Based on a novel by Karel Capek, a prominent Czech writer of the early 20th century, who coined the word robot for his play R.U.R., the story revolves around a discovery of Krakatit-a ... See full summary »
Mrs Müllerova (E. Svobodova) informs her tenant Svejk (R. Hrusinsky) about the recent assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Svejk heads out to the local pub unaware that a secret police ... See full summary »
Rudolph II, the Holy Roman Emperor, does not have a simple life. And yet he manages to complicate it even more with his frequent outbursts of anger. While he searches for a mythical Golem, ... See full summary »
When the famous detective Nick Carter visits Prague, he becomes involved in strange case of a missing dog and even stranger carnivorous plant. He becomes convinced that he is standing ... See full summary »
There are still water spirits among us. One group lives in Prague, led by Mr. Wassermann, who is using his wife's family as servants. All they need is their old house near the river. But ... See full summary »
Ondrej, a young boy who loves bees and bats, is introduced to his new mother, a woman much younger than his father. He brings her a basketful of flowers which she starts to throw in the air... See full summary »
Czech Hugo Haas made a lot of overblown, trashy dramas in America in the 1950s (see 'Edge of Hell', 'Bait' and 'Hold Back Tomorrow') but back in the 1930s, he was a very well-respected actor/director/writer in Europe. 'Bílá nemoc' is a classic example of the work that led to Haas' high reputation, a thought-provoking, political/science fiction drama.
In an unnamed country (which is led by a warmongering Marshal) a disease, which only affects the over 50s, begins to spread. While the government-financed clinics fail to find an answer, backstreet GP Dr. Galen (played by Haas) discovers a cure.
After proving the cure's authenticity, Dr. Galen informs the press that he will treat the poor immediately but will only treat the rich if the Marshall, who is about to declare war on a neighbouring country, signs a peace treaty. Naturally, the Marshal refuses to accept the conditions and sends his men to bring the good doctor to him
Although obviously an anti-war film (released just a couple of years before WWII), the characters are not simply black and white. Dr. Galen, who is a pacifist, actually stands by and lets people die to stand by his threat. The Marshal on the other hand, doesn't act as ruthless as you may expect - for instance he never threatens to torture Galen to obtain the cure and actually does eventually release him. Both characters are given interesting, believable background stories and justifications for their very different outlooks on life.
An intelligent film which is charmingly naive in many respects, simply for asking for normality in a mad world.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?