Dogged by Laughter

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1986

Production year

1985—1986

Premiere

1 June 1987

Runtime

92 min

Director

Hynek Bočan

Category

film

Genre

comedy

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Smích se lepí na paty

Czech title

Smích se lepí na paty

English title

Dogged by Laughter

Summary

During the 1980s, director Hynek Bočan focused mostly on TV production. One exception is this melancholic 1986 comedy which tells the story of an ageing countryman, who endures constant hardship due to his good-hearted naivety. Joska Platejz lives alone in a cottage in the foothills of the Krkonoše mountains. His home is improved by many bizarre inventions, yet he complicates his peaceful life by visiting Prague. Neither his son nor daughter are interested in their father – all they want is his money. Even the seemingly pleasant Helena, with whom Joska falls in love after returning home, proves a great disappointment to the gullible man…. Vladimír Brodský stars in this 1986 feature. Jiřina Bohdalová gracefully portrays the deceitful Helena. Josef Kemr and Petr Čepek play the hero’s friends. The quality of this modest film is enhanced by cinematographer Ivan Šlapeta’s affectionate photography of the Krkonoše mountain locations.

Synopsis

A cottage under the Giant Mountains is inhabitated by a peculiar sixty-year-old man, the jack-of-all-trades Joska Platejz. The cottage looks ordinary from the outside but inside, it is full of inventions. A brook runs through the main room and trout swim in a reservoir. All appliances are driven by a wind power plant. A dummy called Albert lifts up against the guests when the door opens. Platejz lives alone but he is not lonely. He regularly makes lunches for the gamekeeper Fanda and the group of woodcutters. With the help of an excavator, Joska and Fanda kidnap the local schoolmaster, a teacher called Kroupa - their ill friend whose wife does not let him go anywhere. Platejz refuses to provide lodging for the woodcuter Jarda, a newcomer who returned from a borstal. Joska takes care of the cottage for his son and daughter who live in Prague but they never come to visit their father. In the boxes with his favourite Virginia cigars Joska finds control slips with the names of the women who roll them. His favourite one is Borodyová. Platejz goes to Prague. His daughter, Jana, wants money from him to pay for her husband's misappropriation, but Joska refuses to sell the cottage because of that. The son has no time for him and his daughter-in-law gives him the colf shoulder. Back home, Joska lies to his friends about the loving welcome and care of his children. Kroupa and Joska argue about the mythical Borodyová's appearance. The teacher envisages her as a blond while she is a fiery brunette to Joska. Fanda sends Jarda to pick up the wages to test him. Jarda passes the test and moreover prepays himself for Joska's lunches. Platejz then deposits some banknotes in a hiding place under the stairs as an expression of trust. Fanda marries Zdena, a widow and the mother of three sons. Jana arrives unexpectedly with her family and the zestful Joska lends thirty five thousand crowns to his son-in-law. Kroupa's health worsens and he gives Joska notes about his secret dreams. Platejz is attacked by two disguised robbers in the cottage who coarsly demand money from him. He is, however, fortunate enough that Jarda comes over and disarms the robbers. One of them is the son-in-law Lojza, and Joska therefore does not report the incident to the police. His injured leg is put in plaster. At a railway station, he meets the pleasant Helena Šmídová. He invites her over, the woman indeed arrives and stays for several days with Joska who falls in love with her. The teacher Kroupa dies and Joska burns his diary without reading it. When Helena is departing, Joska gives her money to buy a car and come back. But the police arrive instead, informing Joska that Šmídová is in fact the imposter Housková, wanted for three years. Joska cannot believe it and offers to marry Helena during a visit to the prison. The woman, however, cynically turns him down. Joska sets off to Slovakia to meet Borodyová. But even here his "radar nose" fails him - the woman is a young blonde. Joska returns home, cooks for the woodcuters and offers Jarda lodging in the cottage.

