The young miner Ondřej is on the way to his new job. He is on a bus full of his future colleagues. The signalman Čáp has a swollen face but resolutely refuses to see the company dentist. Ondřej conceals that he originally wanted to be a journalist but did not pass the entrance exams. He apprenticed as a miner, and when the signalman is wounded, the inexperienced Ondřej is assigned to replace him. Čáp scrounges cigarettes from him and refuses to tell how several colleagues fell into a pit full of water-dissolved coal dust – the so-called sludge. The temperamental Miška Preslová is admired by all the boys for her wild appeal and willingness to flirt. This is why Čáp's careworn wife Božka writes slanderous notices about her on the pit wagons. At the very moment when Čáp flirts with Miška, he is supposed to lower the chief engineer Tomanec into the mining pit. But the lift goes down too rapidly due to his lack of attention, and Tomanec rewards him by a decent slap across his face after his return. Now, the elderly signalman really must see the dentist. The accident is soon published in the company newspaper Miner's Lamp. Čáp senses that the article was written by Ondřej, nicknamed Writer for his fondness of recording various events. Ondřej eventually receives his royalty for the article – a slap from Čáp. The jolly Miška seduces Ondřej who is speedily thrown into the sludge because "those who catch fire must be cooled down".
signalista Honza Čáp zvaný Dramo
hlavní inženýr Václav Tomanec
zubař MUDr. Dundr
Božka, Čápova žena
Robert Vacík, Pavel Dvorský
František Stavinoha (Figurky ze šmantů – kniha povídek)
Jiří Forst, Milan Šilha
Luboš Čížek, Gabriela Kerekešová, František Vláčil ml.
František Bártík, Boris Purkyt
medium length film