Česká centra, Czech Centres

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Oct 29, 2011 3:00 PM

The Emperor and The Golem

FILM for children and adults. Free admission.

 The Emperor and The Golem
Directed by Martin Fric, 1951

In two parts, with refreshments served at the intermission.  Czech with English subtitles.

A film comedy based on the Prague Golem legend about a man-made clay "robot" that almost toppled the Prague court of Rudolph II in the late 16th century. The beloved Czech actor and writer Jan Werich, an icon of the Czech  intellectual humor, stars in the double title roles of Emperor Rudolf II and his imperial baker Matthew. The two men decide to switch identities to search for Golem, and have a wonderful time indulging in their respective new lifestyles. Costume design by famed Czech animator Jiří Trnka

Fun for the whole family! (recommended for children 7 and older)

Come in your Halloween costume, ideally period dress from the time of Rudolf II. 

Intro by Chris Harwood (Columbia University)

With 85 feature films to his credit, Martin Fric (aka Martin Fritsch in his German films) was Czechoslovakia’s most prolific director. Over his four-decade-long career, Fric worked in nearly all genres but was best known for his comedies. Fric entered the entertainment industry at age 16 as an actor and cabaret performer. In 1919, he joined the newly established Czech cinema as a lab assistant, later working as a camera operator and also designing posters. In 1922, Fric began writing screenplays and started appearing in films as an actor. Two years later, he began collaborating with director Karel Lamac. Fric made his solo directorial debut with Pater Vojtech/Father Vojtech in 1928. During the ‘30s and ’40s, Fric made a series of popular comedies, the best of which starred Jiri Voskovec and Jan Werich. —allmovie guide

About Jan Werich 
Jan Werich + Jiri Voskovec + Jaroslav Jezek (V+W+J = Osvobozene divadlo (The Liberated Theater)  In 1925, Werich and his friend Jiri (George) Voskovec (www.radio.cz/en/section/czechs/jiri-george-voskovec-the-czech-theatrical-pioneer-who-carved-out-a-cold-war-career-in-hollywood-1#0) established in Prague “Osvobozené Divadlo” (The Liberated Theater). They were the first who to combine Czech lyrics, Dada and social commentary with jazz music by the brilliant Jaroslav Jezek. (http://www.radio.cz/en/section/archives/jaroslav-jezek-in-defence-of-jazz-in-1934-1#0)

Given the subversive, anti-fascist tone of much of their shows in 1930's, they had to flee Czechoslovakia just before Nazi occupation in 1939.They spent the war years in the United States. Jezek died in New York in 1942. After WWII, V+W returned to Prague to reopen the Liberated Theatre. But when the Communist Party seized power in 1948, there was no place for their seditious humor under the new totalitarian regime and their theater was closed down.Voskovec decided to flee again to the USA where he became a successful actor in theater and film (Twelve Angry Men, Obbie Award for his Uncle Vanya in 1977)



321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Oct 29, 2011 3:00 PM


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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