Adaptations of literary works are an important part of Czech cinema. Although their numbers have somewhat declined in recent decades, their share was more than considerable for more than a century as they made for approximately one-third of the Czech feature film production. However, not all types of literary works are equally represented. While works of prose and drama attract the adapters regularly, film adaptations of versed works – poetry – are rare exceptions.
It is not that strange, actually. Cinematography mostly tends towards storytelling, and as such it has more in common with prose and drama, while poetry has been mostly considered a lyric genre for the last two centuries. Adaptations of purely lyrical poems are a matter of a rather experimental kind of films, as the poet František Hrubín expressed in December 1966 in connection with the adaptation of his Romance for the Bugle (Romance pro křídlovku): “Filming a poem is a terribly complicated thing. Take Jeffers, for instance, a poem of his. You could pick a drama of some of his poems and elaborate them into a film script. Or you could just take the poem and film it directly. I can’t imagine that, it’s very difficult. Maybe it would be worth choosing a lyric poem as well, maybe it could be done, maybe in the form of a short film, an experiment. Anything can be made into a film, but form-wise, it would have to be a special film.”
Despite that, a poetry adaptation appears from time to time. The very first one was probably Magdalena (Magdalena, 1920), directed by Vladimír Majer and based on the verse novel of the same name by Josef Svatopluk Machar. During the 1920s several adaptations were made: a film version of Svatopluk Čech’s The Blacksmith of Lešetín (Lešetínský kovář, 1924) directed by Rudolf Měšt’ák and Ferry Seidl, a rendition of Erben’s poem The Wedding Shirt (Svatební košile, 1925) by Theodor Pištek and Josef Kokeisl, and a melodrama based on Kennst du das kleine Haus am Michagansee, a song by the cabaret author Marcellus Schiffer, called Do you know of that little house by the lake? (Znáš onen malý domek u jezera?, 1929) directed by Max W. Kimmich and Viktor Brumlík. The Songs of Záviš (Písně Závišovy) by the now-forgotten turn-of-the-nineteenth-century poet Jan Červenka, served as an inspiration for Gina Hašler’s film During Quiet Nights (Za tichých nocí) in 1940. The 1960s cinematography saw the aforementioned Romance for the Bugle (1966) by Otakar Vávra. Vladimír Drha’s fairy tale The Three Knights, the Lovely Maiden and Flaxen Smock (O třech rytířích, krásné paní a lněné kytli, 1996) drew its motifs from an old French ballad by Jacques de Baisieux. As for the works from the turn of the millennium onwards, we should mention especially Wild Flowers (Kytice, 2000) and May (Máj, 2008) by F. A. Brabec, as well as Hřebejk and Jarchovský’s Beauty in Trouble (Kráska v nesnázích, 2006) based on a poem by Robert Graves, the Erben-inspired horror The Noonday Witch (Polednice, 2016) directed by Jiří Sádek, and Václav Kadrnka’s balladic historical film Little Crusader (Křižáček, 2017) based on Jaroslav Vrchlický’s epic poem Little Crusader from Svojanov (Svojanovský křižáček). An unconventional recent work is the romance Two Ships (Marťanské lodě, 2021), made by Jan Foukal based on a collection of automatic poems by Martin E. Kyšperský and his then-girlfriend Alena Černá, in which they captured their love.
Given their rarity, these adaptations can be considered symptomatic in a way. We can ask what makes the adapters choose versed literary works and how they deal with the specific qualities of poetry – besides the tendency to lyricism and the verse structure, these may include various forms of rhythmization or rhyme, as well as other, similar formal embellishments. Are these characteristics of the literary works a motivation for the adapters and one of the reasons why they embark on the unusual creative journey, or is it rather an obstacle that they try to eliminate? Do these qualities get their equivalents in the films? And how do these adaptations fit into the context of either the work of adapters or contemporary cinema?
In this text, I will ask these questions in connection with three of the aforementioned adaptations: Magdalena (1920), Romance for the Bugle (1966), and Wild Flowers (2000). Each of them was made by a different team and each comes from a different period. As a result, we will learn not only about specific films, but also about the filmmakers’ individual creative approaches at different times (and, in the end, also a little bit about Czech adaptations of verses in general).
