Saturday, October 29 at 3PM
(The Emperor and The Golem),1951. Directed by Martin Fric
In two parts, with refreshments served at the intermission. Czech with English subtitles.

A film comedy based on the Prague Golem legend about a man-made clay “robot” that almost toppled the Prague court of Rudolph II in the late 16th century. The beloved Czech actor and writer Jan Werich, an icon of the Czech intellectual humor, stars in the double title roles of Emperor Rudolf II and his imperial baker Matthew. The two men decide to switch identities to search for Golem, and have a wonderful time indulging in their respective new lifestyles. Costume design by famed Czech animator Jiri­ Trnka.

Fun for the whole family! (recommended for children 7 and older)
Come in your Halloween costume, ideally period dress from the time of Rudolf II.
Intro by Chris Harwood (Columbia University). Organized in cooperation with the Czech Center.


With 85 feature films to his credit, Martin Fric (aka Martin Fritsch in his German films) was Czechoslovakia’s most prolific director. Over his four-decade-long career, Fric worked in nearly all genres but was best known for his comedies. Fric entered the entertainment industry at age 16 as an actor and cabaret performer. In 1919, he joined the newly established Czech cinema as a lab assistant, later working as a camera operator and also designing posters. In 1922, Fric began writing screenplays and started appearing in films as an actor. Two years later, he began collaborating with director Karel Lamac. Fric made his solo directorial debut with Pater Vojtech/Father Vojtech in 1928. During the 30s and 40s, Fric made a series of popular comedies, the best of which starred Jiri Voskovec and Jan Werich. Two Fric’s best-known comedies include Krstian (1939) and Pytlakova Schovanka/The Poacher’s Ward (1949). Fric had one of his earliest international successes with Janosik, the tale of a famous Slovakian folk hero. The advent of World War II did not prevent Fric from making movies, nor the years of Stalin’s oppression. Fric went on to become one of his country’s leading representatives of its nationalized film industry. From 1961, Fric busied himself with television productions and between 1965 and 1968 chaired the Union of Czechoslovakian Film and Television. [source: allmovie guide]