Archive of films Waiter, Scarper! / Vrchní, prchni
1980, 85 min
Section: Special Events
Based on a script by his artistic comrade in arms Zdeňek Svěrák, Ladislav Smoljak shot this legendary comedy about Vrána, a resourceful bookseller and opportunistic thief. Who wouldn’t want to get themselves back on track and improve things a little? In addition to very specific Czech humor (i.e. Cimrman for the initiated), there’s plenty of room here for a mournful sigh for the likable crook.
"Can you really pack so many gags and great ideas into one film?” asks one of the many rhapsodic reviews of Waiter, Scarper! The films of creative duo Ladislav Smoljak and Zdeněk Svěrák have always come up with the goods. And their efforts are rewarded: when any group of friends gets together, there’ll always be a point when everyone’s competing to see who can recall the funniest episodes. In this case, protagonist Dalibor Vrána’s dreadful violin scraping in the posh restaurant, his increasingly daring scams and wild erotic fantasies, and his obtuse neighbour Pařízek’s fixation with his yellow Škoda.... Except that he was also a talented student who never got very far, and he’s justified in thinking that it wasn’t only his fault. Life must have pulled a fast one on him; so he just took back what was rightfully his. Opportunity turns him into a petty thief, but who wouldn’t want to tweak his own destiny to improve his situation a little? Alongside smart humour there’s also enough room in this tragicomedy for a bit of despondency over a resourceful fraudster who’s much more likely to win our affection than rouse our indignation.
About the director
Screenwriter, actor and director Ladislav Smoljak (1931, Prague – 2010, Kladno, Czech Republic), and screenwriter, playwright, writer, actor and lyricist Zdeněk Svěrák (b. 1936, Prague) formed one of the most successful Czech comedy writer-directing duos of their time. They co-founded the mystification Jára Cimrman Theater in 1966 and wrote all of its plays. They applied their intellectual humor with elements of absurdity, slapstick and parody not only to their plays, but also to their films Joachim, Put It in the Machine! (1974), Seclusion Near a Forest (1976), Marecek, Pass Me the Pen! (1976), Ball Lightning (1978) and The Hit (1980). Svěrák also wrote the scripts for Jiří Menzel’s My Sweet Little Village (1985 – Oscar nomination), and for his son Jan Svěrák’s films The Elementary School (1991 – Oscar nomination), Kolya (1996 – Oscar), Dark Blue World (2001) and Empties (2007).
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Dir. of Photography:||Ivan Šlapeta|
|Production:||Filmové studio Barrandov|
|Cast:||Josef Abrhám, Libuše Šafránková, Zdeněk Svěrák, Dagmar Patrasová, Jiří Kodet|
|Contact:||National Film Archive|
Distributor, Sales Agent
Film Institution Rep., Cinema Representative, Distributor
Film Institution Rep., Festival Organizer
Tereza Czesany Dvořáková
Film Institution Rep.