Magdalena as a symbol of both art and statehood
The very first documented Czech film adaptation of poetry was made in 1920 by the Lloydfilm company led by Maxim Stránský. It was also the first self-produced film for the company which had focused only on distribution until then. The director was the theatre actor Vladimír Majer, but from the very beginning, the leading figure in the adaptation process was Stránský who wrote the script for the film and who was also mentioned in the contemporary press as a key figure of the adaptation.
The poem by Machar on which the film is based on, dated in various sources either 1893 or 1894,is nearly 7,000 verses long and is often referred to as a verse novel because it is mostly epic, although it contains short lyrical passages. The poet presents the story of Lucy, a girl who, due to adverse life circumstances, has fallen to the bottom of society and ended up in a brothel. A young man Jiří tries to rescue her from there and, with the help of his aunt, secures her a new, honourable life. However, society does not accept the girl – after the citizens of the small town, where Jiří, his aunt and Lucy move from Prague, learn about her past, they start avoiding her. Jiří eventually begins to build a career in local politics and Lucy becomes an obstacle for him. The poor girl goes back to Prague and ends up in a brothel again.
The rhythm of the poem remains the same throughout the whole piece – it is written in regular trochaic octameter. By using unrhymed trochaic verse, Machar imitates spoken language. The poet often interrupts the narrative with comments, addressing the readers, inviting them to form opinions, and offering opinions of his own. What could have prompted Maxim Stránský to adapt such a poem? How big a role could the form of the poem have played in his decision? How did he and Vladimír Majer approach it?
Since there are no contemporary interviews with the adapters, contextual reflection is necessary. What could the literary form, unusual at the time, even mean to the adapters? When one reads contemporary accounts of the adaptation, it may seem strange to them that contemporary journalists gave little or no thought to the form of the story on which the film was based on. It was undoubtedly an unconventional step to adapt a poem in 1920, but on the other hand there was basically nothing that one could call “traditional” in Czech cinema – and especially in adaptations – at that time. In the first decades of Czech cinema, there were many adaptations that can be perceived as unusual from today’s point of view – for example, in 1913 there were two recordings of operas (Faust [Faust], The Bartered Bride [Prodaná nevěsta]), an adaptation of the prologue to Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing called Manners Maketh Man (Šaty dělají člověka), and even a film adaptation of an unspecified cartoon series published in Fliegende Blätter – a farce called A Tooth for a Tooth (Zub za zub). In 1922, the film What To Do With It? (Kam s ním?) based on a fable by Jan Neruda was released. It is possible, therefore, that neither Stránský nor Majer thought that adapting a poem could be unusual in any way.
In the early 1920s, many Czech film companies were ephemeral, and their intentions were usually commercial; film had not yet been clearly established as an art form in any part of the world. However, it can be assumed that Stránský and Majer’s intention was largely artistic. This can be inferred both on the basis of what content elements of the text were emphasised in their adaptation of Magdalena, and on the basis of the circumstances surrounding the making of the film and its release.
The adapters suppressed the political-critical component of the story but allowed the criticism of the hypocritical society to come to the fore: the philandering behaviour of some of the characters was further enhanced and contrasted with their contempt for the repentant prostitute. The adaptation did not change anything about Lucy’s bitter ending; just like Machar, Stránský and Majer created a counterpoint to the naive calendar stories about girls from unsatisfactory circumstances who come to happiness by luck. Stránský took unusual care in the quality of the result – the filming took place in Brandýs nad Labem where Machar set part of his story, the finished film was first presented to the poet himself, and Stránský also convinced the composer Karel Weiss to compose an original musical score for the film, a step unprecedented in Czech cinema. The release of the finished film was then delayed for a long time until the music was completed.
