Fantom operety (Phantom of the operetta)
Ludvík Láce – Lubomír Lipský
Lolinka Lácová – Jiřina Bohdalová
Valdemara Krapsata – Iva Jančurová
Rudolf Halant – Josef Bláha
Director – Zdeněk Podskalský
Screenplay – Jindřich Švehla, Eduard Fiker (after the latter’s novel of the same name)
Director of Photography – Jindřich Novotný
Music – František Živný, Zdeněk Procházka
Song lyrics – Jan Mimra
Dances – ballet ensemble of the Karlín Music Theatre
Makeup – Jiří Hurych
Production company – Krátký Film, Prague
Broadcaster – Czechoslovak Television, department for entertainment programmes
This material is related to the Phantom of the Opera only tangentially. The Czech broadcaster bills it as ‘an entertaining parody of 1930s operettas’ (actually they may mean musicals) and the whole thing is based on Eduard Fiker’s 1945 book Fantom operety: Román-groteska. The subtitle would translate as ‘novel-farce’, but the word ‘groteska’ is also used in Czech to describe silent-era slapstick comedy.
A 1970 re-edition of the book has been digitised and provided with an abstract: ‘In this humorous novel taking place in and around a theatre, the Phantom of the Operetta is the jealous husband of a young operetta soubrette, who is convinced that his wife is cheating on him. Disguised as one of the theatre’s technical personnel, he seeks to find proofs of his suspicion in the theatre itself. Since he is a novelist by profession and one gifted with imagination and a sleuth’s talent, he uncovers many funny as well as not so funny situations and facts that ought to remain hidden, and, especially, he manages to discover how stupid the planned operetta When the Heart Defrosts really is and thwarts its performance. In doing so he also manages to achieve his desire, a serene life with his wife.
With thanks to Štěpán Kaňa.