Subsequent to the psychological drama Daleká cesta (The Long Journey, 1949), which was banned from public screening by communist censorship, director Alfréd Radok was permitted to make a film that would only address a “harmless” topic. But even with this adaptation of an eponymous book by Adolf Branald, which describes the beginnings of motoring in the Czech lands, did Radok prove himself technically brilliant, as a creator able to recreate an Art Nouveau atmosphere in a precise, yet playful way. The “racing” comedy, depicting three international competitions in France, successfully employed both Czech and foreign actors (the role of French mechanic Marcel was portrayed by experienced French actor Raymond Bussières). The then 20 year-old Pavel Landovský debuted in the role of a wedding guest with a trumpet. Serving as Radok’s assistant, future directing star of the Czechoslovak New Wave Miloš Forman gained valuable experience.
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