One of the stated aims of the GOTGE Blog is to inspire readers to travel to locations associated with the Pop Music scene of the GOTGE Era, on the basis that these are a winning combination of stunning/interesting locations and beautiful music.
In my latest discoveries I have been re-tracing my steps back to the 1974 film in which Valérie Čižmárová’s track ‘Koňskou Dráhou’ is played in the background during a scene taking place at a riverside terrace café – the film in question being the wonderfully-titled ‘Jak utopit Dr. Mráčka aneb Konec vodníků v Čechách’ (‘How To Drown Dr. Mráček – Or The End Of The River Sprites In The Czech Lands’). This has been an absolute delight, since I have been reminded of the fact that Valérie not only has a couple of tracks played during that movie. She actually appears singing in it. Here are a couple of stills from that performance.
Here is a selection of stills from the riverside scene during which one of my favourite Valérie Čižmárová tracks, ‘Koňskou Dráhou’ is played in the background. In the first and last of these one will spot that there are Cinzano and St. Raphaël parasols at the café – a surprisingly Western touch at a café in the former Eastern Bloc. The lighter-haired young lady of the pair in the second, third and fourth stills is the actress, Milena Steinmasslová – more on her later. The location is Střelecký ostrov, (Marksman’s Island), Prague-Staré Město, by the River Vltava.
Unfortunately, since I first posted this, the video of the whole film has been taken off YouTube, so I’ve had to remove that.
There is also a scene (starting at the time-point below) in the background of which a very short excerpt of Valérie’s ‘Tak měj mě rád’ – a single from the previous year, with music by the first-class composition team that was Vítězslav Hádl and Ladislav Pikart and lyrics by Petr Markov – is played. Milena Steinmasslová is in this scene too. She’s the one in the dark blue bikini on the left.
Why I say, “more on her later” regarding Milena Steinmasslová is that, also in 1974, she was the Leading Lady in the film, ‘Kvočny a Král’ – a movie this time featuring a track by none other than Hana Zagorová herself, playing in the background during a scene shot in a textile factory on the street, Nádražní, in the town of Benešov nad Ploučnicí. (Unfortunately, try as I might, I cannot seem to be able to identify the track, which is a pity, since it’s a pretty catchy tune). There is also a scene very evocative of life as a teenager in 1970s Czechoslovakia, shot outside a ‘Supraphon’ record shop in the main square – Náměstí Míru – in the town of Ceská Kamenice – a photo of Petra Černocká recognisably in the window. It’s very interesting to note how ‘current’ some of the young ladies’ fashions look during that scene outside the record shop – that crop-top-clad lass looking like she could be on a street on a Summer’s day in present-day Britain. We also get to see inside a youth’s bedroom featuring an indication of how acts and artists from one nation in the former Eastern Bloc were also big names in other fellow Bloc countries – a poster of the Polish Pop Group, Czerwone Gitary being present and we see that this fictional youth seems to be an Eva Pilarová fan. There is also a scene taking place at a disco. BTW, don’t be fooled by the uploading party’s classification of this film as a ‘comedy’. If it is, it must be pretty dark. The completely zany ‘Jak utopit Dr. Mráčka aneb Konec vodníků v Čechách’ it is not! Either way, it seems that Milena is associated with a remarkable couple of films in a GOTGE context.
In all cases I have helpfully left the screen-shots in their entirety, so that one knows where to spool onto for the relevant scenes in both movies.