Night at Karlštejn

Zdeněk Podskalský, 1973

Film at Filmový přehled


Jaroslav Vrchlický’s stage comedy was first performed in May 1884. The light-hearted love story of a King and his Queen, which takes place in a castle devoted to spiritual contemplation, was first adapted for the silver screen by director Olaf Larus-Racek as a silent film in 1919, and later by František Filip, whose 1965 television drama starred Vladimír Ráž and Jiřina Bohdalová and benefited from pop hits revived with new lyrics. However, neither of the earlier adaptations can hold a candle to the musical film made in 1973 by director Zdeněk Podskalský, full of catchy tunes written by Karel Svoboda. In Podskalský's film, the late Middle Ages become a backdrop to two love stories: the married romance of Emperor Charles IV and his wife Elizabeth of Pomerania, and the burgeoning love of the burgrave’s niece Alena and Pešek, the royal cupbearer. Both ladies violate the King’s edict banning women from entering Karlštejn castle: the Empress comes in secret to be close to her beloved but distant husband; Alena sneaks in disguised as a guard in an attempt to win a bet with her father and marry the man she wants. A duo of meddlesome, nosy guests, the Cypriot king and the Duke of Bavaria, become witness to countless cross-dressing shenanigans. In the end, love triumphs over courtly etiquette. This playful historical comedy stars many famous actors of the time. Vlastimil Brodský and Jana Brejchová play the Emperor and Empress; Daniela Kolářová and Jaromír Hanzlík perform the parts of Alena and Pešek. Jaroslav Marvan plays the burgrave and singer Waldemar Matuška stars as the King of Cyprus. Actors also offer impressive singing performances, with the exception of Jana Brejchová, whose singing part was performed by Helena Vondráčková.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1973
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres historical, musical
Form feature
Duration 87 min
Director Zdeněk Podskalský
Cast Karel Höger, Jana Brejchová, Vlastimil Brodský, Jaroslav Marvan, Miloš Kopecký
Director of photography Jaroslav Kučera
Screenplay Zdeněk Podskalský
Editor Zdeněk Stehlík
Production designer Boris Moravec
Music Karel Svoboda
Sound designer Miloslav Hůrka