Bajecni Muzi S Klikou

Director Jiři Menzel / 1978 / Czechoslovakia

The Czechoslovak film industry celebrated its 80th birthday in 1978. Material preserved in film archives provides ample evidence that Czech filmmakers were in the vanguard of European cinematography during the first decade of the century, and Jifi Menzel's film, set in 1907, pays tribute to the pioneers of Czech cinema.

Those Wonderful Men With A Crank centres on a travelling picture-show man, who screens one reelers in country towns. His assistant is an attractive woman, and the orphaned daughter of a deceased colleague is also helping out. When a lout causes a fire in the projection room, the penniless group returns to Prague.

Here, the entrepreneur secures fresh funds by teaming up with a rich widow, and they set about to realise his dream of opening Prague's first movie house. He meets a clever young cameraman (played by Menzel), who makes films for his programmes. One of their ambitions is to lure the leading actress of the city before the camera, which the lady finds below her dignity, until she learns that the great Sarah Bernhardt has appeared in a film . . .

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