The Chain

thriller

Typology

feature

Czech title

Řetěz

Runtime

86

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1981

Production year

1981

Premiere

20.11.1981

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Svoboda

Screenplay

Václav Šašek

Screenstory

Václav Šašek

Summary

Director Jiří Svoboda and screenwriter Václav Šašek enjoyed collaborations that delivered historical drama Svět nic neví (The World Knows Nothing, 1987) and psychological thriller Prokletí domu Hajnů (The Curse of the Hajns’ House, 1988), based on the work of Jaroslav Havlíček. However, they also co-produced this 1981 drama about a woman who finds herself at odds with a gang of criminals. The husband of nurse Marta Kavanová is among a group of men who rob a Prague post office. After his unexpected death, accomplices Dolfi and Bureš demand loot from the unsuspecting widow… In a characteristic situation for the crime genre, the young woman finds those confronting her are debauched and capable of anything. The plot is based on the intense escalation of tension within a confined space, something of a trademark when it comes to the narration of director Svoboda. Zora Ulla Keslerová stars in the main role, while Jiří Klepl and Pavel Nový play the husband’s partners in crime.

Synopsis

A small Prague post office is robbed. Three thieves stole a huge amount of money but they shot a young woman post office clerk dead and injured a policeman. The attractive hospital nurse Marta Kavanová cheats on her elderly husband, having a love affair with the young physician Milan. She does not plan to divorce because Kavan provides for her high standard of living, and she does not care where his money comes from. She thus has no idea that her husband was one of the Prague post office thieves. Kavan is run down by a car and dies as a result of fatal injuries. His companions Dolfi and Bareš learn about his death. It was Kavan who hid the stolen money, and the two men want to find it. They first search his cottage but do not find anything, then focusing on his flat and Marta. But Marta cannot give them the money; she knows nothing. Dolfi and Bareš do not believe her and drastically try to force some information out of her. Marta realizes that nothing can stop the robbers and her life is at stake. A very young photographer Ivan from Marta's neighbourhood tries to save her but Dolfi mercilessly crushes his skull. Bareš eventually grasps that Marta does not know anything about the loot. The two gangsters have a fight in which Dolfi stabs Bareš to death. Dolfi climbs onto a roof from where he wants to get to the Kavans' flat. The exhausted Marta receives a package from one of Kavan's colleagues at her door. It contains the stolen money. Marta fights for it with Dolfi. He is, however, already being followed by Detective Zika who is investigating the post office robbery and has realized from the context where to search for the culprit. He appears at Marta's flat just in time - Dolfi knocked her down, put the gas on and wanted to leave with the loot. He tries to escape from the police over the roofs but tumbles down and dies. The gas explodes and an ambulance takes the nearly poisoned and injured Marta to hospital.

Film online

Cast

Zora Ulla Keslerová

zdravotní sestra Marta Kavanová

Miroslav Zounar

technik Petr Kavan zvaný Frajer

Jiří Klepl

lupič Karel Bareš

Pavel Nový

lupič Dolfi

Jan Vyšín

poručík VB Zika

Ondřej Pavelka

fotograf Ivan

Karel Kovář

lékař Milan Kučera, Martin milenec

Bohumil Vávra

soused Pavlovský

Eugen Jegorov

Mikeš, Kavanův kolega

Jindřich Trylč

kapitán VB Hora

Valentina Thielová

majitelka obrazu Jeřábková

Václav Javůrek

vedoucí pošty

Václav Kaňkovský

hráč kulečníku Mrázek

Alena Karešová

vrchní sestra

Jaromír Kučera

lékař MUDr.Sýkora

Vladimír Lemon

lékař resuscitačního oddělení

Jiří Škoda

lékař MUDr.Charouz

Josef Fousek

Kavanův kamarád

Albína Biskupová

zdravotní sestra

Jana Hermachová

Suchánková

Hana Burešová

Alena Kučerová

Josef Šebek

policejní informátor Karlíček

Monika Marková

poštovní úřednice Eva

Vladimír Pavelka

chodec s kufrem

Karel Fridrich

hráč kulečníku Šedivý

Jaroslav Tomsa

kriminalista

Milena Hodačová

žena

Miroslav Jíra

kaskadér

Ladislav Lahoda

kaskadér

Miroslav Lahoda

kaskadér

Pavel Myslík

kaskadér

Jindřich Sejk

kaskadér

Oldřich Semerák

kaskadér

Dubbing

Jana Andresíková

hlas Marty

Jan Teplý

hlas Bareše

Zdeněk Svěrák

hlas Mikeše

Milan Mach

hlas kapitána Hory

Mirko Musil

hlas vedoucího pošty

Jiří Pleskot

hlas lékaře

Oldřich Vlach

hlas Kavanova kamaráda

Miroslav Nohýnek

hlas Karlíčka

Miloslav Štibich

hlas Šedivého

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Zdeněk Flídr

Assistant Director

Josef Jarolímek, Irena Klausová

Screenstory

Václav Šašek

Screenplay

Václav Šašek

Script Editor

Sonja Kroupová

Second Unit Photography

Karel Hejsek

Camera Operator

Jiří Zavřel

Production Designer

Milan Nejedlý

Set Designer

Ivo Černý, Miloš Osvald, Jiří Rulík

Costume Designer

Jana Břežková

Film Editor

Josef Valušiak

Sound Designer

Pavel Jelínek

Production Manager

Miloš Stejskal

Unit Production Manager

Pavel Mangl, Milan Brabec

Unit Production Manager

Luboš Kozák

Consultant

Miroslav Kučera, JUDr. Petr Šnajdr, Jaroslav Tomsa

Cooperation

Jana Šimonová, Jaroslav Trousil, Jitka Tošilová, Richard Němčok, Boris Moravec ml.

Music

Music Composed by

Vadim Petrov

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Řetěz

English Title

The Chain

Copyright

1981

Production Year

1981

Premiere

20.11.1981

Creative Group

Karel Valtera

Technical info

Format

35mm

Versions

Czech