Philosophical Story

Otakar Vávra, 1937



Adapted by director Otakar Vávra from a classic 1877 historical novel by Alois Jirásek, this film serves as a prelude to Vávra’s later classic “Hussite trilogy” (Jan Hus, Jan Žižka and Proti všem [Against Everybody]) made between 1954–56. A 1937 effort, Filosofská historie was also sensitively adapted for the screen by Vávra. Set in the revolutionary year of 1848, a rebellious mood is in the air in the student community in the old city of Litomyšl. Ignoring a ban issued by Austrian Chancellor Klemens von Metternich, the students organise a maypole festival, resulting in severe reprimands. But asides from being fired up by politics, the tenants at the home of spinster maid Elis – Frýbort (Jan Pivec), Vavřena (Ladislav Boháč), Špína (Vladimír Hlavatý) and Zelenka (Stanislav Neumann) – also deal with issues closer to the heart. While barricades in Prague are erected in protest against Austrian absolutism, the hopes of our heroes are gradually dashed. The film carries a patriotic tone that is evident in many of Vávra’s works.
Read more


About a film

film_production_year 1937
film_countries Czechoslovakia
film_genres drama
film_form feature
film_duration 91 min
film_director Otakar Vávra
film_cast Jan Pivec, Ladislav Boháč, Vladimír Hlavatý, Stanislav Neumann, Helena Friedlová, Jindřich Plachta
film_director_of_photography Otto Heller, Ferdinand Pečenka
film_screenplay Otakar Vávra
film_film_editor Jan Kohout
film_production_designer Štěpán Kopecký
film_music_composed_by Jan Branberger
film_sound_designer Vilém Taraba