How About a Plate of Spinach?

Václav Vorlíček, 1977



A collaboration between screenwriter Miloš Macourek and director Václav Vorlíček gave birth to the crazy comedy Což takhle dát si špenát (How About a Plate of Spinach?). After the freely imaginative films Kdo chce zabít Jessii? (Who Wants to Kill Jessie?, 1966) and “Pane, vy jste vdova!” (You Are a Widow, Sir, 1970), the duo had to work with themes “from the socialist present” in the 1970s. The comedy Jak utopit dr. Mráčka aneb Konec vodníků v Čechách (How to Drown Dr Mráček or The End of Water Sprites in Bohemia, 1974) characteristically reflected on housing policy. This film from 1977 looked at the subject of stealing socialist property and took it to an absurd level. In this “spinach” comedy, a research institute develops a prototype instrument for regenerating dairy cows. However, an assistant professor and the boss of a beauty salon decide to steal the invention and use it for the rejuvenation of rich foreign clients. They use the career criminals Zemánka and Liška for this purpose, but the machine has a minor defect – the ingestion of the unpopular vegetable in the film’s title increases the effects of radiation many times over. Also in the picture is a rich South American cattle breeder who has come to look at the useful invention and to marry his fiancée... Macourek and Vorlíček develop a wacky story full of various coincidences and mix-ups, including one of their favourite motifs – temporary transformations: After being exposed to radiation and eating spinach, Liška and Zemánka change into 10-year-old boys, who nonetheless still have adult voices and their original thoughts. Isabella turns back into an infant… Using special effects, the film became a rare outing in the fantasy genre for the cinematographer František Uldrich. The cast, which includes the likes of Vladimír Menšík, Jiří Sovák, Iva Janžurová, and Josef Somr, makes the movie even more interesting.
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About a film

film_production_year 1977
film_countries Czechoslovakia
film_genres comedy, sci-fi
film_form feature
film_duration 86 min
film_director Václav Vorlíček
film_cast Vladimír Menšík, Jiří Sovák, Iva Janžurová, Michal Kocourek, Ondřej Hach
film_director_of_photography František Uldrich
film_screenplay Miloš Macourek, Václav Vorlíček
film_film_editor Miroslav Hájek
film_production_designer Oldřich Bosák
film_music_composed_by Karel Svoboda
film_sound_designer František Fabián