The Strolling Player

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1984

Production year

1983—1984

Premiere

1 October 1984

Runtime

93 min

Category

film

Genre

drama, historical

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Komediant

Czech title

Komediant

English title

The Strolling Player

Summary

Seasoned director Otakar Vávra created another of his historical film opuses working from a novella by author and screenwriter Miloš V. Kratochvíl. This 1984 costume drama tells the story of young Czech student Vavřinec (Oldřich Kaiser). His association with an itinerant ensemble of actors led by Fortunatus (Martin Růžek) provides him with an opportunity to realise his dream of putting on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Although the dramatic events of the Thirty Years War are not exactly benevolent to daydreamers and artistic pursuits, the common folk suffering from the war’s effects still enjoy the relief – if only temporary –brought by the beautiful story and poetic words… Komediant (The Strolling Player), the second to last film directed by Vávra, was given a rather enclosed character when it came to production. This was to compensate for the high costs generated by the director's third to last film, which was set in the same historical period: the sweeping biographical drama Putování Jana Amose (The Wanderings of John Amos, 1983).

Synopsis

In the first half of the 17th century, the Thirty Year's War rages in Europe. A strolling theatre group of the ringmaster, Fortunat, travels through the Saxon landscape, devastated by the war. The horses pulling the poor carrier stop all of a sudden before a prostrate body. The actors see a pitiful young man and take him in. After the young man recovers, he tells to the actors about himself. His name is Vavřinec and he comes from Bohemia. Once he found on a dead actor a translation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Since that moment, he had read the play, he had been dreaming of showing this play before an audience. Although the group is used to showing coarse farces, they are gradually enchanted by this romantic story. While touring, the group comes by chance to a village where a wedding celebration occurs. The villagers welcome them kindly and they offer them food and drink. The next pitch is Braunschweig, where, according to the decree of the earl's chancellor, they are supposed to perform in three days in front of the city ruler. The actors quickly rehearse Romeo and Juliet, but their performance at the castle ends up a catastrophe. They escape with their lives and set off to the kind village. Horrified, they find just disfigured dead bodies there. Fortunat's group falls apart, the ringmaster dies and the others run in all directions. The actor, Johnny, follows the traces of Vavřinec. He finds him in a village. The young man publicly tells the story of Romeo and Juliet. The gathered villagers are first dissatisfied, but in the end they listen carefully. While leaving, Johnny notices that the villagers are encircled by mercenaries and he comes back. Vavřinec dies before the end of the performance; Johnny finishes the play instead of him. Then he warns the villagers. The villagers, influenced by the beautiful performance, start fighting with the mercenaries, and they kill them all. Foremost after the dead Vavřinec, Johnny understands his desire to tell people beautiful ideas by beautiful words.

Note

Dialogues from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet are based on the translation by E. A. Saudek.

Film online

Cast

Oldřich Kaiser

student Vavřinec

Martin Růžek

principál Fortunatus

Jana Hlaváčová

Brigita, Fortunatova žena

Dagmar Veškrnová

herečka Klementýna

Jiří Krampol

herec Florián

Boris Rösner

herec Jakub

Jiří Kostka

kočí Hansgirgl

Jiří Adamíra

knížecí herec Killer představující Pickelhärniga

Čestmír Řanda

kníže Brunšvický

Bohumil Vávra

průvodce v Mascerode

Karel Sekera

podomek ve Wallenstadtu

Ludmila Šafářová

děvečka ve Wallenstadtu

Miro Grisa

muž v Mascerode

René Gabzdyl

rozpočítávač v Mascerode

Martin Hron

ženich Fink

Kateřina Macháčková

nevěsta Majdalenka

Jaroslav Cmíral

hostinský v Brunšviku

Milan Sandhaus

hospodský v Mascerode

Svatopluk Skládal

hospodský ve Wolfenbüttelu

Karel Dellapina

Donnebrauer

Stanislav Hájek

stařík z Kamenice

Leoš Suchařípa

Dubbing Mirko Musil
divák z Kamenice

Pavel Robin

podomek ve Wolfenbüttelu

Carmen Mayerová

dáma v divadle

Karel Vavřík

sedlák ve Wolfenbüttelu

Lenka Vlachová

žena v Kamenici

František Bohdal

sedlák z Kamenice

Jan Kühnmund

sedlák z Kamenice

Ivan Havlíček

kornet

Stanislav Bělík

mušketýr

Jaroslav Luks

mušketýr

Václav Luks

mušketýr

Petr Jákl

mušketýr

Jiří Jelínek (kaskadér)

