The Stolen Airship

In this artistically elaborate adaptation of Jules Verne's novel Two Years' Vacation, Karel Zeman took inspiration from Art Nouveau advertisements and newspaper collages. The five boys’ suspenseful airship flight is intertwined with a humorous tale of espionage, the aim of which is to obtain the invention of non-flammable gas.

Ukradená vzducholoď
Czechoslovakia 1966
86 min.
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.

The rapidly escalating pace of the story sits well with the increasingly hectic world of the late 19th century. The charm of Zeman's style lies not only in his faithful depiction of a child's world, but also in the poetics of his varied inventions. Airships, unruly vehicles, grotesque horse-legged conveyances, benevolent submarines – all seem to have lives of their own. Zeman uses the widescreen format for the first time here, which helps him to show his visually rich world even more perfectly, with many purely cinematic gags. Steampunk, flying, agents, a mysterious island, an investigation, suspense, adventure and two incompatible worlds – the strict world of adults and the unbridled world of children, full of imagination and adventure – all this lies at the heart of Karel Zeman’s Stolen Airship.

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Director: Karel Zeman
Based on: Jules Verne
Screenplay: Karel Zeman, Radovan Krátký
Cinematography: Josef Novotný, Bohuslav Pikhart
Music: Jan Novák
Sound: František Strangmüller
Editing: Jan Chaloupek, Josef Valušiak
Production Design: Karel Zeman, Jaroslav Krška, Zdeněk Ostrčil
Producer: Petr Čapek, Zdeněk Stibor
Costumes: Jan Kropáček
Cast: Michal Pospíšil, Hanuš Bor, Jan Čízek, Josef Stráník, Jan Malát, Jitka Zelenohorská, Čestmír Řanda st., Stanislav Šimek, Josef Větrovec
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.