The great ambitions of the creators are indirectly confirmed by how important a cultural event the premiere, held on 10 November 1921, turned out to be. How extraordinary it was can be seen from the following report from the Film magazine: “The performance became a great social event, as it was attended by all the main leaders of our republic, representatives of all political clubs of the National Assembly, the Senate and the local government, as well as by prominent leaders of the world of art, literature and journalism. […] When exactly at 8 o’clock the chords of our national anthem sounded, the President of our Republic, Mr. T. G. Masaryk, entered his box, accompanied by his daughter, Mrs. Dr. Alice Masaryková.” Josef Svatopluk Machar was a close friend of Masaryk and held an important state function after 1918. In this way, Magdalena can also be understood as a film that was intended to help recognise cinema as an art in the new reality of Czechoslovak statehood. The adaptation of an artistically valued poem, the author of which was a poet involved in the functioning of the new nation-state, can thus be linked to the intention of shaping the quality culture of young Czechoslovakia.
But how did Majer and especially Stránský deal with the verse form of the story? One might expect that they would at least use the intertitles for direct quotations from the poem, either for the poet’s comments or for fragments of dialogues. Bordering with colloquial language and thus prosaic to some extent, the verses seem to encourage this even if the adapters did not want to emphasize ornamentation and opted for a more civil approach. Nevertheless, they decided otherwise. The only direct quotation from the poem that appears in the film accompanies the opening shots in the form of a transparent subtitle – it is a couplet: “Eight o’clock, the peal of bells / has been spread over Prague…” The other intertitles inserted are only loose paraphrases of the poem, with neither rhyme nor rhythm. With the exception of the introduction, there is not one thing throughout the film that would in any way refer to the fact that the film was based on a poem – neither in form nor in content. Even in the opening credits, the original work is described as a novel, with no mention of it being in verse.
The film Magdalena appeared at a time in which, in the context of other contemporary adaptations, the cinematic rendering of the poem’s subject was not too strange, and any formal unusualness that the subject – the poem – might have brought to the film was overlooked by the adapters. Yet it cannot simply be said that the verse form of the source text played no role in the adaptation. If we allow for Stránský’s artistic and potentially state-forming ambitions in him choosing Magdalena for adaptation, we cannot forget that all of its formal qualities contribute to the artistic quality of the subject – and the poetic nature is inherently one of them.
Romance for the Bugle as a story and a lyrical poem
While the 1920s adaptations were still looking for a place in Czech cinema, in the 1960s this genre was already established as a full-fledged part of it. There was a close collaborative relationship between filmmakers and writers, with many writers lecturing at FAMU and collaborating in the fields of scriptwriting and film dramaturgy. At that time, the director and screenwriter Otakar Vávra started working with the poet František Hrubín. According to Vávra, it was not only their friendship that brought them together but also their desire to “tell the story […] of a generation that lived through two world wars and that went through so many great upheavals like probably no other.! Vávra’s first adaptation of Hrubín was a film adaptation of the stage play August Sunday (Srpnová neděle, 1960); later he adapted Hrubín’s short story The Golden Queening (Zlatá reneta,1965). The third collaboration of the two men was the rendering of the poem Romance for the Bugle (1966).
The poem was first published in 1962. Similarly to Magdalena, it contains a strong epic component, but unlike Machar’s poem, the epic is not undoubtedly dominant here. The piece is densely interwoven with lyrical passages and occasionally features elements typical of drama – for example, the poem’s introduction lists the “characters.” The central one is the young man František who, while taking care of his dying and confused grandfather, is constantly forced to simulate a journey “home” and who is having a love affair with a young woman called Tonka. Suddenly, however, another girl enters his life – Terina, a showwoman for whom he suddenly has strong feelings. However, the love is not fulfilled; Terina, who was promised by her parents to Viktor, the man running the shooting gallery, cannot stay and later dies of diphtheria. Years later, Viktor and František meet by chance and reminisce.
The leitmotif of the poem is the conflict between love and death, as well as between purely physical, instinctive love and inner, emotional love. It is written in free verse, only rarely rhymed, deploying colloquial language in the dialogues. The formal structure is made very complex by alternating several timelines – the poet’s presence is the night of August 28, 1930, when his grandfather dies, followed by numerous flashbacks (František evokes memories of the time when he first shaved and thus entered the world of adults, as well as of recent moments spent with both Tonka and Terina) and anticipations (the poet anticipates events that will occur during his next meeting with Terina in the summer of 1933, during the 1934 pilgrimage, and even many years later). Many motifs return and recur (Terina’s inimitability) or slightly change (reflections on what Terina has given the poet, opening with the words “there is more to me today”).
