Flirt with Miss Stříbrná

Václav Gajer, 1969

Film at Filmový přehled


In the 1960s, filmmakers were primarily interested in the work of Josef Skvorecký in the context of the detective genre, or rather the character of the eccentric criminal investigator – Lieutenant Borůvka. The writer himself actually collaborated on the drama Farářův konec (The End of a Priest, 1968) by the director Evald Schorm as well as on the adaptation of his own social-novel-cum-detective story Lvíče (The Lion Club), called Flirt se slečnou Stříbrnou (A Flirt with Miss Stříbrná). In January 1969, Škvorecký emigrated, but the novel and his film adaptation still managed to reach the public (encroaching censorship, however, banned the second edition of The Lion Club and its Václav Gajer’s film was “locked in the vault.”). Unlike the original material, the film deals primarily with the relationships of the beautiful Lenka Stříbrná, who resists the advances of the publishing editor Karel Leden. Only at the end, does this experienced seducer of women, who genuinely falls in love with the secretive and inaccessible lady, realise what the longstanding reasons are for her current behaviour… The book is set at the turn of the 1950s and ‘60s, but Škvorecký and his co-screenwriter updated the story and abandoned the inner monologue of the main hero. Nonetheless, the Holocaust theme makes Gajer’s film one of a handful of domestic movies devoted to the fate of the Jews in the Second World War. Although the adaptation lacks the layers of Skvorecký’s original story, A Flirt with Miss Stříbrná represents an interesting experiment with the rules of a love story that unexpectedly culminates with a “mystery” plot. The acting is also one of the undisputed qualities of the film, which is dominated by Jan Kačer as Leden, who goes from being a self-confident bon vivant rising above all the pitfalls of the publishing world of that time to a disappointed man who is unhappily in love. Miss Stříbrná was to become one of Marie Drahokoupilová’s most outstanding roles.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1969
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres drama, psychological
Form feature
Duration 76 min
Director Václav Gajer
Cast Marie Drahokoupilová, Jan Kačer, Pavel Landovský, Milena Zahrynowská, Ilja Prachař
Director of photography Jan Čuřík
Screenplay Josef Škvorecký, Zdeněk Mahler
Editor Zdeněk Stehlík
Production designer Vladimír Labský
Music Luboš Fišer
Sound designer Milan R. Novotný