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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Bláznova kronika" )


directed by Karel Zeman
Czechoslovakia 1964


Directed by one of Czech cinema's most visually innovative directors Karel Zeman (THE OUTRAGEOUS BARON MUNCHAUSEN) – whose skill at blending live action and animation within the same frame still rivals anything produced by those he inspired like Terry Gilliam – from a screenplay by Pavel Juracek (IKARIE XB-1), A JESTER'S TALE is a fanciful account of The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) as experienced by ploughman Petr (Petr Kostka, CHANCE MEETING) who finds himself recruited by force into the army of the local Count. He escapes only to wind up conscripted into the army of the Marquess. By pure dumb luck, Petr and the more worldy and wily Matej (Miroslav Holub, THE EAR) wind up the only survivors of a firefight that kills the entire regiments on both sides. Knowing that they would be branded the shame of the empire for surviving and executed if caught, the two men take to the road (with Matej lugging behind the treasures pillaged from their camp). Along the way, they rescue farm girl Lenka (Emilia Vasaryova, THE COPPER TOWER) and she joins them on their journey to elude both sides of the conflict. Sighting what he believes to be the Marquess' troops in the distance, Matej has Petr don the guise of the Marquess with himself as a steward and Lenka disguised as his fool. The troops are the enemy, however, and the three wind up in the dungeon of the Count with his victorious Captain Varga (Karel Effa, AMADEUS) winning the hand of the beautiful Veronika (Valentina Thielova, TRANSIT CARLSBAD). When the tide turns in the battle, however, Petr becomes not only the honored guest of the Count but also Veronika's new intended unbeknownst to him. While Matej settles into loftier surroundings, Vargas plots against Petr, and Lenka plays "The Fool" to antagonize Veronika, Petr tries to plot their escape before the God of War blows fate in the other direction again.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 18 December 1964 (Czechoslovakia)

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DVD Review: Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:21:09 (4% PAL speedup)

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.17 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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


Audio Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Liner Notes Booklet by Ian Hadyn Smith

DVD Release Date: September 15th, 2014

Chapters 12



Second Run's high bitrate disc just edges over onto a second layer at 4.96 and bears traces of edge enhancement (although the square reel change marks are the only distracting blemishes on the source material themselves). The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is described as "restored" so presumably Second Run did some digital clean-up on the audio provided with the master. The optional English subtitles seem free of any errors. The sole extra is a booklet by Ian Haydn Smith that describes director Karel Zeman's beginnings in animation, his early credits, and a brief appreciation of the feature itself.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

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