Although Hrubín already had experience with filmmaking outside of his collaboration with Vávra, he did not at first think that Romance for the Bugle could be filmed. However, Vávra was greatly impressed by the poem: “I must admit that Hrubín’s poem ‘grasped me’ as soon as it came out. […] [I] had one image that I couldn’t let go of in my mind: a boy who was leading death. And the connection between the boy and his grandfather, who is already out of life, out of this world, was so strong that one day we decided to find a form that would be able to capture it.” Hrubín and Vávra worked together on the script.
Even at that time of significant relationships between literary and filmmakers, as well as the formal and content experiments brought about by the New Wave, the adaptation of the poem was an extraordinary achievement. The resulting film was described by film publicist Miloš Fiala in his review as “a film poem” and Vávra himself expressed similar views – in his words, he and František Hrubín “agreed that they would try […] to accomplish a seemingly impossible thing – to shoot a lyrical poem.“ But what did this mean? How did Hrubín and Vávra approach the poem and how did they deal with its form? Could it be said that some of the significant elements that shape the poem appear in the adaptation as well?
As can be seen from the above, it was not the form of Hrubin’s poem that tempted Vávra to adapt it, but the content – the theme for which the director and the poet then searched for an adequate cinematic expression. Vávra characterized his and Hrubín’s adaptation process as an attempt to simplify the form as much as possible. Before writing the script, the adapters first transformed the poem into a film story, removing both the verse structure and most of the significant time shifts which were one of the main formally distinctive elements of the poem. The most striking element of the adaptation that breaks the timeline is the framework created by the introduction and the conclusion, which depicts the meeting of the aging protagonist, named Vojta in the film, with his former rival in love, Viktor; other than that, though, the narrative is dominantly chronological. The adapters focused primarily on the story for which they came up with new causal links between the events – Vojta experiences his love with Terina in a few days, not a few years, and the hope for its fulfilment is thwarted by the death of his grandfather, which is a separate event in the novel. In this way, the central conflict of love and death is reinforced in the adaptation.
The adaptation used some of the character lines from the poem word for word, but the adapters modified the rest to suit their needs and, above all, added many new ones. Although Hrubín already used colloquial language in his dialogues, he did not make much use of direct speech. The dialogues were adapted in the script to be as natural as possible, an therefore the speeches which are based on the poem are not marked in the film, do not draw attention to themselves, and are indistinguishable from the rest of the replicas.
Yet even for this film, it cannot be said that the poetic form of the original work did not influence the adaptation. The dominant chronology is sometimes interrupted by flashes of Vojta’s memories and ideas, which Hrubín also uses in his composition. When Terina asks the boy if he still has a girlfriend, he replies, “No”, but images of Tonka enter his mind – the poet expresses this with several parenthetical insertions in separate verses, interspersed with a repetitive negative answer. In the film, the equivalent of this situation appears, here punctuated by flashbacks to Tonka, accompanied by her echoing laughter. Above all, however, the “film poem” title refers to the lyricism common to both these works. The narrative is slow-paced and infused with natural motifs: the rural landscape, the river, plants, and insects play a prominent role in the imagery. The insect buzzing often sounds like a soundtrack, but the film also works with silence or with the ticking of a clock, which is characteristic of the room in which the grandfather is kept. The film thus belongs to the lineage of Czech poetic film as well.
A bouquet of wild flowers made from the paintings by F. A. Brabec
For Czech cinema, the period around the turn of the millennium was largely marked by timid groping and exploring new paths after the fall of the communist regime and the abolition of the state monopoly on film production. The result of the search for a new creative direction that would be attractive to the audience as well can also be seen in Wild Flowers (2000), an adaptation of Karel Jaromír Erben’s famous poetry collection of the same name. The film was made by F. A. Brabec, originally a cameraman who made his directorial debut in the mid-1990s with King Ubu (Král Ubu, 1996). It was him who came up with the idea to film Erben’s poems, and he invited screenwriter Miloš Macourek to collaborate with him. Deana Jakubisková, whose company Jakubisko Film produced the film, also contributed to the final form of the work.
