The Zealous Reporter


Czechoslovakia, Federal Republic of Germany



Production year



1 June 1987


73 min




historical, biography


featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Zuřivý reportér

Czech title

Zuřivý reportér

English title

The Zealous Reporter

Parallel title

Marktplatz der Sensationen


Singer Josef Laufer embodied the journalist Egon Erwin Kisch (1885–1948) twice during the years of 1987 and 1988. In two motion pictures directed by Martin Hollý – Zuřivý reportér (The Zealous Reporter, 1987) and Lovec senzací (The Sensation Hunter, 1988), Laufer’s big screen portrayals demonstrate that the Prague-born journalist and writer Kisch was deservedly nicknamed “der rasende Reporter” (“the Racing Reporter”). In Zuřivý reporter, a Czechoslovak-German coproduction, Kisch’s desire to experience everything for himself leads him to a common lodging house for the poor. There a roommate describes how he got his rather strange tattoo. The reporter’s enduring curiousness puts him on the trail of a telegram from German Kaiser Wilhelm II which suggests that war might break out. The legendary black rose that blooms in the garden of heir presumptive Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Konopiště serves as another ominous pointer to what lies ahead… Alongside Laufer, members of the cast of family fantasy Pražská 5 (The Prague Five) appear in this feature film, namely Ondřej Trojan and Šimon Caban (overdubbed by Milan Šteindler).


The Prague journalist Egon Erwin Kisch is rather curious and wants to see everything with his own eyes. In order to get among the overnighters of a poorish asylum, he buys shabby clothes from a beggar. He also fools the warden - who lets in only people with documents and without fleas and mange - with a lie about his illness and the start of his hospital treatment the next day. Kisch then tells his roommates how he received his peculiar tattoo on his buttock. Volunteering in a prison for a year, he despised the classical motifs which the imprisoned lithographer tattooed for his co-prisoners. He commissioned a still-life from him and even sustained the terrible pain. But the malicious artist tattooed on him a portrait of their hideous and furious colonel. The news about it spread quickly and the colonel suffered from a heart attack at the sight of his own face on the soldier's buttocks. The reaction of his pretty widow, however, was utterly different - she made no bones about kissing the image of her late husband. Kisch is thrown out from the asylum after a police raid. His friend, the writer Jaroslav Hašek, does Kisch a favour and brings a pretty post officer from the town of Poděbrady to a riding school. She recently handled the telegram from the German Emperor Willem to Count Hohenlohe. The girl, proud of her knowledge of German, remembers two of the ninety-four words: Unabsehbare Folgen - unforseeable consequences. Kisch writes a short article, more or less based on his speculations, to the Prague-German newspaper Bohemia. Papers in Germany reprint the reported text of the telegram, too, but it only has seventy two words. Kisch already knows that his instinct has not failed him and, referring to the press law, refuses to betray his informer. The police investigation at the post office headquarters is not successful. At Konopiště château, a black rose starts to bloom, which predicts the approaching war. Kisch bets in the popular cabaret Montmartre to steal the flower before it bursts into flower. The guards, however, throw the journalist out of the château park. Ferdinand, the successor to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, cuts the flower and gives it to his beloved wife on the eve of their departure to Sarajevo.


The films The Zealous Reporter and The Sensation Hunter (1987) were created by editing a five-sequel series of short storie after E. E. Kisch, which was filmed in the year 1985 under the title Martplatz der Sensationen (The Sensation Marketplace) by Martin Hollý in coproduction with West-German TV stations.


Josef Laufer

novinář Egon Erwin Kisch

Wolfried Lier

Voice by Rudolf Hrušínský
policejní inspektor Binder

Čestmír Řanda

Voice by Soběslav Sejk

Alf Marholm

Voice by Jan Teplý
šéfredaktor listu Bohemia

Libuše Šafránková

poštovní úřednice Kateřina

Soňa Ticháčková

prostitutka Vlasta

Jiří Schmiedt

Voice by Václav Postránecký
spisovatel Jaroslav Hašek

Mirko Musil


Jana Kasanová

hraběnka, vdova po plukovníkovi

Václav Kotva


Jan Přeučil

vládní rada Olič

Imo Heite

Voice by Jiří Šrámek

Vilma Cibulková

prostitutka Botič Eli

Ivana Velichová


Alena Karešová

ředitelka Ústavu padlých dívek

David Vejražka

důstojník vysoké postavy

Roman Hemala


Václav Vydra

tetující litograf

Martin Dejdar

voják s vytetovaným kormidlem

Michal Caban

Voice by Milan Šteindler
voják s vytetovanou mořskou pannou

Jiří Němeček

úředník u viceprezidenta

Vladimír Hlavatý

starý redaktor

Jiří Lír

muž v útulně

Václav Kaňkovský

muž v útulně

Viktor Riebauer

muž v útulně

Igor Smržík

muž v útulně

Bohuslav Ličman

dozorce v útulně

Jiří Kodeš

následník trůnu Rudolf

Hana Packertová

hraběnka Chotková, následníkova manželka

Marta Richterová

sousedka prostitutky

Stanislav Hájek

muž v útulně

Zdeněk Martínek

muž v útulně

Jiří Zobač

vousatý muž u baru

Stanislav Lehký


Vladimír Matějček

následník trůnu arcivévoda František Ferdinand d'Este

Vladimír Kotrlík

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Miroslav Voštiar, Eva Kadaňková

Based on

Egon Erwin Kisch (Tetovaný portrét – povídka), Egon Erwin Kisch (Nedozírné důsledky – povídka)

Director of Photography

Jiří Macháně

Second Unit Photography

Petr Hojda

Production Designer

Karel Vacek

Assistent Production Designer

Štěpán Exner, Miloš Preclík

Costume Designer

Jarmila Konečná

Make-Up Artist

Josef Lojík

Sound Designer

Miloslav Hůrka

Production Manager

Jan Kadlec st., Tomáš Gabriss


Ivan Minář (fotograf)


Music Composed by

Jiří F. Svoboda

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Mario Klemens)


Za císaře pána a jeho rodinu

Na Pankráci, na malém vršíčku

Choděj k nám pánové

Singer ženský hlas

Zdálo se mi má panenko

Production info

Original Title

Zuřivý reportér

Czech Title

Zuřivý reportér

English Title

The Zealous Reporter

Parallel Title

Marktplatz der Sensationen




featuretheatrical distribution


historical, biography

Origin country

Czechoslovakia, Federal Republic of Germany



Production Year



premiere 1 June 1987 /suitable for youths/

Creative Group

5. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupina, Miloslav Vydra (vedoucí 5. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

73 min

Original length in metres

2 080 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio






Sound system/format




Dialogue languages


Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages