A Case for a Rookie Hangman Blu-ray
Drama / Fantasy / Mystery

A Case for a Rookie Hangman

A free-form and darkly surreal adaptation of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Pavel Juráček's film also channels Lewis Carroll and Franz Kafka to create one of Czecholsovak cinema's most unique and deeply disturbing works.

A man becomes lost on a country road and finds himself in an alternative, nightmare world that mirrors (then) modern-day Czechoslovakia. Needless to say the film was not warmly received by the authorities, and like his earlier surrealist masterwork Josef Kilián (1963), was promptly 'banned forever'.


Juráček, who had earlier co-written Věra Chytilová's Daisies, Jindřich Polák's pioneering Ikarie XB 1 and Karel Zeman's A Jester's Tale, never made another film - but his legacy is one of the most profound, invigorating and important in all Czech cinema.

Our Blu-ray edition also contains a new 4K restoration presentation of Pavel Jurácek and Jan Schmidt’s Josef Kilián.

"Here is absurdity, transgression, jet-black comedy and the unexplained"
- Time Out

"A formally audacious political fantasia that transforms the third book of Gulliver's Travelsinto an allegory on coercion and tyranny... It stands with Vera Chytilova's Daisies, Ivan Passer's Intimate Lighting, and Milos Forman's The Firemen's Ball as one of the major achievements of the Czech New Wave"
- Chicago Reader


Production Year: 1970
Region Code: Free
UK Rating: 12
Running Time: 107 mins
Number of Discs: 1
Language: Czech
Subtitles: English
Audio: 2.0 Dual Mono LPCM/24-bit
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Colour: Black & White
Director Pavel Jurácek
Cast Lubomír Kostelka
Cast Klára Jerneková
Cast Milena Zahrynowska


  • A Case for a Rookie Hangman (Případ pro začínajícího kata, 1969) presented from a brand new 4K restoration of the film from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive.
  • Josef Kilián(Postava k podpírání, 1963):presented from a brand new 4K restoration of the film from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive.
  • Two additional short films written by Pavel Jurácek and directed by Jan Schmidt:
    - Cars Without a Home(Auta bez domova, 1959) 
    - Black and White Sylva(Cernobílá Sylva, 1961)
  • The Projection Booth podcast with Mike White Kat Ellinger, Kevin Heffernan and Peter Hames
  • Trailer
  • Booklet featuring new writing on the film by film historian Michael Brooke
  • New and improved English subtitle translation.
  • Region free Blu-ray 
  • Original soundtrack in 2.0 Dual Mono 24-bit LPCM audio
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray.