The Curse of the Hajns’ House

horror, psychological

Typology

feature

Czech title

Prokletí domu Hajnů

Runtime

107

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1988

Production year

1988

Premiere

01.09.1989

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Svoboda

Screenplay

Jiří Svoboda, Václav Šašek

Summary

Jiří Svoboda brought his expressive directing to bear in this film adaptation of Jaroslav Havlíček’s novel Neviditelný (Invisible). The story, first published in 1937, takes place in the (fictional) east Bohemian town of Jesenice in the mid-1920s. The narrative’s protagonist is ambitious, rationalist engineer Peter Švajcar, who marries into the wealthy Hajn family for his own gain. Cyril, the insane brother of Petr’s father-in-law, causes symptoms of the family sickness to spread to Petr’s wife Soňa. Petr eventually loses everything he had so laboriously gained... The motion picture sees the director turn Havlíček’s grim indictment of small-town selfishness into a psychological horror and Petra Vančíková (Soňa) and Petr Čepek (Cyril) put in wonderful performances that intensify the tonality. Čepek’s acting is reminiscent of his main role in another Havlíček adaptation, Petrolejové lampy (Oil Lamps, 1971).

Synopsis

It is winter evening in 1931 and engineer Petr Švajcar arrives at the villa of the factory owner Hajn. He walks through the empty house and recollects events which began in 1924. That year, he went there for the first time as Hajn's employee and the fiancé of his daughter Soňa who he had met in Prague. Švajcar realizes the very first evening that the house is commanded by the old aunt Karolina. This, however, does not discourage him - he comes from poor conditions and is thus used to struggle. He also soon discovers that the brother of his future father-in-law, Cyril, also lives in the house. Cyril is insane and thinks he invented an invisibility formula. He moves around the house convinced that no one can see him. Soňa is scared of him and the situation does not change after the marriage. Cyril snoops on Soňa and even spoils the newlyweds' wedding night. When Soňa is home alone one day, Cyril tries to rape her. Petr thus takes him to a mental asylum, but it is too late for Soňa - she also loses her mind after the dreadful incident. She even does not recover after the birth of their son and moreover threatens his life by her actions. Soňa's cousin Katy becomes Petr's lover and suggests to him how to get rid of his wife. Petr intentionally leaves Soňa's room unlocked and the corridor window open. The young woman commits suicide. A few years later, Soňa's father dies and Petr becomes the heir. He is satisfied but Katy starts pushing him towards marriage, claiming that she owns a different last will and testament of Hajn in which Petr is not the heir. Petr capitulates. He is, however, still haunted by bad luck. His son starts displaying signs of the Hajn's hereditary disease. The desperate Petr blames God for trying to destroy him.

Film online

Cast

Emil Horváth ml.

ing. Petr Švajcar

Petronela Vančíková

Soňa, dcera továrníka Hajna

Radoslav Brzobohatý

továrník Hugo Hynek Hajn

Petr Čepek

Sonin šílený strýc Cyril

Valerie Kaplanová

tetinka Karolina

Evelyna Steimarová

hospodyně Katy, Sonina sestřenice

František Řehák

řídící učitel Kunc, rodinný přítel

František Husák

rodinný lékař MUDr. Milde

František Švihlík

Holzknecht, dílovedoucí v mydlárně

Ota Sklenčka

Lachman, Švejcarův dobrodinec

Bohumil Vávra

správce domu Pařík

Petr Brukner

řidič Filip

Ondřej Pavelka

Karel Dont, Švajcarův přítel

Jakub Zdeněk

Péťa, Švajcarův syn

Milan Pěkný

Čermák, Švajcarův zástupce

Petra Hanžlíková

Kuncova neteř

Yvetta Kornová

Švajcarova sestra

Jana Robenková

porodní bába

Radovan Versigan

Petrův otec

Miriam Chytilová

Petrova matka

Luboš Hajn

Felix

Emma Černá

kuchařka Anna

Milan Šulc

Fürst

V. Šimáček

farář

Petr Buchtela

ošetřovatel

Václav Burkert

ošetřovatel

Martin Hub

ošetřovatel

František Stupka

ošetřovatel

M. Douda

Petr jako dvanáctiletý

P. Brázda

hudebník v kabaretu

Jiří Kauders

hudebník v kabaretu

Vojtěch Šebestík

hudebník v kabaretu

Zdeněk Šimůnek

hudebník v kabaretu

Jan Štěpánek

hudebník v kabaretu

Petr Čech (2)

hudebník v restauraci

I. Hanuš

hudebník v restauraci

Zdeněk Ladislav Hartl

hudebník v restauraci

Josef Pokluda

hudebník v restauraci

Karel Turnovský

hudebník v restauraci

Robert Müller

hudebník na hřbitově

J. Smolík

hudebník na hřbitově

Viktor Šejna

hudebník na hřbitově

Z. Adam

hudebník

P. Beran

hudebník

Josef Božka

hudebník

L. Kratochvíl

hudebník

J. Kristofovič

hudebník

Dubbing

Martin Stropnický

hlas ing. Švajcara

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Hana Hanušová

Assistant Director

Georgi Ivanov, Marie Brodilová

Based on

Jaroslav Havlíček (Neviditelný – román)

Shooting Script

Jiří Svoboda

Script Editor

Věra Kalábová

Second Unit Photography

Jan Carda

Camera Operator

Jiří Pechar

Production Designer

Jozef Hrabušický

Art Director

Bedřich Budil

Set Designer

Karel Karas, Rudolf Kinský, Jan Klíma, Jiří Ondryáš, Bohumil Kadlec, Dana Smržová

Film Editor

Josef Valušiak

Sound Designer

Jiří Moudrý

Special Effects

Ludvík Malý

Production Manager

Přemysl Pražský

Unit Production Manager

Bohdan Kysil, Antonín Suchánek

Unit Production Manager

Jana Příkaská, Miloš Matula

Consultant

MUDr. Miroslav Borecký

Cooperation

Renata Janovová, Jana Šimonová, Petr Václavek, Jaroslav Tomsa, Zdeněk Vávra

Music

Music Composed by

Jozef Revallo

Selected Music

Franz Schubert (Empromptü – As-dur), Johann Strauss ml. (Na krásném modrém Dunaji), Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Svatební pochod)

Music Performed by

Jozef Revallo

Songs

Už už už, Petříček je muž, Letěla bělounká holubička, Narodil se Kristus pán

Singer

sbor (Už už už, Petříček je muž), Petra Vančíková (Letěla bělounká holubička), sbor (Narodil se Kristus pán)

Production info

Original Title

Prokletí domu Hajnů

English Title

The Curse of the Hajns’ House

Working Title

Strýček Cyril

Copyright

1988

Production Year

1988

Premiere

01.09.1989

Creative Group

Josef Císař

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 27. festival českých a slovenských filmů Mladá Boleslav

1989
Mladá Boleslav / Czechoslovakia
Jozef Hrabušický

Vítěz

Festival: 6. mezinárodní filmový festival FESTRIO ´89 Rio de Janeiro

1989
Rio de Janeiro / Brazil