A Midsummer Night’s Story

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1981

Production year

1981

Premiere

17 September 1982

Runtime

80 min

Category

film

Genre

fairytale

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Pohádka svatojánské noci

Czech title

Pohádka svatojánské noci

English title

A Midsummer Night’s Story

Working title

Jak se vaří ze sekyrky polévka

Summary

The manual on how to cook a soup from an axe to feed a dumb rich man might be said to belong to the genre of humorous folk tales about cunning peasants rather than to the fairytale world. Such is the case with the narrative of this film, based on the tradition of Wallachian story telling. Released as a 1981 family comedy, Pohádka svatojánské noci (A Midsummer Night’s Story) – the sole feature film directed by Zdeněk Zydroň – relates the story of clever military veteran Martin. While journeying home, Martin teaches a lesson to a stingy mayor who is oppressing the residents of a small village. In his duel with the fiendishly clever foreigner, the skinflint will not prevail even by banning the traditional Midsummer Night’s fires… Václav Postránecký, Karel Vochoč, Pavel Zedníček and Julius Satinský are among those with roles in what is an unjustifiably forgotten motion picture. The Wallachian costumes, songs and dances play equally important parts.

Synopsis

The veteran soldier Martin returns home after his twelve-year military service. On his way, he stops in a small Valachian village ruled by an unscrupulous and stingy bailiff. The villagers' terror is the bailiff's book of debtors. Martin witnesses the bailiff, helped by a catchpole, taking a cow away from the widower Kryštof just because of few pennies. Jura and Juříček must still serve the bailiff, even though they worked their debt off a long time ago. The bailiff even cheated on his stepbrother Štěpán who thus cannot marry his beloved Anička - he refused to pay him his share of the inheritance from their mother. Anička's mother, too, runs into debt with the bailiff, and Anička must therefore be at his service. Martin decides to help the villagers. The bailiff is afraid of him because he spotted his head in the window and thought that he was being observed by a devil. Strange things begin to happen in the village. The catchpole is hit by shingles that fall down from a roof, somebody steals the milk from Kryštof's former cow… The bailiff appeals to a parish priest who, in turn, bans bonfires on the St John´s holiday. Martin visits the bailiff claiming to be able to make soup solely from a hatchet. The miserly bailiff is eager to know the cheap recipe and doesn´t realize that he is actually bringing Martin things to help him make it - sausage, potatoes and other food. Jura and Juříček disguise themselves as devils to scare the bailiff. Meanwhile, supplies keep disappearing from the bailiff's pantry. As soon as the skinflint tries to save something, a hatch slumps under his feet and he disappears. Martin offers soup to the villagers returning from the mountain where they lit the St John's fires despite the ban. Štěpán distributes his brother's stolen money to the villagers, he burns the book of debtors and happily weds his Anička. The local blacksmith offers Martin work in his forge but the soldier's desire for home is stronger and wins.

Cast

Václav Postránecký

vysloužilý voják Martin

Ján Kroner

Dubbing Martin Stropnický
Štěpán, nevlastní fojtův bratr

Jana Alnerová

Dubbing Miroslava Šafránková
Anička, Štěpánova milá

Július Satinský

čeledín Jura

Pavel Zedníček

čeledín Juříček

Martin Mráz

Ondra, Aniččin bratr

Alois Liškutín

chalupník vdovec Kryštof

Barbara Plichtová

vdova Filoména, matka Aničky a Ondry

Jiřina Jelenská

farská hospodyně Kateřina

Ľudovít Kroner

šindelář

Anna Sládková

krčmářka

Jiří Gazdík

Kryštofův syn

Andrea Hlaváčová

Kryštofova dcerka

Anežka Sládková

Dubbing Vlasta Jelínková
kořenářka

Vladimír Pavelka

tanečník Vsacanu

Rudolf Magdon

tanečník Vsacanu

František Růžička (2)

tanečník

Lubomír Růžička

tanečník

Miroslav Holub

tanečník

Oldřich Štroblík

tanečník

Milan Ludvík

tanečník

Jaromír Holub

tanečník

Vladimír Andrýsek

tanečník

Štěpán Pírek

tanečník

Josef Králík

tanečník

Bohumil Šmarda

tanečník

Marie Matůšů

tanečnice

Jarmila Pírková

tanečnice

Miroslava Zapletalová

tanečnice

Jitka Magdonová

tanečnice

Marcela Růžičková

tanečnice

Alena Juříčková

tanečnice

Olga Hanuliaková

tanečnice

Ilona Klanicová

tanečnice

Margita Kovářová

tanečnice

Dagmar Růžičková

tanečnice

Marie Holubová

tanečnice

Alena Dukátníková

tanečnice

Milan Foniok

muzikant Vsacanu

Jaroslav Zmeškal

muzikant

Jan Both

muzikant

Jan Vetchý

muzikant

Ivan Straškraba

muzikant

Zdenka Straškrabová

starosvatka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Ivan Frič

Assistant Director

František Hlaváček

Screenstory

Josef Vaculík

Based on

anonym (Pohádka svatojánské noci – lidová pohádka)

Director of Photography

Jiří Kolín

Second Unit Photography

Vladimír Kolář

Production Designer

Zdeněk Rozkopal

Assistent Production Designer

Josef Havlíček, Petr Smola

Set Designer

František Santarius, Josef Vojtášek

Assistant Film Editor

Vlasta Malotová

Sound Designer

Josef Vlček

Production Manager

Zdeněk Stibor

Unit Production Manager

Jiří Zemanec, Dušan Schaffer

Consultant

PhDr. Jaroslav Štika, CSc., PhDr. Jiří Langer, CSc.

Cooperation

Otto Kamenský (fotograf), soubor Vsacan ze Vsetína, Ladislav Procházka, Zdeněk Skaunic

Music

Music Composed by

Petr Ulrych

Music Performed by

skupina Javory (Music Conducted by Petr Ulrych), FISYO (Music Conducted by Mario Klemens)

Songs

Kudy vychodíme, chodníčka nevíme

Singer Petr Ulrych

Čtyři koze pátý cap

Singer Václav Postránecký [dab]Petr Ulrych

Na horách studénky

Singer Václav Postránecký [dab]Petr Ulrychsbor

Lepší s mladým pod zelenou hruškou

Singer Július SatinskýPavel Zedníček

Zažehaj, zažehaj

Singer sbor

Kdyby se ptali krumlovští páni

Singer mužský sbor

Čí je svoboděnka

Singer Hana Ulrychovásbor

Production info

Original Title

Pohádka svatojánské noci

Czech Title

Pohádka svatojánské noci

English Title

A Midsummer Night’s Story

Working Title

Jak se vaří ze sekyrky polévka

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

fairytale

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1981

Production Year

1981

Premiere

premiere 17 September 1982 /suitable for youths/

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

80 min

Original length in metres

2 237 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

colour

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 22. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1982
Zlín / Czechoslovakia
Zdeněk Zydroň