Otakar Vavra


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Rovensky's screenwriter Otakar Vavra worked with cinematographer Jan Roth (who had been Heller's assistant for Lamac's films) on Panenstvi/ Virginity (1937), an adaptation of Marie Majerova's 1907 novel, starring the future diva Adina Mandlova and his first collaboration with actor Zdenek Stepanek, Cech Panen Kutnohorskich/ Guild of the Girls of Kutna Hora/ The Merry Wives (1938), a costume comedy set in the 16th century about a poet and womanizer who fights a charlatan alchemist, Humoreska (1939), adapted from Karel Matej Capek-Chod's 1924 novel, the film that launched the career of actor Rudolf Hrušinsky, Divka v Modrem/ The Girl in Blue (1939), one of the comedies that launched Oldrich Novy, and more movies for Mandlova such as Kouzelny Dum/ The Magic House (1939) and Pacientka Dr Hegla/ Dr Hegel's Patient (1940). Predtucha/ Premonition (1947), the intimate portrait of a young man, an adaptation of Marie Pujmanova's novel; the science-fiction movie Krakatit (1948), starring Karel Hoger, an adaptation of Karel Capek's 1922 novel; the historical drama Rozina Sebranec/ Rozina the Love Child (1945), adapted from Zikmund Winter's novel; the war movie Nema Barikada/ Silent Barricade (1949), about the resistance to Nazi Germany; the historical trilogy about a 15th century Czech "heretic" Jan Hus (1954), Jan Žizka (1955) and Proti Vsem/ Against All (1956), adapted from Alois Jirasek's 1893 novel, starring Zdenek Stepanek (the third one also starring Jana Rybarova just before she killed herself at the age of 21); and two films scripted by the poet Franticek Hrubin: Zlata Reneta/ The Golden Rennet (1965) and Romance pro Kridlovku/ Romance for a Bugle (1966).

After another costume drama Kladivo ne Carodejnice/ Witchhammer (1970), about the with trials of the 17th century in Moravia, adapted from Vaclav Kaplicky's novel, Vavra directed a trilogy of World War II movies: Dny Zradj/ Munich Betrayal (1973), Sokolovo (1974) and Osvobození Prahy/ Liberation of Prague (1976).

He then directed two films about 19th-century writers: Príbeh Lasky a Cti/ A Meeting with Love and Honor 1977), scripted by novelist Miloš Kratochvíl, about the love story of Jan Neruda and Karolina Svetla, and Veronika (1986), a collaboration with playwright Jirí Šotola, about Bozena Nemcova.

Putovani Jana Amose/ Jan Amos Comenius (1983) was a biopic of the 17th-century Czech intellectual.

The historical drama Oldrich a Bozena/ Oldrich and Bozena (1985), set in medieval times, was based on Hrubin’s 1968 play.

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