A Bouquet of Folk Legends (Kytice z pověstí narodních), as the full title of Erben’s book goes, contains a total of 13 poems, mostly ballads based on Czech folk tales. The collection has a national-revivalist character, which is allegorically demonstrated by the opening eponymous poem – the deceased mother symbolises the lost Czech homeland whose soul returns in the legends captured by Erben, “gathered in a bouquet”, i.e. in the collection of poems. Nevertheless, the poems also reflect Erben’s religious views: the plots of the ballads are run by Christian morality and the principle of guilt and punishment that comes when this is not respected. As for the form of the collection, Erben uses dactyl-trochaic formal, rhymed verse with the poems divided into stanzas and, in some longer poems, further into sections.
F. A. Brabec started thinking about the Bouquet very soon after he completed his King Ubu. He described for Total Film magazine what led him to make the poems into a film: “Having received a formal cameraman education, I always look for more fine-art ideas. In fact, it was my wife who came up with the idea that I should try to film a work by a Czech poet.” Screenwriter Miloš Macourek recalls that three years before shooting, Brabec had already thought through many of the artistic details and that the script was a collective work during which he often felt like he was taking notes of the director’s ideas. He said he was not surprised by Brabec’s intention to adapt Bouquet: “Brabec understands film primarily as a sequence of powerful images with emotionally compelling content.”
In terms of both the motivation and the approach to the adapted text, this is a different situation to both Magdalena and Romance for the Bugle. While with the former one, we can say that the key reason for the adaptation was primarily the “artistic nature” of the subject matter or qualities associated with the poet himself, with the latter one it was a generational statement of creators with kindred spirits; during the actual adaptation of both these poems, the verse form was ultimately more of a complication for the creators, while for the decision-making and the following creative process of F. A. Brabec, who can be described as the main adapter in this case, it was, to the contrary, the key motivation as he saw the fine-art potential in the poems he picked. He was determined to adapt a poetic work even before he chose Bouquet in particular. He later returned to a similar theme with his 2008 adaptation of Karel Hynek Mácha’s poem May (Máj).
Since the subject was not just one poem but a collection of poems, the adapters had to select the pieces to be adapted and come up with a way to make them work within one film. At various stages of the project’s preparation, a variable number of the poems appeared in the forthcoming film, the selection criteria being, according to the filmmakers, both the intended length of the film and the potential of the poems for dramatization. In the end, Brabec and Macourek chose seven of them: A Bouqet (Kytice), Water Sprite (Vodník), Wedding Shirts (Svatební košile), Noon Witch (Polednice), The Golden Spinning Wheel (Zlatý kolovrat), A Daughter’s Course (Dceřina kletba), and Christmas Eve (Štědrý den). To link them together, they chose a short story form supplemented by an overarching framework in the form of motifs permeating all the parts (a boy playing a whistle, a folklore festival, clouds passing quickly across the sky). At the end of each ballad, one of seven burning candles goes out in a church.
The key themes associated with Erben’s work described above were not important to the adapters. They didn’t make use of the national-religious subtext in the film at all, and they interpreted the opening poem, A Bouquet, quite literally – we watch the death of a mother who is then mourned by her orphaned children. Similarly, the principle of guilt and punishment is neglected in the film, instead the emphasis is on the passage of time and the irreversibility of fate. In some of the ballads there are hints of psychologization with an attempt to explain the characters’ actions (Water Sprite), while in others there is deliberate exaggeration and highly expressive acting (Wedding Shirts, The Golden Spinning Wheel).
