Girl to Be Killed

Juraj Herz, 1975

Film at Filmový přehled


After his highly stylised films of the 1960s, the director Juraj Herz made several low-key movies set in the present day during the restrictive censorship of the “normalisation” era of Soviet entrenchment that followed the Warsaw Pact Invasion. However, Holky z porcelánu (Girls from a Porcelain Factory, 1974), Holka na zabití (A Girl to be Killed, 1975), Den pro mou lásku (The Day for my Love, 1976) and Křehké vztahy (Delicate Relationships,1979) did not signify any dramatic shift in the quality of the moviemaker’s filmography. The crime genre story A Girl to Be Killed also made the most of a limited budget thanks to the way in which Herz and his cinematographer Andrej Barla exploited the Giant Mountain exteriors used in the film. The authenticity of the narrative has an influence on the disturbing, subliminally dark atmosphere that surrounds the main heroine – the young woman Anna Šipulová. She goes to the Bobí Vrch mountain hotel in search of Gita, her friend from a children’s home who owes her 50 crowns and who recently went to work there as a waitress. Anna gradually discovers that Gita did not go to Poland but got impregnated by a married lover, who ended up killing her. The amateur sleuth, however, soon finds that her life is threatened by a ruthless killer. In conjunction with her detective work, Anna also finds herself grappling with socialisation issues, both in her relationship with her criminologist father (Ilja Prachař) and the staff of the hotel, where she has found employment as a kitchen skivvy... Dagmar Veškrnová, who was then 22 years old and a recent graduate of Brno’s JAMU academy, excels in the lead role. She had already ably fulfilled the director’s expectations in Juraj Herz’s previous film, the comedy Girls from a Porcelain Factory. She also appeared in Herz’s movies The Day for My Love, Upír z Feratu (The Vampire of Ferato), and Buldoci a třešně (The Bulldogs and the Cherries) – both 1981. Another actor in the film worth mentioning is Vít Olmer, who was finally able to move away from being typecast as an attractive, romantic leading man thanks to his role as the delinquent hotel manager Petrák.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1975
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres detective, comedy
Form feature
Duration 102 min
Director Juraj Herz
Cast Dagmar Veškrnová, Ilja Prachař, Vít Olmer, Josef Abrhám, Karel Augusta, Václav Lohniský
Director of photography Andrej Barla
Screenplay Josef Šilhavý
Editor Jaromír Janáček
Production designer Boris Moravec
Music Bohuslav Ondráček
Sound designer Milan R. Novotný