Quiver of Fear

drama, historical

Typology

feature

Czech title

Záchvěv strachu

Runtime

92

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1983

Production year

1983

Premiere

01.04.1984

Language version

Czech

Director

Jaroslav Soukup

Screenplay

Jaroslav Soukup

Screenstory

Jaroslav Soukup

Summary

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.

Synopsis

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.

Cast

Radoslav Brzobohatý

spisovatel František Vinický

Štefan Kvietik

Josef Antoš

Soňa Dvořáková

Ida/prostitutka

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

Dostál

Karel Vochoč

lékař v blázinci

Jiří Tomek

profesor Klimeš

Jan Skopeček

sazeč Kalista

Josef Patočka

přednosta Drazil

Boris Rösner

čarostřelec Duncan

Vladimír Krška

impresário

Ferdinand Krůta

krupař Bárta

Karel Šebesta

koncipient

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

Zdeněk Barták

redaktor

Erich Fichtner

povozník pohřebního ústavu

Vladimír Huber

rytec Adler

Commentary

Dubbing

Petr Haničinec

hlas Antoše

Bohumila Dolejšová

hlas prostitutky

Václav Kaňkovský

hlas hrobníka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jiří Ostrý

Assistant Director

Zuzana Hojdová, Jiří Hraběta, Zdenka Barochová

Screenstory

Jaroslav Soukup

Screenplay

Jaroslav Soukup

Shooting Script

Jaroslav Soukup

Second Unit Photography

Karel Hejsek

Camera Operator

Petr Hojda

Production Designer

Jiří Matolín

Set Designer

Ivan Ernyei, Zdeněk Jeřábek, Rudolf Kinský, Pavel Svoboda

Costume Designer

Jan Kropáček

Film Editor

Jiří Brožek

Sound Designer

Jiří Hora

Production Manager

Jaromír Lukáš

Unit Production Manager

Václav Dobeš, Jiří Synek, Milana Melcerová

Cooperation

Věra Varadyová, Věra Flaková, Eva Horázná, Štěpán Exner, Miroslav Jirsa

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Barták

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Mario Klemens (FISYO)

Songs

Od Tábora až k nám, Když jsem k vám chodíval

Singer

mužský hlas (Od Tábora až k nám), ženský hlas (Když jsem k vám chodíval)

Production info

Original Title

Záchvěv strachu

English Title

Quiver of Fear

Copyright

1983

Production Year

1983

Premiere

01.04.1984

Creative Group

Miloslav Vydra

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 22. festival československých filmů Banská Bystrica

1984
Banská Bystrica / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Soukup