Big Money

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1987

Production year

1987

Premiere

1 July 1988

Runtime

90 min

Director

Vít Olmer

Category

film

Genre

crime

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Bony a klid

Czech title

Bony a klid

English title

Big Money

Working title

Sudá lichá

Summary

In the 1980s, Vít Olmer’s directorial activity evolved partly from a fondness for genre films and partly from a growing interest in social and journalistic formats. In this respect, he found some common ground with screenwriter Radek John in the film Bony a klid (Big Money). Consequently, in 1987 this resulted in one of the most significant films of the second half of the decade – a drama about a trusting young man who comes to the capital in search of a better life and ends up on a slippery slope. John’s screenplays had long been influenced by reporting work. Big Money, however, is not just an impressively told crime story from the appealing milieu of Prague racketeers, but also a stylised statement on the reality that prevailed in Czechoslovak society at the end of the 1980s. It implied links between the underworld and the police and the courts – a brave thing to do at that time. The protagonist is Martin, a naïve car mechanic who leaves his hometown of Mladá Boleslav and ends up among Prague moneychangers. He quickly changes from being the victim of theft into a player who vigorously pursues backstreet deals using convertible currency, which is in short supply. He enjoys a sweet life of plenty and falls in love with the charming Eva. But, ultimately, he does not avoid his comeuppance. No winner can emerge from the rivalry between two racketeering gangs… The film was a big hit with audiences thanks to the way it tackled its subject matter in a genre style and its catchy soundtrack (provided by the composer Ondřej Soukup and Frankie Goes to Hollywood). The cinematographer Ota Kopřiva, whom Olmer had collaborated with on several of his previous films, added some authenticity to the story, which was set in realistic Prague locations. The convincing Jan Potměšil excelled in the lead role. He had already attracted attention in the drama Proč (Why?) – another socially critical film penned by Radek John and directed by Karel Smyczek. Roman Skamene gave the performance of his life as the mercurial hustler Bíny. He and other actors from the film repeated their roles in a loose sequel, Big Money II, which Vít Olmer made in 2014.

Synopsis

The underhand moneychangers - illegal exchangers of foreign currencies and the so-called Tuzex vouchers [Tuzex, sales system and shops that used convertible-currency vouchers] - do not hide their deals as strictly as they should, and the bribed police see "nothing" far too often. The car-mechanic Martin comes to Prague to buy German marks for him and his friends to get a videorecorder. But the na?ve young man immediately falls prey to the moneychanger Richard who sells him false dollars. Back home in the town of Boleslav, friends do not trust Martin's story and he must go back to Prague. He reports everything to the police, but in vain. He investigates on his own account, but he is even swindled by the outsider Beeny. When someone beats him up, he is taken in by the shop assistant Eva who secretly quarters him in her digs. Beeny pulls the totally broke Martin to his gang that rides the freeway and illegally changes money with foreigners in buses coming from abroad. Their work is well-organized and it pays really well. Martin comes to enjoy the easy money and the frequent parties as well as the chance to rent a nice apartment to share with the pretty Eva. He gets a cover job as a guard, while a pensioner sits for him on the spot. There are power differences among the moneychangers, and when the gang tries to steal a lucrative gig from the stronger competitive gang of moneychanger Karel, they end up naked on a road somewhere outside the city. Karel's revenge goes even further - their apartments are ruined and the black sale of videos goes bankrupt. That is the end of the gang. Eva refuses to move to Boleslav with Martin, who now works at a conveyor belt, joined by Harry and Richard who squared themselves away in the same factory. But the investigation, once launched by Martin's report, continues and there are even some arrests. Harry kills himself on the run, falling from a high floor. The gang, Beeny inclusive, stands in the court. Martin's sentence is the lowest thanks to Eva, the mother of an illegitimate child. He, however, also learns that Eva is in fact a prostitute and that she used him as an alibi during her parole.

Cast

Jan Potměšil

automechanik Martin Holec

Veronika Jeníková

Eva zvaná Evička Tričko

Josef Nedorost

vekslák Richard Šindler

Tomáš Hanák

vekslák Jiří Dvořák zvaný Hary

Roman Skamene

vekslák Bíny

Miloslav Kopečný

vekslák Bankéř

Vítězslav Jirsák

Martinův otec, dílenský mistr

Miloš Čálek

Benák, Evin domácí

František Švihlík

vekslák Karel

Ludvík Pozník

prodavač Kovo

Jaroslav Kohák

řezník Veselý

Miroslav Jíra

řezníkův syn

Bedřich Čapek

Holý, starší muž

Pavel Spálený (2)

