What’s the Matter With You, Doctor?

comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Co je vám, doktore?

Runtime

79

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1984

Production year

1984

Premiere

01.07.1985

Language version

Czech

Director

Vít Olmer

Screenplay

Antonín Máša, Zdeněk Svěrák, Vít Olmer

Screenstory

Antonín Máša

Summary

In the mid-1980s, director Vít Olmer exploited the acting charisma of Zdeněk Svěrák in two interesting tragicomedies. After Co je vám, doktore? (What’s the Matter With You, Doctor?, 1984), they made another film together – Jako jed (As Good as Poison, 1985), although Svěrák did not contribute as a screenwriter the second time around. The first of these films brings together the qualities that made Zdeněk Svěrák one of the most interesting contemporary writers. In the tragicomedy What’s the Matter With You, Doctor? He wrote the role of the protagonist for himself – an idealistic, humble man who uses a humorous outlook to compensate for his dissatisfaction with external realities. However, as the problems of the 40-year-old dentist, Burda, exacerbate, he is moved to revolt against his current way of life. The desire to live a simple life in the countryside, leads the technophobic hero to move from the big city to the mountains in the company of a new, younger woman, whose outlook means she is more suited to him than his present wife. But this idealistic escape to the “purity” of nature ends in a realistic fashion – with a return to the city. Nonetheless, like most of Svěrák’s characters, the hero finds new hope in the birth of a child. The theme of “escaping from the city” resonates most strongly in Czech cinema in the work of director Tomáš Vorel, but Olmer’s film already presages several elements that are specific to the given topic. The timeless concept of the film What’s the Matter With You, Doctor? is a lot more than just a period piece of ecological agitprop made in accordance with the priorities of a socialist state. Burda the dentist is a Svěrák prototype – a passive, ordinary man who tries to turn his half-hearted dreams into reality. A society focused on material pleasures, however, does not suit his introverted nature in any era. Consequently, even years later, What’s the Matter With You, Doctor? offers a percipient, albeit affectionate insight into the heart of the Czech soul. As “Burda’s women”, Zdeněk Svěrák is successfully assisted by Iva Hüttnerová (Blanka) and Ivona Krajčovičová (Tereza).

Synopsis

The dentist Bohouš Burda still loves his wife Blanka after fifteen years of marriage, although they do not match at all. Blanka is the chief research engineer in big steelworks. She is solely interested in her work, she does not want children, her household is impersonal like a laboratory, and she pays only a little attention to her husband. Blanka's subordinate, the young and ambitious engineer Karel, wants to seize a leading position in the steelworks. He dates the programmer Tereza but also peeps at other girls. He plays a dirty trick on the engineer Burdová in front of their boss with information he read in a foreign publication. Bohouš is increasingly troubled by the dreary condition of human civilization. He decides to fight – he sells his car and places an age-old decimal scale in their ultramodern bathroom. He even outrages the attendees of an environmental meeting and eventually has a fight with them. The husband and wife have a serious quarrel and Bohouš finally moves to a friend's place. He finds out that his neighbour is Tereza. She vainly waits for Karel who was supposed to take her for a trip. While Karel spends his time with the calculating Veronika, Tereza leaves with Bohouš to his cottage. They come to have affection for each other. Karel again unscrupulously betrays Burdová at a meeting and the woman has a nervous breakdown. Tereza wants to help her and arranges a meeting with her husband. The two then move to the cottage, but they do not live happily even there. Blanka gets divorced and returns to the city. Tereza sets off to see Bohouš – but their idyllic life does not last long, either. The cottage is knocked down by a bulldozer to make way for a highway. Tereza is pregnant and returns to the city with Bohouš. Bohouš does not give up his dream, painting trees on the wall of the prefab house. His son will certainly become a forester. Tereza, however, watches him with scepticism.

Film online

Cast

Zdeněk Svěrák

zubař Bohouš Burda

Ivona Krajčovičová

pomocná programátorka Tereza Horká

Iva Hüttnerová

inženýrka Blanka, Burdova žena

Ondřej Pavelka

inženýr Karel Strnad, Blančin kolega

Karel Brožek

vedoucí výpočetního střediska

Eva Asterová

Veronika, Karlova kolegyně

Eva Holubová

Burdova sestra

Bronislav Poloczek

Burdův švagr

Ladislav Smoljak

psychiatr Václav

Ferdinand Krůta

otec Terezy

Anna Ferencová

Boženka Kuchařová, otcova přítelkyně

Kristian Hynek

kameraman

Martin Faltýn

režisér

Alena Karešová

sestra v ordinaci

Blažena Slavíčková

pacientka Málková

Hana Přibylová

Alena

Jan Hraběta

majitel sudu u řeky

Miloš Čálek

inženýr, muž Veroniky

Vladimír Hrabánek

řidič sanitky

Jolana Maurerová-Zelinková

Jarmila

Karel Smyczek

odborník na krajinu

Josef Vondráček

kupec auta

Milan Šimáček

synovec Jiříček

Alois Bocek

tramp

Gabriela Najmanová

dáma na schůzi

Bořivoj Penc

ochranář

Pavel Vondruška

ochranář

Jaroslav Vozáb

ochranář

Dubbing

Naďa Konvalinková

hlas Terezy

Marie Rosůlková

hlas babičky

Milena Vostřáková

hlas z televizoru

Crew and creators

Director

Vít Olmer

Second Unit Director

Jan Křížek

Assistant Director

Václav Křístek, Jana Goetzová

Screenstory

Antonín Máša

Shooting Script

Vít Olmer

Script Editor

Josef Bouček

Second Unit Photography

Roman Pavlíček

Camera Operator

Tomáš Hampl

Production Designer

Bohumil Nový

Costume Designer

Šárka Váchová

Sound Designer

Antonín Kravka

Production Manager

Miloš Stejskal

Unit Production Manager

Milan Futera, Luboš Vála

Unit Production Manager

Bohumil Vlach

Consultant

RNDr. Ivan Pola

Cooperation

Veronika Pollertová, Eliška Willigová, František Vokřál, Miroslav Jirsa

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Stivín

Music Performed by

Collegium Quodlibet

Music Conducted by

Jiří Stivín (Collegium Quodlibet)

Songs

Rubikova kostka, Generál Laudon jede skrz vesnici, Ach není, tu není

Songwriter

Jiří Burian (Rubikova kostka), lidová píseň (Generál Laudon jede skrz vesnici), lidová píseň (Ach není, tu není)

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Burian (Rubikova kostka)

Singer

Karel Zich (Rubikova kostka), dívčí sbor (Generál Laudon jede skrz vesnici)

Production info

Original Title

Co je vám, doktore?

English Title

What’s the Matter With You, Doctor?

Working Title

Spor o radost

Copyright

1984

Production Year

1984

Premiere

01.07.1985

Creative Group

Jiří Blažek

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 36. filmový festival pracujících – léto ´85

1985
70 měst / Czechoslovakia
Vít Olmer