Crime in the Night-Club

Jiří Menzel, 1968

Film at Filmový přehled


Following Zločin v dívčí škole (The Crime at the Girls’ School, 1965), director Jiří Menzel returned to his collaboration with novelist Josef Škvorecký. But prior to this 1968 motion picture, he had become famous for creating Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains, 1966) and the stylish Rozmarné léto (Capricious Summer, 1967), a bittersweet comedy based on a novel by Vladislav Vančura. The story of Zločin v šantánu (Crime in the Night-Club), played out according to a screenplay Menzel devised with Škvorecký, takes place in the timeless atmosphere of an elegant cabaret. The star turn at the venue is the beautiful singer Clara Regina (Eva Pilarová). A minister who is smitten with the performer gifts her pearl necklace, but it is stolen by her husband, a magician. He blames the theft on shy assistant Pepíček (Jiří Suchý), who, along with defence lawyer (Jiří Šlitr), falls victim to blind justice in an unfair world full of intrigue… The form of this outwardly noncommittal crime musical, featuring the songs of Šlitr and Suchý, is influenced by the dark atmosphere that pervaded society after the Prague Spring efforts at reform were crushed in August 1968: the two convicts, performed by this duo from Prague’s Semafor theatre, can now do nothing but sing.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1968
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres music, comedy
Form feature
Duration 83 min
Director Jiří Menzel
Cast Eva Pilarová, Jiří Suchý, Jiří Šlitr, Jitka Zelenohorská, Vlastimil Brodský
Director of photography František Uldrich
Screenplay Josef Škvorecký, Jiří Suchý, Jiří Menzel
Editor Jiřina Lukešová
Production designer Oldřich Bosák
Music Jiří Šlitr
Sound designer Jiří Pavlík