Note

The last filmed scene was with Josef Kemr standing on the moving bucket of the excavator. The actor wished to augustly beckon with his hand and stepped on sledge for better effect. He lost his balance, fell from a height and severely wounded his heel. The part of the scene which the crew succeeded in capturing is in the opening section of the film.

Film online

Cast

Vlastimil Brodský

Joska Platejz

Josef Kemr

učitel Kroupa

Petr Čepek

hajný Fanda

Jiřina Bohdalová

Helena Šmídová vlastním jménem Anna Housková

Emma Černá

poštmistrová Madlenka

Klára Jerneková

Zdena Bumbálková, nevěsta hajného

Miroslav Vladyka

lesní dělník Jarda

Ladislav Křiváček

lesní dělník Mirek

Pavel Nový

lesní dělník Láďa

Jan Hartl

Jenda, Platejzův syn

Jitka Asterová

Dana, Platejzova snacha

Karel Heřmánek

Lojza Brousek, Platejzův zeť

Vilma Cibulková

Jana Brousková, Platejzova dcera

Dana Bartůňková

Sylvie, Danina přítelkyně

Petr Svárovský

Dubbing Jiří Kvasnička
Lojzův kumpán

Jiří Havel

podporučík VB Vašek

Jan Kraus

poručík VB

Jaroslava Tichá

Martička, Kroupova žena

Šárka Cetlová

vnučka Hanička

Eva Brandejsová

balička viržinek Erika Borodyová

Ludmila Roubíková

pacientka Beranová

Petr Turek

figurína Albert

Richard Novotný

lesní dělník Ríša

Josef Novotný st.

lesní dělník

Josef Novotný ml.

lesní dělník

Crew and creators

Director

Hynek Bočan

Second Unit Director

Jiří Růžička st., Josef Sandr

Assistant Director

Renata Čihulková, Pavel Brunclík

Script Supervisor

Jitka Tošilová

Screenstory

Pavel Fiala

Shooting Script

Hynek Bočan

Script Editor

Václav Nývlt

Director of Photography

Ivan Šlapeta

Second Unit Photography

Jiří Maxa

Camera Operator

Petr Wawrosz, Vratislav Novotný

Production Designer

Zbyněk Hloch

Assistent Production Designer

Jozef Hrabušický

Set Designer

Bedřich Čermák, Rudolf Beneš, Jaroslav Lehman, Jan Petrů

Costume Designer

Jarmila Konečná

Film Editor

Dalibor Lipský

Sound Designer

Karel Martínek

Assistant Sound Designer

Miroslav Helmich

Production Manager

Miloš Stejskal

Unit Production Manager

Daniela Jenčíková, Hana Štefanová

Unit Production Manager

Karel Hrdý

Cooperation

Dana Šomková (klapka), Antonín Heřman (vrchní osvětlovač), Miroslav Jirsa (fotograf), J. Botková

Music

Music Composed by

Petr Skoumal

Selected Music

Vilém Blodek (V studni)

Music Performed by

Petr Skoumal, Jan Hrubý

Songs

Hvězdy ve Splitu nad mořem /Daleko me moj Split/

Songwriter Ivo Tijardović
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Voldán
Singer Vlastimil Brodský

Já jsem malý mysliveček

Songwriter lidová píseň
Singer sbor

Mladá láska to je ráj

Songwriter Vilém Blodek
Writer of Lyrics Karel Sabina
Singer Petr Čepek

Nápad

Songwriter Stevie B
Writer of Lyrics Pavel Žák
Singer Hana Zagorová

Už mně koně vyvádějí

Production info

Original Title

Smích se lepí na paty

Czech Title

Smích se lepí na paty

English Title

Dogged by Laughter

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

comedy

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1986

Production Year

1985—1986

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 4 July 1985
start of filming 11 November 1985
technical Screenplay approved 19 December 1985
end of filming 28 July 1986
projection approval 30 September 1986

Premiere

premiere 1 June 1987 /suitable for youths/

Creative Group

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

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

92 min

Original length in metres

2 617 meters

Distribution carrier

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