mušketýr

Miroslav Jíra

mušketýr

Jaroslav Klenot

mušketýr

Petr Drozda

chasník

Jaroslav Kadlec (2)

chasník

Jan Kriesman

chasník

Josef Pechanec

chasník

F. Beránek

chasník

Karel Bělohradský

bratr Majdalenky

Karel Engel

bratr Majdalenky

Zdeněk Srstka

bratr Majdalenky

Květoslav Štora

bratr Majdalenky

Dušan Junas

bratr Majdalenky

Pavel Cajzl

oběšenec

Jindřich Sejk

oběšenec/rváč

Tomáš Jančařík

mladík z Kamenice

I. Jabůrková

slzící dívka

Vlasta Bejčková

tanečnice

Josef Bělohlávek

tanečník

Anna Čumpelíková

tanečnice

Jiří Fiala (3)

tanečník

E. Hanzlíková

tanečnice

B. Chromá

tanečnice

Vlastimil Indrák

tanečník

Ondřej Jiříček

tanečník

Ludmila Jiříčková

tanečnice

Anna Krákorová

tanečnice

Václav Krůta

tanečník

Eva Kubištová

tanečnice

Alena Martínková

tanečnice

Jaroslav Marušák

tanečník

Hana Matoušková

tanečnice

Jan Schmidt

tanečník

Alena Skálová

tanečnice

Renata Socháňová

tanečnice

Tomáš Sychra

tanečník

Jan Šilar

tanečník

Josef Šilha

tanečník

Jiří Trapek

tanečník

J. Zvelebil

tanečník

Anna Fišerová

tanečnice

Vlastimil Jurčík

hudebník

Zdeněk Khar

hudebník

František Machulka

hudebník

Vladimír Filipi

hudebník

K. Ledvina

hudebník

J. Maudr

hudebník

R. Sydor

hudebník

Augustin Růžička

dubl za Borise Rösnera/dubl za Jiřího Krampola

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Milan Kadlec

Assistant Director

Martin Dostál

Based on

Miloš V. Kratochvíl (Komediant – novela)

Shooting Script

Otakar Vávra

Dramaturg

Vladimír Bor

Director of Photography

Jiří Macák

Second Unit Photography

Jan Hanzal

Camera Operator

F. A. Brabec

Production Designer

Jindřich Goetz

Assistent Production Designer

Olga Rosenfelderová

Set Designer

Jiří Matějka, Jaromír Šlápota, Eva Slívová

Costume Designer

Jan Kropáček

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Assistant Film Editor

Magda Hájková

Sound Designer

Adolf Böhm

Production Manager

Jan Syrový

Unit Production Manager

Věra Lukášová, Lev Veltrubský

Unit Production Manager

Helena Landovská

Consultant

PhDr. Jan Dvořák, Pavel Auersperg

Cooperation

Ivana Vlčková (klapka), Karel Ješátko (fotograf)

Music

Music Composed by

Otmar Mácha

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Štěpán Koníček)

Choreographer

Alena Skálová, Ladislav Fialka (pohybová spolupráce)

Songs

Chorál oněch časů

Songwriter Otmar Mácha
Writer of Lyrics Miloš V. Kratochvíl
Singer mužský sbor

Festum festum est

Singer René Gabzdyl

Production info

Original Title

Komediant

Czech Title

Komediant

English Title

The Strolling Player

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama, historical

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1984

Production Year

1983—1984

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 6 October 1982
start of filming 23 May 1983
technical Screenplay approved 16 June 1983
end of filming 6 March 1984
projection approval 30 March 1984

Premiere

premiere 1 October 1984 /suitable for youths/

Distribution slogan

Czech Film. A Tale of Love and Death.

Creative Group

2. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupina, Josef Císař (vedoucí 2. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

93 min

Original length in metres

2 571 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: 23. festival českých a slovenských filmů Praha

1985
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Otakar Vávra

Vítěz

Festival: 23. festival českých a slovenských filmů Praha

1985
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Otmar Mácha

Vítěz

Festival: 23. festival českých a slovenských filmů Praha

1985
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jana Hlaváčová

Vítěz

Festival: 35. filmový festival pracujících – léto ´84

1984
70 měst / Czechoslovakia