To the Very End

drama, psychological, war

Typology

feature

Czech title

Až do konce

Runtime

92

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1984

Production year

1984

Premiere

01.12.1985

Language version

Czech

Director

Antonín Kopřiva

Screenplay

Otakar Chaloupka, Antonín Kopřiva

Summary

Director Antonín Kopřiva set his 1984 psychological drama in the Sudetenland at the very end of World War II. Based on a novel by Otakar Chaloupka, the film describes the fates of a handful of Nazis who barricade themselves inside a deserted mansion along with seven young women, forced-labour workers from a local factory. The hostages, kept as a negotiating card to be played when the Red Army arrives, recount their past experiences and derive from each other the courage to face the looming climax. They eventually decide to attempt a desperate escape… Two of the Nazis were played by Eduard Cupák and Vítězslav Jandák. Despite the different nationalities of the film’s heroines, they were all portrayed by young Czech actresses: Veronika Gajerová, Kateřina Lojdová, Eva Kulichová, Yvetta Kornová and Miriam Chytilová.

Synopsis

It is May 8, 1945, and a train full of fleeing SS members is in ruins after an allied air force attack. A commissioned officer and a few surviving soldiers find shelter in a nearby abandoned château, which was probably the site of the Nazi executive. The soldiers detain seven young girls. Only one of them, the German Karin, believes in a German victory to the very end. The SS officer gives her a gun and entrusts her to guard the other captives in a cellar, for they should serve as hostages against the approaching Red Army. The NCO Otto meanwhile safeguards the building with weapons, pointing the machine gun at the nearby bridge – the only access road. The sentry Sigi commits a suicide and the remaining three soldiers run away. They are, however, soon shot by Soviet soldiers. The girls cast their minds back on their families. Two of them, Helga and Tereza, were from mixed marriages between Czechs and Germans, which were common in the borderland before the war. The French Simona was one of the displaced persons. The seamstress Marie was unfortunate enough to take a new dress to the stationmaster's wife at the railway station and found her and her husband murdered. The Czech Věra thinks of her groom Jochen, a boy from the neighbourhood who as a German had to join the army and died at the front. The Polish Halina fled from a concentration camp. The girls convince Karin to escape together. But they cannot stand waiting till dark, and the SS soldiers easily shoot the girls running over the bridge. The officer dies in the Soviet retaliatory attack. Otto survives, but only as a blind invalid.

Note

Méhul´s melody from the opera Joseph (1807) was misused for the NSDAP anthem when Horst Wessel (1907–1930) wrote lyrics for it known as Die Fahne Hoch (later called Horst Wessel Lied).

Cast

Eduard Cupák

hauptsturmführer SS (kapitán)

Vítězslav Jandák

scharführer SS Otto (rotný)

Veronika Gajerová

Němka Karin Baumannová

Zdeňka Sajfertová

Helga, otec Němec-matka Češka

Eva Salzmannová

Češka Věra

Eva Kulichová

Polka Halina

Miriam Chytilová

švadlena Marie

Yvetta Kornová

Tereza, matka Němka-otec Čech

Kateřina Lojdová

Francouzka Simona

Michal Pavlata

Horst, Ottův kamarád

Daniel Netušil

strážný Sigi

Jaroslav Kohut

voják Kurt

Adolf Kohuth

voják Hans

Zdeněk Podhůrský

voják Ernstl

Pavel Cajzl

Heinrich

Jiří Němeček

Horák, otec Terezy

Emma Černá

Trudi Horáková, matka Terezy

Zdeněk Ornest

Abélard, otec Simony

Jaroslava Tichá

Abélardová, matka Simony

Jaroslav Tomsa

otec Karin

Jana Andresíková

matka Karin

Antonín Molčík

otec Věry

Marta Richterová

matka Věry

Antonín Brtoun

otec Haliny

Jana Altmannová

matka Haliny

Roman Hájek

Jochen Heller, Věřin ženich

Milan Riehs

úředník Fischer /Gruppenleiter/

Marie Spurná

vedoucí BDM /Bund Deutscher Mädel/

Nina Jiránková

majitelka krejčovství Mattauschová

Vlastimil Drbal

venkovský hoch

Alice Chrtková

švadlena Utte

Petra Jindrová

švadlena Ingrid

Ladislav Lahoda

spojenecký pilot

Petr Lepša

ruský voják

Otta Tesař

ruský voják

Petr Jákl

gestapák

Václav Burkert

přednosta

Růžena Jedličková

přednostová

Miroslav Jíra

tankista

Ludvík Pozník

pohlavár SS

Jiří Klenot

důstojník SS

Zdeněk Skalický

důstojník SS

Antonín Kopřiva

ruský voják

Jan Zvoník

učedník Franz

Dubbing

Bohumila Dolejšová

hlas vedoucí BDM

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Hana Hanušová

Assistant Director

Zora Vondráčková, Jarmila Kovtanová

Based on

Otakar Chaloupka (Až do konce – novela)

Script Editor

Jiří Švejda

Second Unit Photography

Roman Pavlíček

Camera Operator

Vladimír Murat

Production Designer

Ludvík Široký

Set Designer

Ladislav Balous, Miloslav Dvořák, Karel Plaňanský

Costume Designer

Šárka Váchová

Film Editor

Dalibor Lipský

Sound Designer

Jiří Hora

Special Effects

Jiří Rumler, Milan Nejedlý, Antonín Weiser, Ludvík Malý

Production Manager

Jan Balzer

Unit Production Manager

Milada Věchetová

Consultant

Karel Richter (2), plk. Ing. Josef Pavlík, Jaroslav Tomsa, Jan Kropáček

Cooperation

Ruth Kubalíková, Ivan Minář, Jaroslav Řeřicha, Klára Stránská

Music

Music Composed by

Miki Jelínek

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Mario Klemens (FISYO)

Songs

Die Fahne hoch /Horst Wessel Lied/, Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht

Songwriter

Etienne Nicolas Méhul (Die Fahne hoch /Horst Wessel Lied/), Franz Xaver Gruber (Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht)

Writer of Lyrics

Horst Wessel (Die Fahne hoch /Horst Wessel Lied/), Joseph Mohr (Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht)

Singer

sbor (Die Fahne hoch /Horst Wessel Lied/), dívčí sbor (Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht)

Production info

Original Title

Až do konce

English Title

To the Very End

Copyright

1984

Production Year

1984

Premiere

01.12.1985

Creative Group

Jan Vild

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech