WE ARE ONE FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Back in 1978, when Czechoslovakia was still a single country, director Oldrich Lipský decided to take the much-adapted character of “America’s Greatest Detective,” Nick Carter, for a Czech audience. He had been played before in France by Eddie Constantine, and both Walter Pidgeon and Robert Conrad played him for American audiences. Nick Carter was the star of a series of dime-novels from the turn of the 20th century that were wildly popular. Think of him as a turn-of-the-century American James Bond.
In Adele Has Not Had Supper Yet, or Adéla jeste nevecerela (which translates to “Adela has not eaten yet”), America’s most famous detective, played in this instance by Michal Docolomanský, is summoned to Prague by Countess Thun (Kveta Fialová) to help her find someone who has disappeared. When told his fee is no object, Nick jumps at the chance to go to Prague, which he previously tells his assistant is “in Vienna.” Nick arrives in Prague and is met by Chevalier Franz von Kaunitz (Martin Ruzek) and Commisar Ledvina (Rudolf Hrusínský), who had been working on the case locally. We come to discover that the mystery is about what happened to the Countess’s dog, a Great Dane named Gert.
“…his plan to get Nick Carter over to Prague to exact revenge and to feed him to the hungry Adela…”
Nick uses his powers of deduction and his arsenal of gadgets that belong in the steam-punk hall of fame, with the assistance of Commisar Ledvina, who knows where all the great beer and sausages are in Prague. They discover that a carnivorous plant in the Countess’s bedroom must have eaten Gert. How did the plant get there, however? Nick notices that Baron Rupert von Kratzmar (Milos Kopecký), a friend of the Countess, looks awfully familiar. Rupert is beloved by many in the community, and it doesn’t occur to anyone that he might be behind what’s happening. He planned to get Nick Carter over to Prague to exact revenge and to feed him to the hungry Adela, the plant that the Baron has trained to get ravenously hungry whenever Mozart’s lullaby plays. The Baron also finds his high-school botany teacher, Professor Albin Bocek (Ladislav Pesek), who he has had a life-long grudge against ever since he flunked the Baron for not knowing where the pistil was in a flower. The professor has a granddaughter named Kvetuska on whom Carter gets a major-league crush. Carter and Commisar Ledvina, with the help of Kvetuska, do their best to make sure the Baron can’t harm anyone else with Adela.
If all of this sounds ridiculous to you, that’s because it is. Adela Has Not Had Supper Yet is Inspector Gadget meets Little Shop of Horrors. There’s loads of physical and visual comedy that reminds one of a silent movie or a cartoon. The tools of Carter’s are very cool, such as a solar rifle and a flying suit that’s somewhat reminiscent of Batman, among countless others. The movie is hilarious and weird, and I’m convinced that the creators of Inspector Gadget must’ve seen this movie and based the titular character on Nick Carter. There’s very interesting animation used on Adela that is somewhat reminiscent of another Czech filmmaker, Jan Švankmajer.
Adela Has Not Had Supper Yet was curated into the International Film Festival by Karlovy Vary. The film had been meticulously restored before the We Are One Film Festival. If you miss it during the festival, you can still check it out on Amazon Prime, and it is 100% worth watching if you love slapstick comedy and detective stories. Check it out today!
Adela Has Not Had Supper Yet screened as part of the 2020 We Are One: A Global Film Festival.
"…Inspector Gadget meets Little Shop of Horrors..."