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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 »
Reviews
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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Czechoslovakia

Language:

Czech

Release Date:

23 January 1970 (Czechoslovakia) See more »

Also Known As:

Witchhammer See more »

Filming Locations:

Velké Losiny, Czech Republic

Company Credits

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?

Trivia

Due to a very impressive image of the atmosphere of fear and compulsory confessions that resembled the Stalinist methods of the communist regime of the 1950s, the film was removed from hire and appeared on television screens only after 1989. See more »

Connections

Featured in Predcasná úmrtí: Bozský Bosnák (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb
22 April 2004 | by JHC3See all my reviews

In a Czech town in the seventeenth century, an elderly woman enters a church

to accept communion. Her true purpose is to collect the holy host for a midwife who needs it to treat an ailing dairy cow. The woman is caught and is forced to explain her sacrilegious actions. Religious and secular authorities agree that she is in league with witches and may even be a witch herself. This prompts an inquisition where confessions are obtained through threats and torture. A

tribunal is held to provide a legal facade. Though the hunt is initially confined to the impoverished fringes of local society, the hysteria soon expands to the point that no one, not even leading citizens, is safe. The ultimate target is a

clergyman, Deacon Lautner, who defies the righteous men of the tribunal.

Based on actual trial records from the 1678 to 1695 period, this well made

Czech film features excellent performances and strong production values. It is somewhat extreme by 1969 standards.


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