One of the films that spread the good name of Czech cinema around the world was the detective parody Adéla ještě nevečeřela (Adela Has Not Had Her Supper Yet). During the making of the film, the director Oldřich Lipský once again teamed up with screenwriter Jiří Brdečka, whose initial story had already been used by him to write and shoot the 1964 cowboy parody Limonádový Joe aneb Koňská opera (Lemonade Joe). Just like Joe in that movie, Adele derived from the authors’ fascination with American pulp fiction and trashy cinema, which had long been forgotten in the Czech lands by the time the film was being made. The protagonist is the private detective Nick Carter – a literary creation that had been appearing in film in various guises since the silent era. Brdečka and Lipský, however, placed the “best American sleuth” – a manly genius armed with sophisticated technology – in secession-era Prague at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. For the character played by the Slovak actor Michal Dočolomanský (redubbed by František Němec), this is an “exotic” world full of unexpected surprises. The brilliant American is meant to help the experienced Commissar Ledvina (Rudolf Hrušínský) – a genial, hedonistic connoisseur of the Prague underworld and of Pilsner beer – in solving the case of a mysterious disappearance from the Countess Thun’s house. The duo – who are like chalk and cheese – end up on the trail of the evil Baron von Kratzmar (played by the excellent Miloš Kopecký), who has cultivated the eponymous Adele, a huge flesh-eating plant whose taste buds are always whetted by the strains of Mozart’s Schlafe, mein Prinzchen. A product of the surrealist imagination of the artist Jan Švankmajer, Adele is the main, but not the only, attraction in this entertaining film, which revels in gags based on situational comedy and wordplay that often stem from the contrast between the impeccable detective and the illogical, erratic Czech milieu.

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