8.0/10
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11 user 17 critic

Witchhammer (1970)

Kladivo na carodejnice (original title)
A very popular movie on the medieval persecution of witches (inquisition).

Director:

Otakar Vávra

Writers:

Václav Kaplický (novel), Otakar Vávra (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vladimír Smeral ... Boblig
Elo Romancik ... Lautner
Josef Kemr ... Ignác
Sona Valentová ... Zuzana
Blanka Waleská ... hrabenka de Galle
Lola Skrbková Lola Skrbková ... Maryna
Jirina Stepnicková ... Dorota Groerová
Marie Nademlejnská Marie Nademlejnská ... Davidka
Miriam Kantorková Miriam Kantorková ... Tobiásová
Eduard Cupák ... farár Schmidt
Martin Ruzek ... Biskop
Cestmír Randa ... dékan Vojtech Winkler
Ilja Prachar ... rychtár Gaup
Gustav Opocenský ... Sekretár Schmidt, bratr faráre
Václav Lohniský ... Mnich
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Storyline

The time is the seventeenth century. The beggar Maryna Schuchová hides the Host in her scarf at the Communion. She admits to the parish priest Schmidt that she intended to give it to the midwife Groerová to heal her ailing cow. The young priest declares her a witch and convinces the Sumperk countess De Galle to summon the inquisitor Boblig from Edelstadt. This failed student of law sees the offer as a great opportunity. He uses torture and threats to force the women from the to testify to their meetings with the devil and learn by heart the lies he has made up for the inquisition tribunal. Boblig accuses the wealthy burghers of witchcraft as well, and so wants to seize their possessions. Written by NFA.cz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Horror

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Czechoslovakia

Language:

Czech

Release Date:

23 January 1970 (Czechoslovakia) See more »

Also Known As:

Witches' Hammer See more »

Filming Locations:

Velké Losiny, Czech Republic

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmové studio Barrandov See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Monsterquest: American Werewolf (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bleak, dark and allegorical
7 June 2013 | by dmluciferSee all my reviews

While the setting and the historical source of the movie is that of the late 17th century, don't be fooled, this is a movie about communism. More accurately, about the wretched logic the communist justice system has used to imprison and kill hundreds of people in the Czechoslovakian 50s. The forced confessions, self-accusal, torture and naming of innocent accomplices were all part of communist processes in which such as Milada Horáková perished.

There are plenty of analogies in the movie which I don't intend to spoil. The atmosphere is crafted masterfully, giving the film a bleak and dark look and amplifying the effects of its story. The performances are very good, however I don't know how well does the original czech translate into the subtitles. What keeps this from being a 10 out of 10 is the pacing. In a certain point of the movie, the end becomes obvious and the rest is just a hammer that drives the nail of absolute despair into your brain.


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