Archive of films An Old Gangster's Molls / Milenky starého kriminálníka

1927, 106 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2014

Telling invented stories about the murders of his lovers, Vlasta Burian tries to escape marriage with the energetic Anny Ondra. This restored copy of a silent comedy full of chases and doppelgänger scenes is accompanied by live music.


The descendant of an impoverished aristocratic family is to marry his creditor’s eccentric daughter. He, however, is in love with another girl, so he convinces his uncle to take over his courtship duties. He hopes that his elderly relative will succeed in dissuading the unwelcome bride, but the exact opposite happens. As it turns out, the uncle looks like a certain dread gangster, and the young woman, who loves to box and thrills to fast cars, sees the promise of fame and excitement in marriage to the well-known criminal. Starring Anny Ondra and Vlasta Burian, this silent movie excels for its original slapstick, especially the mélange of invented murders, chases, and doppelgänger scenes. The movie has been out of circulation for decades, with the last screenings of the original combustible copy held at Prague’s Ponrepo theater (affiliated to the National Film Archive) in the 1960s. The projection of the reconstructed copy, which has been colorized using a one-of-a-kind method, will be accompanied by live music.

About the director

Svatopluk Innemann (1896-1945) was the son of a director and an opera singer. He shot his first film in 1918 with Otto Heller. He made his way alone in subsequent years, trying his hand at both acting and directing. His feature films are generically wide-ranging (operetta, comedy, melodrama), and he also made a number of documentaries (e.g. Prague Illuminated, 1928). His beloved comedy From the Czech Mills and his narrative biopic Josef Kajetán Tyl were released in 1925. In 1919-1930 he shot sixteen silent films and then entered the sound era with Fidlovačka (1930). He also shot the Jaroslav Hašek biopic The Last Bohemian (1931) and the comedy Men Offside (1931), still his most successful and popular picture. Another highlight of Innemann’s directing career came with Before Graduation (1932), realized in cooperation with Vladislav Vančura.


National Film Archive
Malešická 12, 130 00, Praha 3
Czech Republic

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Out of the Past
Director: Svatopluk Innemann
Screenplay: Elmar Klos, Josef Skružný
Dir. of Photography: Otto Heller
Production: Oceanfilm
Cast: Vlasta Burian, Anny Ondráková, Jan W. Speerger, Betty Kysilková, Jindřich Plachta
Contact: National Film Archive
Distributor: National Film Archive


Aleš Rumpel

Film Institution Rep., Festival Organizer

Michal Bregant

Film Institution Rep., Cinema Representative, Distributor

Tereza Czesany Dvořáková

Film Institution Rep.

Barbora Kinkalová


Daniel Vadocký

Distributor, Sales Agent

Marie Barešová



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