asks Štěpánek to hand a twenty thousand deposit over to the robbers using the "clean" money from his wife bank account. Pickpocket Karásek visits the criminalist Bárta as usual when released from jail. His night party is finished by a new theft. The criminalists, gradually and using Karásek's help, trace the robbers. Chot wants to buy some stamps to complete his collection to achieve its nominal value of one million. The robbers do not trust each other. Štěpánek's and Chot's car race ends up by death of one of them in an ablazed car. Firstly it seems to be Chot, but the pathologist recognizes that it cannot be him. Finally, Chot decides to buy the missing stamps using the stolen money. He is caught and arrested by the police for the robbery and murder committed on Štěpánek, whom he intended to get rid of by throwing from a high cliff in the car. Meanwhile the police arrested the other three robbers.

Film online

Cast

Josef Vinklář

recidivista Roman Kratochvíl

Jiří Bruder

recidivista Richard Morávek

Tomáš Töpfer

recidivista Ladislav Zábojník

Rudolf Jelínek

Oldřich Chot, iniciátor loupeže

Robert Vrchota

Jiří Štěpánek, Chotův kumpán

Václav Švorc

major Josef Bárta, kriminalista

Ilja Prachař

plukovník Jelínek, náčelník oddělení

Ivanka Devátá

Roškotová, Kratochvílova milenka

Regina Rázlová

výtvarnice Lenka, Chotova žena

Jiří Hálek

kapsář Karásek

Ladislav Šimek

filatelista Stanislav Procházka

Ladislav Mrkvička

kapitán Moc, kriminalista

Václav Hladík

řidič dodávky

Zdeněk Skalický

pokladník JZD Václav

Dana Homolová

lehká slečna Marcelka

Zdeněk Mlčoch

poručík Vaněk

Vít Olmer

traktorista

Jan Cmíral

strážný v garážích

Jiří Havlík

kapitán VB

Václav Stýblo

vedoucí pískovny Král

Karel Sedláček

opilý vousáč

Zdeňka Balounová

podporučice VB

Adolf Filip

nadpraporčík Málek

Miloslav Homola

fotograf VB Lojzíček

Milan Kindl

vrátný v baru

Jaromír Jestřáb

daktyloskop

Václav Suchomel

psovod

Viktor Maurer

majitel fiatu

Zbyněk Brynych

muž u telefonu na nádraží

Hana Bartáková

návštěvnice

Miroslav Jíra

dubl za Brudera

Michal Schlixbier

dubl za Töpfera

Václav Syřiště

dubl za Vrchotu

Pavel Hrachový

řidič s kamerou

Jindřich Sejk

dubl za J. Vinkláře/další vrátný v baru

Petr Hampl

dubl za R. Jelínka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

František Matoušek

Assistant Director

Tomáš Urban

Script Supervisor

Jarmila Kovtanová

Screenstory

Ivan Gariš

Shooting Script

Zbyněk Brynych

Script Editor

Jaroslav Kubát

Director of Photography

Jan Němeček

Second Unit Photography

Oldřich Hubáček

Camera Operator

František Kučera

Production Designer

Oldřich Okáč

Assistent Production Designer

Václav Hlávka

Set Designer

Jaroslav Lehman, Karel Krejčí, Eva Slívová

Costume Designer

Svatava Sophová

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Sound Designer

Ladislav Hausdorf

Stunts

Pavel Hrachový

Production Manager

Jaroslav Řeřicha

Unit Production Manager

Milana Melcerová, Boris Nakladov

Unit Production Manager

Jiří Bezdíček, Roman Smítko

Consultant

plk. Josef Janůrek

Music

Music Composed by

Ladislav Štaidl

Music Performed by

Orchestr Ladislava Štaidla (Music Conducted by Milivoj Uzelac)

Songs

Cikánka

Songwriter Karel Vacek
Writer of Lyrics Karel Vacek
Singer sbor

Až se budeš vdávat, snad si vzpomeneš

Songwriter Karel Vacek
Writer of Lyrics Karel Vacek
Singer Josef VinklářMiriam Kantorková

Production info

Original Title

Kdo přichází před půlnocí

Czech Title

Kdo přichází před půlnocí

English Title

Who Comes before Midnight

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

crime

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1979

Production Year

1979

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 27 June 1979
technical Screenplay approved 16 July 1979
start of filming 24 July 1979
end of filming 27 November 1979
projection approval 13 December 1979

Premiere

premiere 30 May 1980

Creative Group

Dramaturgická skupina Miroslava Hladkého, Miroslav Hladký (vedoucí dramaturgické skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

89 min

Original length in metres

2 531 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,66

Colour

colour

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech