Adelheid (film)

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Adelheid poster.jpg
Czech poster
Directed byFrantišek Vláčil
Written byVladimír Körner
František Vláčil
Based onAdelheid
by Vladimír Körner
StarringPetr Čepek
Emma Černá
Music byZdeněk Liška
CinematographyFrantišek Uldrich
Edited byMiroslav Hájek
Filmové studio Barrandov
Distributed byÚstřední půjčovna filmů
Release date
  • 6 April 1970 (1970-04-06)
Running time
99 minutes

Adelheid is a 1970 Czechoslovak drama film directed by František Vláčil, based on a 1967 novel of the same name by Czech writer Vladimír Körner. The story is about the complicated relationship between Czech man Viktor and German woman Adelheid, and about relationships between Czechs and Germans in postwar Czechoslovakia in general.[1]


Discharged Czechoslovak lieutenant Viktor Chotovický (Petr Čepek) returns to his homeland after spending much of the war in Aberdeen, Scotland employed at a RAF desk job. He has been appointed the trustee of an empty manor formerly occupied by the German family of a notorious Nazi war-criminal imprisoned by the Czechoslovak authorities. Viktor meets the Nazi's beautiful daughter Adelheid Heidenmann (Emma Černá), who is forced to work as a cleaning lady at her own mansion. Her brother is an SS officer who allegedly disappeared in the Eastern Front. Viktor makes Adelheid his captive maid, and soon falls in love with her. His heart is torn between feelings of desire and his national identity and sympathies. Adelheid also slowly becomes sympathetic towards Viktor, but at the same time silently hopes for the return of her brother Hansgeorg. When he does Viktor narrowly escapes death. Viktor refuses to testify against Adelheid because he is alone and has nobody else.[1] However, Adelheid commits suicide in her cell, Viktor walks off into the snow-covered countryside and is last seen wandering towards a mine field.



Town of Vroutek (German: Rudig), location of the Lužec castle from the film Adelheid

As in other novels by Körner, the story is set in Sudetenland in Northern Moravia. The movie was shot in Lužec castle located close the town of Vroutek (German: Rudig) in western Bohemia and in the villages close to Liberec in Northern Bohemia.[2]

The soundtrack, adapted by Zdeněk Liška is based on existing music by Bach and Strauss, which complements the atmosphere of the film. The film was produced by Film Studio Barrandov Czechoslovakia in 1969.


The film has received very positive reviews after its release in 1969. Many critics called it Vláčil's second best film (after Marketa Lazarová). The film wasn't taken pleasantly by authorities and it received limited release and propagation which resulted in a small attendance in cinemas.[3]


Date of ceremony Event Award Result Ref(s)
1969 20th Worker's Film Festival The seal of Cheb Won [4]
1970 Trutnov Film Festival for Youth Golden Sun Award Won
1990 Finále Plzeň Film Festival Kingfisher ex aequo Won


  1. ^ a b "Adelheid (1969, colour, 99 mins)". The Struggles of František Vláčil. Kinoblog - A survey of Central and Eastern European cinema. 15 April 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  2. ^ "Zámek Lužec". Collection of photographs on location. Filmová mí 2006–2013. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "Príliš viditeľné švíky – dobová recepce filmu Adelheid – Revue – Filmový přehled". Filmový přehled (in Czech). Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Adelheid (1969)". Filmový přehled (in Czech). Retrieved 18 October 2017.

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