Veronika

historical

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Veronika

Runtime

97 min

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1985

Production year

1985

Premiere

01.05.1986

Language version

Czech

Director

Otakar Vávra

Summary

Otakar Vávra’s enthusiasm for historical dramas continued with this 1985 film, which also indirectly touches upon his abiding interest in 19th century Czech writer Božena Němcová (something which would fully manifest itself in the biographical film Horoucí srdce [An Ardent Heart, 1962]). The protagonist of this film would have been well-known to Němcová – Veronika Pavlitová is inspired by the figure of Viktoria Paulová, who was a close acquaintance of the author during 1855. The naive, highly active and patriotic writer longs to end her father’s imprisonment, and thus becomes an informant, bringing information to the secret police about Němcová and other Czech National Revival figures. The approach of death brings a heavy heart as she reflects on her deeds. This tragic drama was first related by author Miloš V. Kratochvíl, who also partook in adapting Vávra’s project for the big screen. Veronika has an unusual place within the director’s expansive filmography: it is free of any forced ideological statements, while it also unusually relates the lesbian tendencies of its lead character, and reflects the very contemporary issues of informers, self-censorship and those who publish for their own safety under a pseudonym.

Synopsis

It is a winter day of 1854 and Veronika Pavlitová waits for Emperor Franz Joseph I's procession for hours in order to throw a humble plea for the release of her father - a political prisoner - into the emperor's brougham. After the death of her mother, the girl tends to her four younger siblings in desperate conditions. She is arrested by the police but is released after providing an explanation. She falls severely ill and a patriotic physician Lambl restores her to health. He moreover introduces the literarily gifted Veronika to her idol - Božena Němcová, an excellent writer but also a personality who is rather inconsistently accepted by the society. This is also why Němcová is followed by the secret police. The police director Paümann makes use of the naive Veronika - he promises her some earnings as a home Czech teacher of his sons and even assures her about her father's release from prison. He then talks with the girl in a seemingly friendly way and the girl also mentions the people visiting Němcová and what they discuss. She betrays the pseudonyms under which the banned Bohemian journalists publish their articles. When Veronika realizes what she has done, it is too late. Paümann blackmails her, eventually forcing her to become an informer. Němcová is left by her lover Jurenka and her marrital crisis is completed. The unhappy woman begins writing her most famous novel, The Grandmother - a book of lyrical memories of her childhood. Veronika falls fatally ill with tuberculosis and her qualms seriously deteriorate her condition. Lambl's sister takes Pavlita's children to her village. Veronika dies even before managing to confess her betrayal to Němcová.

Note

The title character of Veronika Pavlitová was written on the basis of a real person, Viktorie Paulová (1834–1856).

Cast

Taťjana Medvecká

Veronika Pavlitová

Jana Hlaváčová

spisovatelka Božena Němcová

Martin Růžek

policejní ředitel Anton Paümann

František Němec

MUDr. Dušan Lambl

Jiří Adamíra

páter Václav Štulc

Viktor Preiss

Josef Václav Frič

Oldřich Vízner

spisovatel Václav Čeněk Bendl

Jiří Bartoška

medik Hanuš Jurenka

Radovan Lukavský

respicient Josef Němec, manžel Němcové

Alena Procházková

služka Marie

Růžena Merunková

Lamblova sestra

Jan Přeučil

policejní komisař Friedrich Nečásek

Jaroslav Radimecký

profesor Jan Evangelista Purkyně

Svatava Hubeňáková

Jurenkova matka

Eliška Sirová

Kateřina, sestra Veroniky

Dana Morávková

Dora, dcera Němcové

Drahoslava Landsmanová

Paümannova manželka

Vladimír Bičík

policejní agent

Antonín Brtoun

policejní agent

Milan Sandhaus

mistr sazeč

Ludmila Roubíková

domovnice Brousková

Jana Vychodilová

hospodyně u Purkyněho

Eva Řepíková

hospodyně u Štulce

Vladimír Salač

policejní písař

Libuše Šedivá

Anička

Petr Patera

Spitzer

Jiří Strach

Jaroslav, syn Němcové

Jakub Bufka

Robert, Paümannův syn

Jan Vedral

Ernest, Paümannův syn

Růžena Lysenková

Jurenkova bytná

Gaston Šubert

muž s hodinkami

Martina Horáčková

komorná

David Ostrýt

Bořivoj, bratr Veroniky

Zbyněk Vítů

Svatopluk, bratr Veroniky

Jiří Hein

muž ve Stromovce

Tomáš Hendrych

císař František Josef I.

Dubbing

Oto Ševčík

hlas velitele strážního oddílu ve Stromovce

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Milan Kadlec, Petr Makovička

Script Supervisor

Eva Kubesová

Based on

Miloš V. Kratochvíl (Veronika – novela)

Shooting Script

Otakar Vávra

Script Editor

Vladimír Bor

Second Unit Photography

Jan Hanzal

Camera Operator

František Kučera

Production Designer

Jindřich Goetz

Assistent Production Designer

Jan Zázvorka ml.

Set Designer

Milan Bábik, Jiří Matějka, Eva Slívová, Milan Tahotný

Costume Designer

Jan Kropáček

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Assistant Film Editor

Magda Hájková, Alena Chvojková

Sound Designer

Adolf Böhm

Production Manager

Jan Syrový

Unit Production Manager

Lev Veltrubský, Jana Hauserová, Helena Landovská

Consultant

prof. dr. Otakar Matoušek (historický poradce), prof. Karel Cvejn (historický poradce), PhDr. Jan Dvořák (kulturně-historický poradce), Pavel Auersperg (ideový poradce)

Cooperation

Ivana Vlčková (klapka), Jiří Novák (vrchní osvětlovač), Karel Ješátko (fotograf), J. Dvořák

Music

Music Composed by

Otmar Mácha

Music Performed by

Havlákovo kvarteto, FISYO

Music Conducted by

Mario Klemens (FISYO)

Songs

Na Berounce pod Tetínem

Songwriter

Josef Vorel (Na Berounce pod Tetínem)

Production info

Original Title

Veronika

English Title

Veronika

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

historical

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1985

Production Year

1985

Premiere

01.05.1986

Creative Group

1. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupina, Jiří Blažek (vedoucí)

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

97 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 24. festival českých a slovenských filmů Mariánské Lázně

1986
Mariánské Lázně / Czechoslovakia
Taťjana Medvecká