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(aka "Az prijde kocour" or "When the Cat Comes" or "The Cassandra Cat" or "That Cat" or "The Cat Who Wore Sunglasses")


Directed by Vojtech Jasný
Czechoslovakia 1963


Vojtech Jasný's sumptuous, surreal satire is one of the most lavish and uninhibited films of the entire Czechoslovak New Wave.

A travelling circus and its magical feline mascot arrive in a provincial Czech town, and expose the virtues, vices and desires of its unruly inhabitants.

Part modern fairy tale, part colourful political metaphor, The Cassandra Cat (also known as When the Cat Comes) is a unique, glorious comic drama. Banned after the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the film was regarded as an unacceptable and subversive critique of Communist society.

Now newly restored in all its vibrant Technicolor glory, this Cannes award-winner makes its world premiere on Blu-ray.

Our Blu-ray will also include the acclaimed and delightful animated short film Badly Painted Hen by Jiri Brdecka, co-writer of The Cassandra Cat.


An unassuming Bohemian village becomes the backdrop for a gloriously goofy fairy tale when a magician visits with his tabby cat, who’s unusually outfitted with sunglasses – when kitty takes the specs off, people change colour according to their inner nature (cowards turn yellow, and so on). The inevitably controversial cat becomes a motivating symbol of truth and candour for an idealist teacher and his boisterous, artistically gifted students (the kids’ vibrant paintings are a delight), but Jasny always keeps the tone light to the point of levitating. A treat.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE


Theatrical Release: May 12th, 1963 (Cannes Film Festival)

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Review: Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:44:42.500        

2.55:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,915,582,438 bytes

Feature: 31,829,858,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:


DTS-HD Master Audio Czech 1696 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1696 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Second Run


2.55:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,915,582,438 bytes

Feature: 31,829,858,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:

• A Projection Booth audio commentary with Mike White, Spencer Parsons and Chris Stachiw.
• Badly Painted Hen (Spatne namalovana slepice, 1963): the acclaimed animated short film by Jiri Brdecka, co-writer of The Cassandra Cat. (13:38)
• Trailer (1:36)
Booklet featuring a new, expansive essay by author Cerise Howard

Blu-ray Release Date: February 20th, 2023

Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12




NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Second Run Blu-ray (February 2023): Second Run have transferred Vojtech Jasný's The Cassandra Cat to Blu-ray. It is cited as "presented from a new 4K restoration by the Czech National Film Archive". The HD presentation starts with this text introduction:

"The goal of this digital restoration was to make the film available in a form similar to how audiences would have seen it at the time of its initial release in 1963. The Cassandra Cat was distributed on 35mm prints with either 1:1.85, 1:2.35 or 1:2.55 aspect ratio. This is a restoration of the 1:2.55 manifestation with a four track magnetic sound.

The image was digitised from the intermediate positive preserved by Narodni filmoq archiv, Prague, and the sound was digitised from film prints preserved by Filmoteka Narodowa — Instytut Audiowizualny and the National Film Institute Hungary — Film Archive, and from the original negative preserved by Narodni filmovy. archiv, Prague.

The digital restoration of this film was made possible by a donation from Mrs. Milada Kueerova and Mr. Eduard Kudera and was carried out in 2021 at 12Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, under the supervision of Narodni filmovy archiv, Prague, with the support of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. This film was restored using the outputs of the NAKI DF13P010VV006 "Methodology of Digitising the National Film Fund in the Czech Republic" project.

Wikipedia tells us: "Maintaining the film's original colour scheme proved to be a challenge due to its "multi-coloured experimental celluloid techniques"

It looks very pleasing in 1080P on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. It is in the super widescreen of 2.55:1, colors are rich - notable reds. There can be a bit of thickness and a few cue blips but is a very appreciated restoration and digital rendering. The film's colorization effects are delightful.

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Second Run use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track (16-bit) bump in the original Czech language. I would have thought mono would have been a superior choice. The Cassandra Cat has no demonstrative aggressive sequences that come through with modest depth and score by Czech composer Svatopluk Havelka (The Ear), sounding clean with consistent dialogue in the lossless transfer. Second Run offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Second Run Blu-ray offers a 'Projection Booth' audio commentary with Mike White, Spencer Parsons and Chris Stachiw. They discuss how this is a "Live action, original fairy tale" and how critique of the government is snuck into the narrative, as well as the 'narrator' character played by Jan Werich who has over 35 writing credits including the screenplay and dialogue for The Cassandra Cat. They share observations on the allegorical manner of the storytelling, the taxidermy, the children, the many close-ups and much more. These guys are enjoyable and intelligent. I found it a very informative commentary. Included is the 1/4 hour animated short Incorrectly Drawn Hen (Spatne namalovana slepice) from 1963 about a creative student's outlet. It was directed and written by Jiri Brdecka, co-writer of The Cassandra Cat. There is a trailer and the package has a liner notes booklet featuring a new, expansive essay by author Cerise Howard.

Vojtech Jasný's The Cassandra Cat is delightful. It involves the shattering of a ‘black and white’ life view - that had the children's imagination hindered. Enter a visiting circus cat who exposes the villagers true nature via color like a full-body mood ring. Jonathan Rosenbaum referred to The Cassandra Cat in the Chicago Reader as a "genuine oddity from 1963 Czechoslovakia" and described it as "whimsical, likable, and inventive" and likened it to a cross between the Pied Piper and Bye Bye Birdie. He also wrote that it is "one of the best early examples of the Czech New Wave". Notably - Ivan Passer (Cutter's Way) worked on The Cassandra Cat as an assistant director. The Second Run Blu-ray is exceptional - a 4K restoration, max'ed out bitrate, edifying commentary, short animated Czech film and a booklet. Absolutely recommended!

Gary Tooze


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Distribution Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray



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