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Servantes iz Malog Mista (1982)

| Comedy
The residents of a small coastal town in Southern Croatia live their ordinary lives, but try to catch up with time as well. The hotel manager Roko Prc wants to open a nude beach. His wife ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ivica Vidovic ...
Servantes
Boris Dvornik ...
Diretur Roko Prc
Karlo Bulic ...
Dotur Luigi
Asja Kisic ...
Luigijeva Bepina
Zvonko Lepetic ...
Poscer Bombista / Andrija
Mate Ergovic ...
Domenico
...
Galileo
Zdravka Krstulovic ...
Andja Vlajina
Fabijan Sovagovic ...
Tajnik MZ
Zvonimir Torjanac ...
Pridsidnik MZ (as Zvonko Torjanac)
...
The Swedish woman
Zeljko Vukmirica ...
Ikan
Marija Kohn ...
Keka
Biserka Ipsa ...
Tajnica
Tana Mascarelli ...
Andjina mater
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Storyline

The residents of a small coastal town in Southern Croatia live their ordinary lives, but try to catch up with time as well. The hotel manager Roko Prc wants to open a nude beach. His wife brings two of her cousins from the poor hinterland urging on Roko to employ them. One of them meets a beautiful Swedish woman. A poet known as Cervantes comes back from Chile with pockets empty, thus making another worry for his aunt Keka who does have enough problems even without him. Anyway, Cervantes will meet his sweetheart, too. Written by Mario

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Comedy

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Follows Nase malo misto (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Movie almost hurting the memory of a serial
7 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

Smaller countries always had problems with film production because their market is small and even cheaper movies can hardly return the invested money. While in USSR politicians decided which movies were allowed to be made and ensured money for all of them - so even totally noncommercial art movies were free to be made without having to think if they would ever come to theaters (except festival ones) as long as enough propaganda movies glorifying war victory and communism have been produced in the same year – authors from other countries had very limited resources. The smaller country, the more problems: movies could be even very successful when analyzing sold tickets compared to total population, but the total amount was still small, and coming from small and unattractive countries these movies had no chance for appearance, let alone success abroad.

In fact, Yugoslavia had certain advantage compared to Iron Courtain. While, as a socialist country, in politically good relations to Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia made several movies in co-production with Czechoslovakia but, unfortunately, without expected results (Czechs gave good equipment and technicians, but none of their legendary authors like Menzel, Forman, Chytilova, ever participated) Yugoslavia also welcomed western movie makers who made films with plot located beyond Iron Curtain and didn't want to or weren't permitted to make them on authentic locations. However, unlike musicians who were big stars there, especially in East Germany and USSR, movies from Yugoslavia were less popular in other socialist countries, partially because they were created for local audience, showing local people talking on local dialects and living the life hardly understandable to people from other cultures.

One of the methods that producers used in Europe (not only on the East and not only in small countries) were tighter bonds between movie companies and television. Many movies have been made as a co-production where movie companies reduced the length of tracks editing them for theatrical release and TV companies used all the footage and made the mini-serials. This is something that probably never happened in overseas countries – in USA sometimes successful movies induces a TV serial but usually with other actors, writers, directors etc (MASH probably being one of the first and best known), and much later serials could become a movie, sometimes with sequels, Star Trek as the best example. This, usually, didn't happen in countries like Yugoslavia.

But usually leaves a place for exceptions. „Servantes iz malog mista" is one of there rare ones. It was made a decade after the final second season of „Naše malo misto", one of biggest hits in Yugoslavian TV history. Though made entirely by Croatian crew, with plot placed in typical and rather isolated Croatian island and made in local dialect not easy to understand even by viewers from other Croatian regions, this serial made a big success in whole Yugoslavia, and even now, more than 40 years afterwards it is one of two often repeated ones and never lacking audience (the other being „Gruntovcani", also set in small Croatian village but in different region with different culture and dialect). Ten years ago the producers understood the possibilities to earn more then just repeatedly broadcasting it. So they made this movie.

If you haven't seen the serial there is almost no sense to watch Servantes. The plot is settled somewhere in the middle of the serial, using even some scenes from it, and almost all the characters are taken from it in the way that the viewer is presumed to know them and their relations - otherwise you most likely won't understand them and won't be able to follow the plot line. There is even no developing of the characters because they have been developing (a very well done job!) during the serial, so as this movie was placed in the middle of it nothing important could have happened to them, otherwise it would collide with the serial. The writers understood these limits and decided to make the movie as a bunch of sketches with a rather loose plot.

It is interesting (and a bit weird) that the title character Servantes (a nickname given to the poor local poet who spent part of his life in Latin America planning to translate Cervantes works to Croatian) isn't the main role neither in serial nor in movie, and the original part of the plot that is related to the nearby located naturist beach doesn't include him at all. During 70's and 80's naturism ("nudism") was a very important part of Croatian tourist offer, but nowadays it's hard to say if it is decreasing or just not spoken about due to modern conservatism. Anyway movie seems to (mis)use a certain Dalmatian tradition: „galebi" („seagulls") are young men (and those who think they are still young) who live and prepare whole year for 2-3 summer months when their only task is seducing young (or less young) foreign female tourists and create them the best holidays they ever had. In reality „galeb" would never appear on a naturist beach and tourists using naturist beaches most likely wouldn't use their services, however this is comedy and doesn't have to be based on too much reality.

The movie had his audience in the beginning, but it was just because of sentimental reasons. Soon the audience understood that re-watching the serial is much better than watching its pale, weak offspring. Servantes disappeared and has been hard to find ever since (just in rare occasions TV uses it in very far from prime-times). But producers probably managed to get enough money to produce some other, I believe better movies, and that was doubtlessly the only reason Servantes has been resurrected.


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