Quiver of Fear





Production year



1 April 1984


92 min




drama, historical


featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Záchvěv strachu

Czech title

Záchvěv strachu

English title

Quiver of Fear


Director Jaroslav Soukup established himself early on as a fine story teller who could successfully capture the atmosphere of a period and delineate its pertinent themes. This much was evident in the historical drama Záchvěv strachu (Quiver of Fear, 1983) which followed the director’s own screenplay. The main protagonist of the story is writer František Vinický who after returning from prison tries to live an ordinary life. As one of the former leaders of the 1948 revolution, all doors are closed to him. Friends avoid František but the secret police stay close and try to force him to betray his nationalistic ideals. Despite the fact that Soukup’s story is set in the second half of the 19th century, its sombre atmosphere and themes more than fleetingly refer to the time of its creation. The film’s appeal is enhanced by the performance of Radoslav Brzobohatý in the lead role.


František Vinický, one of the leaders of the 1848 Prague revolution, is released from prison after an eight-year sentence. His father and brother are not really welcoming to him - he, after all, endangers their white-collar positions. František lodges in a flat from his co-prisoner who had just died. He hides his diary behind a painting. At the funeral, he meets the patriot Antoš. The atmosphere is suffocating. The secret policemen pursue everything and people are afraid. Vinický wants the publisher Trojan to publish his book. He, however, needs police approval for this and councillor Berger asks František to write pro-regime newspaper articles in exchange. František refuses and, on Trojan's advice, tries to find someone impeccable who would cover the authorship with his own name. It can be possibly done by the friend Ledecký, but his wife is pregnant and Ledecký withdraws from his initial consent. The successful writer Květoň requires half of the royalty for his help and moreover wants to rewrite several passages. František finds his big love Ida, but she has meanwhile married councillor Berger and has a daughter by him. František is running out of money and needs work. The publisher of the Prague News, named Sedlaczek, offers him the position of editor if František will publicly dissociate from his revolutionary past. Eventually, František Vinický gets at least the work of a scrivener with Antoš's help. His diary has disappeared. The flat was probably searched by the police. František wants to leave the country and needs a forged passport. Ida secretly meets with him and the councillor Mayer vainly tries to prevent it. Antoš promises to get the passport but wants Vinický to get five hundred guldens from attorney Brůna and another five hundred from professor Klimeš, former members of the Students Legion, from the legion's fund which they keep. Antoš needs the money to prepare an assassination of the hated general Windischgrätz. Councillor Berger forces František to sign a collaboration agreement with the secret police, threatening him with deportation. Vinický hopes to escape from the necessity to denounce others by going abroad with Ida. Klimeš gives him the money from the fund, but Brůna refuses and causes the conspirators' arrest. Antoš escapes and Berger releases František with the aim of getting a lead in his investigation. But František secretly shakes off his pursuers and hides at Ledecký's place, whose wife died during childbirth. The police decide to discredit Ledecký. The newspapers publish a made-up report about his collaboration with the police headquarters. František gives Ida money to buy train tickets and they agree to meet at a railway station. In the meantime, Antoš's wife tells František the time and place where he should wait for the passport. Antoš indeed arrives and gives Vinický the documents, but then stabs and kills him for a presumed betrayal. The gravediggers - watched by the secret police - put an unmarked coffin into a grave by the cemetery wall.


Radoslav Brzobohatý

spisovatel František Vinický

Štefan Kvietik

Voice by Petr Haničinec
Josef Antoš

Petr Kostka

prodavač exotických ptáků Karel Ledecký

František Němec

policejní rada Berger

Vilém Besser

komisař Jaroš

Radovan Lukavský

nakladatel Trojan

Josef Abrhám

rada Mayer, Idin manžel

Vladimír Brabec

vydavatel Pražských novin Sedlaczek

Svatopluk Matyáš

Václav, Františkův bratr

Libuše Geprtová

Antošova žena

Ota Sklenčka

otec Vinický

Otakar Brousek

advokát Bedřich Brůna

Petr Oliva


Karel Vochoč

lékař v blázinci

Jiří Tomek

profesor Klimeš

Jan Skopeček

sazeč Kalista

Josef Patočka

přednosta Drazil

Boris Rösner

čarostřelec Duncan

Vladimír Krška


Ferdinand Krůta

krupař Bárta

Karel Šebesta


Ladislav Šimek

nový nájemník v Idině bytě

Otto Budín

úředník notářství

Taťána Fischerová

Marie, manželka Ledeckého

Alexej Gsöllhofer

odhadce v zastavárně

Kateřina Lírová

služka u Mayerových

Lena Birková

služka u Mayerových

Stanislav Oubram

pacient blázince Jindřich Kroupa

Jaromíra Mílová

pomocnice čarostřelce

Antonín Brtoun

opatrovník v blázinci

Jana Matiášková

služka u Vinických

Jana Sedlmajerová

manželka Václava Vinického

Vladimír Kubíček

pomocník čarostřelce

Zdeněk Ornest

spisovatel Květoň

Erich Fichtner

povozník pohřebního ústavu

Vladimír Huber

rytec Adler


Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jiří Ostrý

Assistant Director

Zuzana Hojdová, Jiří Hraběta


Jaroslav Soukup


Jaroslav Soukup

Shooting Script

Jaroslav Soukup

Director of Photography

Richard Valenta

Second Unit Photography

Karel Hejsek

Camera Operator

Petr Hojda

Production Designer

Jiří Matolín

Assistent Production Designer

Štěpán Exner

Costume Designer

Jan Kropáček

Film Editor

Jiří Brožek

Assistant Film Editor

Věra Flaková, Eva Horázná

Sound Designer

Jiří Hora

Production Manager

Jaromír Lukáš

Unit Production Manager

Václav Dobeš, Jiří Synek, Milana Melcerová


Věra Varadyová (klapka), Miroslav Jirsa (fotograf)


Music Composed by

Zdeněk Barták

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Mario Klemens)


Od Tábora až k nám

Singer mužský hlas

Když jsem k vám chodíval

Singer ženský hlas

Production info

Original Title

Záchvěv strachu

Czech Title

Záchvěv strachu

English Title

Quiver of Fear




featuretheatrical distribution


drama, historical

Origin country




Production Year


Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 27 October 1982
start of filming 22 February 1983
technical Screenplay approved 18 April 1983
end of filming 12 December 1983
projection approval 23 December 1983


premiere 1 April 1984 /suitable for youths/

Creative Group

5. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupina, Miloslav Vydra (vedoucí 5. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

92 min

Original length in metres

2 610 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio






Sound system/format




Dialogue languages


Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages




Festival: 22. festival československých filmů Banská Bystrica

Banská Bystrica / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Soukup