The content is dictated by the form; everything is highly stylized in the name of the visual impact. Visually satisfying folkloric motifs are brought forward. To increase the drama, the adapters use slow motion shots (during the girl’s fall into the water in Water Sprite) and foreshortenings (during the journey to the gallows in A Daughter’s Course). The rich colours, deployed for their symbolism, are eye-catching. The careful and regular structuring of the narrative through shots of clouds and extinguishing candles, as well as the use of both the recurring and the varying motifs (flying scarves, leaves, feathers; a repetitive melody played on the whistle) can be seen as the cinematic equivalent of the strictly organised verse form of the text, as Jaromír Blažejovský, the adapters’ contemporary, assessed in his review.
Moreover, the adapters referred to the verse form in yet another way – in the dialogues. The vast majority of them come directly from the book and the film retains the original text, including the rhymes. Despite the claims of F. A. Brabec and the assumption of many critics and audience members – that the creators did not change a single verse – not all of them are literal quotations from Erben’s collection. For example, in The Golden Spinning Wheel, in the scene where the old woman and Háta murder Dora, the mother says: “Ha, you are the beast; you are the snake!” and Háta adds: “Your life is over, believe me!” The first line comes from the poem, the second does not. Even the few altered and added lines, however, mimic the form of the dialogues from the original poems, which only confirms Brabec’s perception of the verse form as a specific quality suitable for adaptation.
Similarly to Romance for the Bugle, the term “film poem” also appears in connection with Wild Flowers – the adapters used it directly in the credits. Yet it means something different in both cases. While Romance earned this name primarily because of its lyricism evoked by the slow pace of the narrative and its emphasis on nature and simplicity, Wild Flowers use it to demonstrate their strong focus on the visual effect, thoughtful arrangement, and stylization. Of the three adaptations discussed here, this was the case where the verse form of the original work was the most fundamental, the most influential, and the most evident in the final product.
As mentioned in the introduction, cinematic takes on poetry can be seen as a kind of special group of adaptations due to their rarity. However, a detailed look at the circumstances of the creative process and the final forms of three of these films shows that this is definitely no homogeneous group. The poetic form of the original pieces of work influenced each of them, but it was to different degrees and in different ways. This is least evident in the case of Magdalena; it can be assumed that the adapters understood the poem primarily as a work of high literary quality and therefore found it suitable for film, but did not consider the form of Machar’s work in the adaptation itself. Romance for the Bugle appealed to Otakar Vávra not because of its formal form, but because of its subject matter, and its adaptation fits into the line of Vávra and Hrubin’s shared generational testimony, while the film’s lyrical tone can be perceived as a direct reflection of the fact that it is a film rendition of the poem. The least ambiguous link between the form of the source text and the motivation to adapt it can be found in Wild Flowers – for F. A. Brabec, the poetry collection had a visual potential which also became the main aspect he emphasised in his film. The preservation of the verses in the dialogues reinforced the deliberate stylization that is typical of Brabec’s work.
It seems, therefore, that the specificity of poetry adaptations as a group is rather imaginary, and that it can be basically said that what applies to conventional adaptations applies to poetry adaptations as well – namely, a diversity that depends on the circumstances of the creation and the creative decisions of the filmmakers. Finding a trait that can be universally attributed to all is probably impossible. But can we at least talk about some tendencies that would be typical for them? In my opinion, there are at least two of them, and both are also evident when juxtaposed with the other adaptations of verse subjects mentioned in the introduction.
The first can be called the tendency to use “cultural capital.” Canadian theorist Linda Hutcheon mentions this term in relation to adaptations, referring to the artistic esteem that can be associated with certain types of masterpieces and that adaptations can take on as well. This tendency is most straightforward in Magdalena – the film has to some extent “appropriated” the artistic qualities of the masterpiece for its own recognition as art in the contemporary context of its creation. However, the artistic intentions were also tangible in both Romance for the Bugle and Wild Flowers. Obviously, to adapt poetry often – though not always – means to render a high quality literary work into a film, in which the creators either employ these qualities in some way or come up with qualities of their own. The connection with art production, represented for example by Little Crusader and Two Ships, has been evident, particularly in recent years.
