Filmmakers have been drawn to the short stories and novellas of Josef Nesvadba on numerous occasions. However, the sci-fi film Kam zmizel kurýr (The Courier Who Vanished, 1981), directed by Otakar Fuka, was made according to an original script penned by the popular writer. The courier of the film’s title is an alien who crash landed on Earth in the 17th century and has since been secretly manipulating human history. The protagonist is an extra-terrestrial envoy who arrives in Prague disguised as “Jones”, a Czech language student from Australia. The envoy’s real task is to find the alien courier and bring him back home. Young sci-fi writer Marcela becomes a witness to Jones’s quest... The film’s lead roles were played by Jan Kanyza and Eva Jakoubková. In one absorbing sequence, Jones uncovers “evidence” of the courier’s existence in, among other things, earlier Czech sci-fi films. Kam zmizel kurýr thus contains clips from Muž z prvního století (The Man from the First Century, 1961), Ikarie XB 1 (Icarus XB 1, 1963), Vynález zkázy (An Invention for Destruction, 1958), Baron Prášil (Baron Münchausen, 1961), as well as Fuka’s own Akce Bororo (Bororo Operation, 1972).
A young man who flew into Prague checks in at the Tichý hotel as Michael Allan Jones, an Australian bohemist. The following day he leaves for Nové Město nad Metují. He searches in the city archive for the Jones ancestors. He is taken up by a young journalist, Marcela, who writes sci-fi short stories for newspapers. In the archive she searches for reports about the alleged fall of a meteorite in 1619. According to her theory, it was a flying saucer with an extra-terrestrial crew, which crashed to the Earth. Michael leaves for Prague with Marcela. Soon they are attracted. While on a walk in Prague, Jones spots a poster for a Kepler exhibition. Next to the picture of the scientist there is also his servitor. Michael recognizes the servitor as an extraterrestrial who landed on the Earth in 1619 and he is supposed to take him back to his home planet. Marcela has problems with her story. Michael is helping her with logical details, which clearly have happened. Marcela glimpses her husband in the film "An Invention for Destruction", and also on the picture next to the Czech writer, Karel Čapek, while writing his novel, "The Macropulos Secret". Marcela’s story, called Secret Agent from Levania, is published in a Saturday daily. The archivist from Nové Město nad Metují brings a document about Jones’s relatives. Michael shows him a picture on which the archivist recognizes a man who asked about Michael. At the hotel reception, Michael finds a message from his man – a courier. There is also attached a key from a deposit box on the railway Prague Central station. Jones takes out the deposit box. In the evening, he plays the tape from the courier to Marcela about the courier’s landing and his further stay on the Earth. Marcela considers it all a joke. The courier calls to Jones at night. He refuses to come back, as he got used to life on Earth. At the airport, Michael says goodbye to Marcela. He promises her that her short story will be published on the planet Pegas. Now the girl understands the truth. Moreover, she glimpses a man from the pictures on the terrace that Michael collected. The courier, accompanied by his wife and children, watches the takeoff of the airplane which will carry Michael to the extraterrestrial rocket.
The film includes parts of Czech sci-fi films Baron Münchhausen (1961, directed by Karel Zeman), An Invention for Destruction (1958, directed by Karel Zeman), The Man from the First Century (1961, directed by Oldřich Lipský), Icarus XB-1 (1963, directed by Jindřich Polák), Bororo Operation (1972, directed by Otakar Fuka).
Michael Allan Jones
novinářka Marcela Vosecká
Svačina, znalec díla Julese Vernea
vrátná v knihovně
Bedřich Čermák, Josef Müller, Václav Kozel
Karel Prchal, Vladimír Tišer
Kam zmizel kurýr
Kam zmizel kurýr
The Courrier Who Vanished
Kurýr ze souhvězdí Pegas
literary Screenplay approved 31 October 1980
start of filming 6 December 1980
technical Screenplay approved 31 December 1980
end of filming 19 March 1981
projection approval 15 April 1981
premiere 16 October 1981 /suitable for youths/
2 358 meters