Nuclear Cathedral

drama, psychological



Czech title

Atomová katedrála







Production year




Language version



Jaroslav Balík


The state, especially during the 1970s, commissioned numerous psychological dramas celebrating the socialist “builders of the nation”. This film by director Jaroslav Balík, however, was distributed in the cinemas in 1984, near the end of the “normalisation” era (1969-1987). The main character of the story, inspired by Stanislav Rudolf’s eponymous novel, is the overworked and unappreciated Ing. Vladimír Hlaváč, the manager of a nuclear power plant construction project who is unfairly dismissed. In retrospective scenes, Hlaváč ponders the years he dedicated to the project – a demanding labour of love. Later, the plant’s new director, who values the quality of Hlaváč’s work, appoints him to another managerial role. But the respected builder pays dearly for his dedication to the project, sacrificing both his privacy and his life... The pro-regime film stars Jiří Krampol, in the best performance of his career.


The nuclear plant construction director Ferster announces, in a wine cellar, that he is removing the engineer Vladimír Hlaváč from the company management and replacing him with the engineer Prchal. Hlaváč is on the way to the birthday celebration of his father-in-law and, on the road, contemplates the ceremonial construction launch. Just a second of lingering, and he crashes into the car of his father-in-law who is the physician at the construction site. Fortunately, nothing happens to either of them. Hlaváč keeps recollecting. It was difficult to manage such an extensive construction. He had to face a lack of both finances and qualified workers all the time. He was responsible for all decisions, while his superiors many times interfered in the construction with often incompetent resolutions, but refused any responsibility in case of trouble. Hlaváč devoted all his energy and time to the construction. This also negatively influenced his family life and his wife and son became alienated from him. After his removal, he found temporary comfort with the assistant Daniela. The construction managed by Prchal, however, does not prosper. A newcomer to the enterprise is the vigorous engineer Milý who quickly brings things back to order. He also comes to understand the qualities of Hlaváč who is re-appointed director after his withdrawal. The construction is ceremonially launched. Hlaváč prepares himself for a TV interview but receives an urgent call from his son Rosa on the walkie-talkie. Hlaváč runs to him but he stops moving - his heart, tired and weakened by the years of worries and hard work, fails.


Jiří Krampol

Ing. Vladimír Hlaváč

Ota Sklenčka

vedoucí výstavby Ferster

Josef Vinklář

nový ředitel výstavby Milý

Jan Vlasák

hlavní vedoucí výstavby Ing. Miloš Prchal

Jan Teplý

MUDr. Evžen Vančura, Hlaváčův švagr

Libuše Štědrá

Irena, Hlaváčova žena

Pavel Kříž

student Rosťa, syn Hlaváčových

Kateřina Pindejová

Mirka, dcera Hlaváčových

Miroslav Zounar

předseda staveništního výboru KSČ

Valerie Zawadská

Andrea, Prchalova žena

Bohumila Dolejšová

Alena, Vančurova žena, sestra Irenina sestra

Ida Rapaičová

sekretářka Daniela Brabcová

Radan Rusev

svářeč Láďa Fejfar

Vlasta Žehrová

kuchařka Hanka Zvěřinová, Fejfarova dívka

Magda Reifová

prodavačka Monika Stramuská, Rosťova nevěsta

Rudolf Hrušínský ml.

řidič Moravčík

Jiří Kostka

děda, otec Ireny a Aleny

Miriam Kantorková


Bořivoj Navrátil

Ing. Vyhnálek

Josef A. Stehlík

František Dočkal

Bohumír Starý

svářeč Aleš

Miroslav Moravec

zástupce generálního dodavatele technologií

Zdeněk Ornest

zástupce ministerstva

Vlastimil Zavřel

mistr Dolejš

Vít Olmer

nový ředitel

Vladimír Salač

zástupce generálního investora

Ondřej Vetchý

svářeč Mrkvička

Stanislav Hájek

mistr Mádr

Václav Bouška

mistr Mildberger

Jana Eichlerová

reportérka TV

Jana Krausová

zdravotní sestra Petra

Zdeněk Blažek

mistr Vícha

Michaela Jílková

jeřábnice Romana

Eva Štětková

sekretářka u Sochora

Jan Krafka

Ing. Doležal

Vladimír Kudla


Miloslav Kopečný

Ing. Bouček

Bohumil Koška

mistr Pokorný

Richard Mihula

otec Moniky

Vladimír Pospíšil

Ing. Vavřinec

Gustav Vondráček

mistr Bambas

Bohumil Vávra


Jan Vávra

svářeč na aktivu

Jaroslav Tomsa

Ing. Stejskal

Eva Kudlíková


Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Josef Jarolímek

Assistant Director

Petr Hartl, Pavla Marková

Based on

Stanislav Rudolf (Běh znaveného koně – román)


Jaroslav Balík

Shooting Script

Jaroslav Balík

Script Editor

Věra Kalábová

Second Unit Photography

Oldřich Kovář (kamera)

Camera Operator

Ivan Šimůnek

Production Designer

Jiří Hlupý

Set Designer

Ivan Ernyei, Jiří Libánský, Dana Smržová

Costume Designer

Radka Kubková

Film Editor

Eva Bobková

Sound Designer

Karel Jaroš

Production Manager

Jan Šuster

Unit Production Manager

Zuzana Kovaříková, Jaroslav Bouček, Miloslav Doležal


Ing. Stanislav Unčovský, Ing. Pavel Pokorný, Ing. Jiří Masný


Jana Pokorná (3), Jaroslav Trousil, Helena Lehovcová


Music Composed by

Karel Mareš

Selected Music

Gustav Mahler (různé symfonie /úryvky/), Petr Iljič Čajkovskij (Klavírní koncert b moll)

Music Performed by


Music Conducted by

Mario Klemens (FISYO)


Zaleť, sokol, bílý pták, U Kokořína, My pluli dál a dál, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Down By the Riverside, When the Saints Go Marching In


lidová píseň (Zaleť, sokol, bílý pták), Karel Mareš (U Kokořína), tradicionál (My pluli dál a dál), Harry Richmond (I Can't Give You Anything But Love), tradicionál (Down By the Riverside), tradicionál (When the Saints Go Marching In)


sbor (Zaleť, sokol, bílý pták – píseň), sbor (Zaleť, sokol, bílý pták)

Production info

Original Title

Atomová katedrála

English Title

Nuclear Cathedral



Production Year




Creative Group

Josef Císař

Technical info





Event: 15. ročník čtenářské ankety týdeníku Květy, Československé televize a Ústřední půjčovny filmů

Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Krampol


Festival: 23. festival českých a slovenských filmů Praha

Praha / Czechoslovakia
Viktor Růžička


Festival: 23. festival českých a slovenských filmů Praha

Praha / Czechoslovakia


Festival: 36. filmový festival pracujících – léto ´85

70 měst / Czechoslovakia


Event: Státní ceny Klementa Gottwalda

Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Balík