Melichar the Boot

children, comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Bota jménem Melichar

Runtime

70

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1983

Production year

1983

Premiere

01.11.1983

Language version

Czech

Director

Zdeněk Troška

Screenplay

Jana Knitlová

Screenstory

Jana Knitlová

Summary

In 1983, the fledgling director Zdeněk Troška brought two successful feature films to cinemas – the light-hearted summer movie Slunce seno jahody (Sun, Hay and Strawberries) and the school comedy Bota jménem Melichar (Melichar the Boot). The screenwriter for Troška’s full-length debut was Jana Knitlová, who had enjoyed success three years previously with the script for Věra Plívová-Šimková’s family comedy Krakonoš a lyžníci (Giant and Skiers, 1980). The protagonists of Melichar the Boot are also children – who experience a number of more or less amusing incidents with their parents and teachers. Little Honzík dreams about coming up with the right strategy that will take him back to his beloved kindergarten, while his older sister Jolanka is painfully enduring her first puppy love as well as an unfair accusation that she has stolen a pair of swanky shoes. The young teacher, Ms Adamová, has to contend with an obdurate janitor as well as the rigours of a new campus, which forces everyone to constantly change their footwear. A light detective story concerning the hunt for an unknown criminal who is stealing shoes and vamps frames an episodic narrative full of lively and colourful characters. This unpretentious, tastefully entertaining film portrays school as an idyllic and cheerful environment that is encumbered by external complications – whether they be a cunning thief or an architect who has dreamed up an experimental school campus without paying any heed to the needs of its users. David Rauch as Jolanka’s love-interest and Martin Šotola as the inquisitive Honzík are captivating in the lead roles in this timeless family film. The movie’s sunny atmosphere is augmented by songs from the contemporary duo Petr Kotvald and Stanislav Hložek – particularly the cult hit Holky z naší školky (The Girls from Our School). Melichar the Boot stands out as an exception in the oeuvre of the populist, audience-friendly Zdeněk Troška, pleasing both audiences and film critics of that era alike.

Synopsis

After the summer holidays, schoolchildren return to their modern elementary school formed by several pavilions. Among them are the first-former Honzík and his sister Jolanka, studying in the eighth grade. Honzík feels betrayed that his best friend David stayed in the kindergarten, and he compensates his disappointment on the little Jana - a diligent and a "bit of a tell-tale" schoolmate whom he nicknames Big Nose. The pupils of the eighth grade, especially Jolanka and her friend Radka, are mesmerized by Radim Dochleba from the ninth grade who constantly utters witty and funny comments. His girl schoolmates have long been thinking of older wooers, mainly the mondaine Lamková. The new class-teacher in the ninth grade, Adamová, fights her uncertainty of a beginner. The school is inappropriately projected, and the children have to pass from building to building during the breaks and have to change their shoes all the time. Coats begin to disappear from the cloakrooms and teachers must keep locking the door. Honzík thus once gets locked out. When the exemplary Janička warns him that he may flunk, the boy views it as a good opportunity to return to the kindergarten and be with David. The classroom comedian Radim wins the affection of both Adamová and the pretty Jolanka. A crying girl to whom only one shoe signed Melichar was left over in the cloakroom, inspires Radim to "christen" the shoes of his schoolmates. Lamková's widely admired, luxurious silver ladies' boots receive the name Candlemas. The bright Honzík spots an elderly woman with a bag on wheels in the school. Jolanka secretly tries the Candlemas shoes on. But she does not manage to return them and must hide them hastily. More coats are stolen and the luxurious shoes are missing with them. Radim catches Jolanka returning the shoes and the girl takes his ironical comment amiss. Honzík tells Radim about the suspicious woman whom he saw passing through the school grounds several times. When he later glimpses her from the window, he runs away from the classroom and tries to stop her. During the wrestle with the woman, who really is the thief, he is helped by Janička the Big Nose, and the two thus become friends. Also Radim and Jolanka reconcile.

Note

The original script by Jana Knitlová about a school which was badly projected and must undergo constant repairs was much more critical. The director Vošmiková to whom the script was offered, verified with the Communist Party leadership and the director of the Czechoslovak Film whether the script was not politically incorrect. The ensuing scandal resulted in a rewriting of the script and the director Troška received his first independent commission with the instruction that the final film must be a jolly, nonproblematic comedy.

Cast

David Rauch

deváťák Radim Dochleba

Tomáš Růžička (2)

deváťák Bakula, Radimův kamarád

Regina Zahradníková

osmačka Jolanka Ludvíková

Michaela Krešlová

osmačka Radka, Jolančina kamarádka

Milada Štýbrová

deváťačka Michaela Lamková

Martin Šotola

prvňák Honzík, Jolančin bratr

Magdalena Ledvinková

prvňačka Jana zvaná Nosál

Eva Matějčková

učitelka Dagmar Adamová

Jiřina Jirásková

tělocvikářka Moutelíková

Alena Karešová

fyzikářka Andulka

Jiřina Jelenská

učitelka Květová

Jana Vaňková

učitelka Štěbetovská

Růžena Rudnická

tělocvikářka Zanášková

Dana Syslová

maminka Jolanky a Honzíka

Václav Mareš

ředitel školy

Jaroslava Tichá

zlodějka

Martina Altmannová

spolužačka

Tereza Zeimannová

zrzavá prvňačka Perchtička

Šárka Joklová

vysoká dívka

Patrik Kunst

David, Honzíkův kamarád z mateřské školky

Čestmír Kupka

řidič Roburu

Ingrid Bártová

deváťačka Irena

Jana Fröhlichová

žákyně-čtenářka Vraná

Zdeněk Hurník

školník Topinka

Karel Hanzlík

blonďák

Rostislav Slobodník

tlouštík

Michaela Kušnerová

sousedka Lamkové

Kateřina Mathesová

Patricie

Karel Šťástka

ostříhaný kluk

Silvie Tikovská

žákyně

Alice Dráčová

žákyně

Petra Vejvarová

brýlaté děvče

Petr Šilhavý

vlasatý kluk

Jaroslav Toms

nadporučík VB

Irena Jiroušová

hubená dívka

Hana Štefanová

učitelka

I. Jiříková

starší učitelka

žáci a učitelé ZDŠ Bítovská

Dubbing

Mirko Musil

hlas školníka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Martin Mahdal

Assistant Director

Petr Slabý, Helena Kadlecová

Screenstory

Jana Knitlová

Screenplay

Jana Knitlová

Second Unit Photography

Rudolf Jokl

Camera Operator

Antonín Mařík

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Set Designer

Karel Kracík, Milan Šefrna

Costume Designer

Jiří Sochovský

Film Editor

Eva Bobková

Sound Designer

Alexandr Vrbata

Production Manager

Blažej Vráb

Unit Production Manager

Rudolf Mos, Hana Štefanová

Unit Production Manager

Přemysl Čermák

Consultant

Karel Čepička

Cooperation

žáci a učitelé ZDŠ Bítovská, Praha 4, Renata Čihulková, Štěpánka Stříbrná, Alena Červená

Music

Music Composed by

Karel Vágner

Selected Music

Giuseppe Verdi (Rigoletto /Ó, jak je měnivé/ – – parafráze)

Music Performed by

skupina Karla Vágnera

Songs

Holky z naší školky, Láska očima, Černý muž /John Brown/, Ó, jak je měnivé

Songwriter

Karel Vágner (Holky z naší školky), Karel Vágner (Láska očima), lidová americká píseň (Černý muž /John Brown/), Giuseppe Verdi (Ó, jak je měnivé)

Writer of Lyrics

Pavel Žák (Holky z naší školky), Pavel Žák (Láska očima), Ivo Fischer (Černý muž /John Brown/)

Singer

Petr Kotvald (Holky z naší školky), Stanislav Hložek (Holky z naší školky), Regina Zahradníková (Holky z naší školky), Petr Kotvald (Láska očima), Stanislav Hložek (Láska očima), sbor (Černý muž /John Brown/), Tomáš Růžička (Ó, jak je měnivé)

Production info

Original Title

Bota jménem Melichar

English Title

Melichar the Boot

Copyright

1983

Production Year

1983

Premiere

01.11.1983

Creative Group

Stanislav Rudolf

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: FILMÁK ’99 – 5. mezinárodní filmový festival plzeňských dětí a mládeže a televizní festival národní tvorby pro děti a mládež Plzeň

1999
Plzeň / Czech Republic
David Rauch

Vítěz

Festival: FILMÁK ’99 – 5. mezinárodní filmový festival plzeňských dětí a mládeže a televizní festival národní tvorby pro děti a mládež Plzeň

1999
Plzeň / Czech Republic
Zdeněk Troška

Vítěz

Festival: 6. mezinárodní festival filmů pro děti a mládež Tomar

1985
Tomar / Portugal

Vítěz

Festival: Pionýrský filmový festival Praha

1984
Praha / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Exhibition: 15. národní přehlídka filmů pro děti Ostrov nad Ohří

1983
Ostrov nad Ohří / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 23. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1983
Zlín / Czechoslovakia
Zdeněk Troška

Vítěz

Exhibition: 15. národní přehlídka filmů pro děti Ostrov nad Ohří

1983
Ostrov nad Ohří / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 23. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1983
Zlín / Czechoslovakia
Martin Šotola

Vítěz

Exhibition: 15. národní přehlídka filmů pro děti Ostrov nad Ohří

1983
Ostrov nad Ohří / Czechoslovakia
David Rauch

Vítěz

Festival: 23. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1983
Zlín / Czechoslovakia