taxikář

Dana Skolková

barmanka

Vladimír Švabík

vrátný v Esplanadu

Jan Křížek

předseda soudu

JUDr. Miloslav Moravec

obhájce

Jitka Hoferková

přísedící žena

Václav Čížkovský

vekslák Džordžo

Ladislav Goral

vekslák cikán

Zdenek Sirový

vekslák Viki

Otto Rambousek

vekslák Rampa

Josef Husák

vekslák

Michal Caban

vekslák

Matouš Forbelský

vekslák

Josef Sýkora

vekslák

Radoslav Špirhanzl

vekslák

Petr Weig

muž v plášti

Jan Cmíral

příslušník VB

Vlastimil Čaněk

příslušník VB-telefonista

Martin Čumpelík

příslušník VB

Karel Engel

příslušník VB

Jiří Klenot

příslušník VB

Pavel Krátký

příslušník VB

Ladislav Lahoda

příslušník VB

Miloslav Mejzlík

příslušník VB

Miroslav Maruška

mladý příslušník VB

František Stupka

příslušník VB

Václav Šrámek

příslušník VB

Martin Vysušil

diskžokej /Botel/

Pavel Kopenec

diskžokej /Luxor/

Petr Drozda

vyhazovač

Viktorie Knotková

toaletářka

Veronika Launová

nymfička

Jitka Kraferová

nymfička

Michaela Srbová

nymfička

Ilja Bernasová

dívka

Helena Fleischerová

dívka

Monika Herbichová

dívka

Lenka Vlachová

dívka

Bohumil Hyneš

gorila

Martin Janský

gorila

Pavel Kunášek

gorila

Jaroslav Šimonka

gorila

Vladimír Tišer

vekslák

Jiří Čakura

vekslák

Zoltán Farbár

vekslák

Milan Šenki

vekslák

Jaroslav Zbilý

vekslák

Michal Matek

řidič švédského autobusu

Jiří Petkov

Dubbing Jan Kuželka
vrchní v hotelu

Antonín Lehký

host v baru

Jaromír Lukáš

vedoucí restaurace

Dubbing

Václav Erban

hlas moderátora pátrací relace v TV

Crew and creators

Director

Vít Olmer

Second Unit Director

Jan Křížek

Assistant Director

Josef Basakin, Lenka Heřmanová

Screenstory

Radek John

Shooting Script

Vít Olmer, Ota Kopřiva

Script Editor

Martin Bezouška

Director of Photography

Ota Kopřiva

Production Designer

Ludvík Široký

Set Designer

Milan Bábik, Jiří Matějka, Eva Slívová

Costume Designer

Ivana Šislerová

Sound Designer

Jiří Moudrý

Production Manager

Jaromír Lukáš

Unit Production Manager

Jiří Synek, Jitka Hoferková, Dagmar Pitráková

Unit Production Manager

Marcel Průcha

Consultant

mjr. JUDr. Zdeněk Lesák, plk. Josef Janůrek, JUDr. Miloslav Moravec, Jaroslav Tomsa

Cooperation

Mária Hubáčková, Květa Švábová, Gabriela Pitráková, Štěpán Exner, Zdeněk Vávra

Music

Music Composed by

Ondřej Soukup

Music Performed by

skupina Ondřeje Soukupa (Music Conducted by Ondřej Soukup),

Songs

Relax

Songwriter Peter GillMark O'TooleHolly Johnson
Writer of Lyrics Peter GillMark O'TooleHolly Johnson
Singer Frankie Goes to Hollywood

The World Is My Oyster

Songwriter Peter GillMark O'TooleHolly JohnsonBrian Nash
Writer of Lyrics Peter GillMark O'TooleHolly JohnsonBrian Nash
Singer Frankie Goes to Hollywood

The Power of Love

Songwriter Peter GillMark O'TooleHolly JohnsonBrian Nash
Writer of Lyrics Peter GillMark O'TooleHolly JohnsonBrian Nash
Singer Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Production info

Original Title

Bony a klid

Czech Title

Bony a klid

English Title

Big Money

Working Title

Sudá lichá

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

crime

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1987

Production Year

1987

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 3 September 1986
start of filming 10 November 1986
technical Screenplay approved 23 January 1987
end of filming 12 October 1987

Premiere

premiere 1 July 1988

Creative Group

2. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupina, Josef Císař (vedoucí 2. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

90 min

Original length in metres

2 579 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

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Divácká anketa časopisu Audio Video Revue Zlatá kazeta 1995

1996
Praha / Czech Republic

Vítěz

Festival: 26. festival českých a slovenských filmů Brno

1988
Brno / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Event: Prémie Českého literárního fondu

1988
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Radek John

Vítěz

Festival: 21. filmový festival mladých Trutnov

1988
Trutnov / Czechoslovakia
Radek John