Behind the Blackthorn





Production year



2 October 1981


71 min






featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Za trnkovým keřem

Czech title

Za trnkovým keřem

English title

Behind the Blackthorn


Vašek and his beloved gamekeeper-grandpa Straka returned in 1980 for this concluding part of Václav Gajer’s “Šumava” trilogy. Za trnkovým keřem followed Na pytlácké stezce (On the Poacher’s Path, 1979), which itself came after Pod Jezevčí skálou (Beneath Badger Rock, 1978). The film series began when Prague boy Vašek was, on doctor’s orders, sent to get some country air on a stay with his grandfather. By now, little Vašek (popular child actor Tomáš Holý, 1968–1990) is putting to use everything he has learned over the years while spending time with his grandpa. He knows that nature must be protected and understood, for it does have its laws. But such laws are of little concern to the company that is constructing a holiday retreat within virgin Šumava territory. So Vašek decides to at the very least thwart the plans of a sawmill executive who has organised a mouflon hunt to entertain the director of the development firm… The last part of this trilogy also resolves an issue that has long troubled Vašek’s family: Straka, who became estranged from his son – the boy’s father (Ladislav Frej) – when he left behind the country life for the city many years ago, at last accepts his son once more. He uses the help of a blackthorn, behind which the truth is always told…


Gamekeeper Straka is irritated by a holiday resort that is being built by a construction company of Pilsen City in the Šumamva [Bohemian Forest], especially by a helicopter that transports the construction material and disturbs forest animals. The holiday is about to start and Straka is looking forward to seeing his grandson Vašek. The boy arrives with his always busy mother - Straka's daughter-in-law. Straka has stopped talking to his son many years ago since he decided to stay in Prague after finishing his studies. The driver nicknamed Čahoun [Beanpole] teaches Vašek to whistle a signal to warn moufflons in danger. The saw-mill manager expects from the Pilsen company director an assistance in his company reconstruction, therefore he provides for him the permit to hunt the moufflon. Straka's task is to accompany a VIP guest. Vašek decides to secretly fight against the intruder. Early in the morning he sneaks to the place where the gamekeeper with the director are waiting for the herd. Before the hunter makes it to shoot, Vašek whistles the moufflons off. The same he repeats the next morning. The director considers this to be Straka's revenge. On the third day, it is the other gamekeeper Antoš, who assists him in hunting, and they discover Vašek in the bushes. The director is angry with Straka. Vašek, feeling sorry for his grandpa, wants to conciliate the director, buying him a bottle of beer, since he has no money to buy a better "bribe". An offended man gets furious, but than he takes it as a joke and makes friends with gamekeeper Straka. Vašek´s parents are coming and gamekeeper Straka makes his peace with his son. They talk behind the blackthorn bush, because this is the place to always tell the truth.


Final part of a triptych. For the first part see Beneath the Badger Rock, for the second part see On the Poacher´s Path.

Film online


Gustáv Valach

hajný Václav Straka

Tomáš Holý

Vašek, Strakův vnuk

Jana Brejchová

Jarmila, Strakova snacha a Vaškova maminka

Josef Kemr

lovec zmijí Perníkář zvaný Zmiják

Václav Sloup

řidič náklaďáku Josef zvaný Čahoun

Ladislav Frej

Ing. Václav Straka, Strakův syn a Vaškův otec

Jiří Pleskot

ředitel stavebního podniku

František Hanus

vedoucí polesí

Adolf Filip

vedoucí pily Přibyl zvaný Pilous

Jan Pohan

hajný Antoš

Blanka Křížová

Antošova žena

Vítězslav Jandák

dřevař Šimek

Zdeněk Jarolímek

dřevař Kalafa

Crew and creators

Assistant Director

Josef Jarolímek


Karel Cop

Director of Photography

Rudolf Milič

Second Unit Photography

Václav Helliman

Camera Operator

Oldřich Kovář

Production Designer

Miroslav Hrachovec

Assistent Production Designer

Rudolf Stahl nejml.

Set Designer

Ivan Ernyei, Josef Pavlík, Jan Petrů

Costume Designer

Svatava Sophová

Assistant Film Editor

Růžena Hejsková, Eva Horázná

Sound Designer

Adolf Nacházel

Production Manager

Jaroslav Řeřicha

Unit Production Manager

Jarmila Benešová (2), Boris Nakladov

Unit Production Manager

Evelyna Vrbová


Miroslav Pešan (fotograf), Český myslivecký svaz, Lesní závod Vimperk, ZOO Hluboká nad Vltavou, Naděžda Hradilová


Music Composed by

Luboš Sluka

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín), Kühnův smíšený sbor


Na tom našem dvoře

Production info

Original Title

Za trnkovým keřem

Czech Title

Za trnkovým keřem

English Title

Behind the Blackthorn




featuretheatrical distribution



Origin country




Production Year


Production specifications

start of filming 26 May 1980
technical Screenplay approved 29 May 1980
end of filming 14 November 1980
projection approval 12 December 1980
withdrawal from distribution 30 June 1995


premiere 2 October 1981 /suitable for youths/

Creative Group

Dramaturgická skupina Drahoslava Makovičky, Drahoslav Makovička (vedoucí dramaturgické skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

71 min

Original length in metres

2 040 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio






Sound system/format




Dialogue languages


Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages