Octopuses from the Second Floor

Jindřich Polák, 1986

Film at Filmový přehled


Director Jindřich Polák and screenwriter Ota Hofman first worked together on the children’s comedy Klaun Ferdinand a raketa (Clown Ferdinand and the Rocket, 1962) but only in 1969 did they form the creative partnership that, beginning with the television episode Pan Tau jde do školy (Mr Tau Goes to School, 1969), was to prove so dependable in creating films and television series for children and adolescents. Moreover, both Polák and Hofman knew how to accommodate the exacting requirements of foreign producers. The adventures of Pan Tau, the comic tales of the curious Lucie and the television series Návštěvníci (The Visitors, 1983) are testament to their ability to develop a sound idea to its full potential. The same could be said of their family comedy Chobotnice z II. Patra (Octopuses from the Second Floor, 1986) and its sequel Veselé Vánoce přejí chobotnice (Merry Christmas from the Octopuses!, 1987) – which should not be viewed separately. This Barrandov film studios production hit the cinemas as a cut version of a four-episode mini-series made for a German coproduction partner. The protagonists of this amusing story are the members of the Holan family: father, a lorry driver; mother, a singer in the opera choir and, more importantly, brother and sister Honzík and Eva. The family goes on holiday to Portugal, where unfortunately the local beach has been polluted by a wrecked oil tanker. The children find living green and blue substances on the beach which they fashion into two little octopuses – Blue and Green. After secretly returning to Prague with the Holans, the creatures go on to have further adventures in the quarter of Kampa where the family lives… Although this Polák and Hofman film centres on the animated characters of the title, it does not shun real-life issues such as the polluting of the natural environment and relationship woes between parents. A lighter social theme touched on by the film is the perceived obligation “to have enjoyed your holiday”, which the Holans dutifully fulfil for their gossiping neighbours. Žaneta Fuchsová and Milan Šimáček performed the children’s roles while their parents were played by Dagmar Veškrnová and Pavel Zedníček. František Filipovský lent his voice to Blue and Jiřina Bohdalová spoke for Green. A few years earlier Bohdalová had dubbed the voice of the green Plasticine figure Ferda in two of Polák’s TV adventures about a little girl called Lucie: Lucie, postrach ulice (Lucy, Terror of the Street, 1983) and ...a zase ta Lucie! (Lucy Again, 1983).
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1986
Countries Czechoslovakia, Federal Republic of Germany
Categories film
Genres children
Form feature
Duration 92 min
Director Jindřich Polák
Cast Dagmar Veškrnová, Pavel Zedníček, Žaneta Fuchsová, Milan Šimáček, Přemysl Kočí
Director of photography Emil Sirotek, Jiří Vojta
Screenplay Ota Hofman, Jindřich Polák
Editor Dalibor Lipský
Production designer Jindřich Goetz
Artist Jiří Vojta
Music Angelo Michajlov
Sound designer Karel Jaroš