The second tendency becomes clear when looking at the times in which these types of adaptations appeared in the past. The three discussed films are all associated with periods of searching or experimenting. Magdalena and other adaptations of poetry, which were more abundant than ever in the 1920s, accompanied the search for the face of Czech cinema during the first decades of more consistent film production. Romance for the Bugle appeared at a time influenced by the Czechoslovak New Wave, characterized by both formal and content innovation. Wild Flowers were made at a time when Czech film was still marked by the events of the late 1980s and early 1990s and needed new creative impulses. From this point of view, the will to adapt poetry can be perceived as a litmus paper of an age inclined to explore non-traditional creative paths – which is certainly good news for contemporary Czech cinema in which adaptations of poetry have been more frequent once again.
 Ladislav Kapek, Romance pro křídlovku. Hovoříme s Františkem Hrubínem. Kulturní tvorba 4, 1966, no. 52 (29/ 12), p. 10.
 Only the scene in the morgue has survived.
 Since I understand drama in this text as a separate literary genre existing alongside lyric and epic, as well as alongside poetry and prose, I do not mention adaptations of verse plays in this list or, for that matter, anywhere else in this article. I have also decided to omit short films and animated adaptations of poetry.
 The year 1893 is stated in the 1919 edition that I worked with when writing this article. The year 1894 is stated, for example, in the Panorama české literatury (Panorama of Czech Literature). See Josef Svatopluk Machar, Magdalena. Praha: F. Šimáček 1919. Lubomír Machala a kol., Panorama české literatury 1. Praha: Euromedia Group 2015, p. 185.
 According to the Filmový přehled database.
 He later recalled the circumstances of his work with exaggeration in his column Hudba na metry (Music Measured in Meters). See Národní politika 23/ 06/ 1922, no. 169, p. 1-2.
 Macharova Magdalena. Československý film 3, 1921, p. 4–5, (18/ 02), p. 5.
 Slavnostní představení „Magdaleny“. Reflex 1, 1921, no. 6 (30/ 11), p. 3.
 He was Inspector General of the Czechoslovak Army.
 Josef Svatopluk Machar, c. d., p. 10. Film Magdalena, 1st minute.
 Otakar Vávra o své spolupráci s Františkem Hrubínem. Filmový kurýr 18, 1967, no. 7 (15/ 02), p. 1.
 Ladislav Kapek, c. d., p. 10.
 Miloš Fiala, Báseň jako film. Rudé právo 47, 05/ 03/ 1967, no. 64, p. 4.
 Miloš Fiala, Filmová báseň o lásce a smrti. Rudé právo 47, 09/ 03/ 1967, no. 68, p. 5.
 Otakar Vávra o své spolupráci s Františkem Hrubínem, c. d., p. 1–2.
 Knihovna NFA, František Hrubín, Otakar Vávra, Romance pro křídlovku [filmový scénář], sign. S-699-TS-B.
 František Hrubín, Romance pro křídlovku. Praha: Československý spisovatel 1964, p. 17–18.
 Film Romance for the Bugle, minute 28.
 Miloš Macourek, F. A. Brabec, Tomáš Baldýnský. Jak se točí Kytice. Premiere 1, 2000, no. 7 (November), p. 62–71.
 Lubomír Machala a kol., c. d., p. 111–112.
 Miloš Macourek, F. A. Brabec, Tomáš Baldýnský, c. d., p. 68.
 Ibid, p. 64.
 Jaromír Blažejovský. Erbenova Kytice jako stroj na poezii. Divadelní noviny 10, no. 4 (20/ 02/ 2001 ), p. 11.
 Miloš Macourek, F. A. Brabec, Tomáš Baldýnský, c. d., p. 71.
 cf. film Wild Flowers, minute 54. Karel Jaromír Erben, Kytice. Praha: Vilém Šmidt, 1997, p. 49.
 This is indeed a perception attributable primarily to Brabec, since in the literary script co-authored by Miloš Macourek, there are also unrhymed dialogues with no basis in the text, whereas in Brabec’s technical script they are no longer present. See Knihovna NFA, F. A. Brabec a Miloš Macourek, Kytice [literární scénář], sign. S-2953-LS. Knihovna NFA, F. A. Brabec, Kytice [technický scénář], sign. S-2953-TS.
 Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation. New York: Routledge 2006, p. 91.