09 June 2014

Vít Olmer

Vít Olmer (1942) is a Czech actor, screenwriter, and director. He was the handsome, young hero in many Czechoslovakian films of the 1960s.

Vit Olmer
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 869, 1969. Photo: publicity still for Jarní vody/Spring water (Václav Krska, 1968).


Vít Olmer was born in Prague, Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia (now Czech Republic), in 1942.

As an actor he began in the Most theatre. He made his first film appearance in the lead role of Osení/Green Corn (Václav Krska, 1961).

The following year, he played a big part in the Sci-Fi comedy Muz z prvního století/Man from the first Century (Oldrich Lipsky, 1962).

He had a smaller part in the historical drama Dáblova past/The Devil's Trap (Frantisek Vlácil, 1962) about the inquisition in the 16th Century.

Then he played the lead in the lyrical fairytale Zlaté kapradí/The Golden Fern (Jiri Weiss, 1963) about a shepherd who finds a golden fern with magical powers. The seed of the fern turns into a beautiful young woman (Daniela Smutna) and they fall in love.

The handsome Olmer next starred in the romance Vysoká zed/The High Wall (Karel Kachyna, 1964) with Radka Dulíková.

In 1964 Olmer graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts. The following years, he appeared in such films as the war drama At' zije Republika/Long Live the Republic (Karel Kachyna, 1965), and the comic mystery Fantom Morrisvillu/ The Phantom of Morrisville (Borivoj Zeman, 1966) with Kveta Fialová.

Vit Olmer, Raka Dulikova
Vit Olmer and Radka Dulíková. East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 2568, 1966. Photo: publicity still for Vysoká zed/The High Wall (Karel Kachyna, 1964).

The Velvet Revolution

In 1966 Vit Olmer studied at the FAMU, the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and started to write and direct his own films.

He would make dozens of films, including the comedy drama Co je vám, doktore?/What’s up doc? (Vit Olmer, 1984), the comedy Jako jed/As Good as Poison (Vit Olmer, 1986) and Bony a klid/The Big Money (Vit Olmer, 1988), a retelling of the Bonnie-and-Clyde legend.

In the same period he continued to star in Czech films by other directors. Among them are the romance Jarní vody/Spring water (Václav Krska, 1968) with Kveta Fialová and the French-Czech coproduction À quelques jours près/A Matter of Days (Yves Ciampi, 1969), which was framed by the student unrest in Prague and Paris during the late 1960s.

He played a German lieutenant in the American war drama The Bridge at Remagen (John Guillermin, 1969), which was partly shot in Czechoslovakia.

At the time of 'normalization' (the velvet revolution of 1989), Vit Olmer was a member of the Communist Party. He does not want to talk about his membership and does not intend to apologize for it.

He continued his film career, mainly as a director.

In 2012 he ran for the Senate as an independent candidate but did not get into the second round.

Vit Olmer is married to actress Simona Chytrová. They have a son, Vitu. From an earlier marriage he has another son, Matěje.

BREZKOVA, Jana & OLMER, Vit_Progress Starfoto; 2695. Photo Progress
Jana Brejchová and Vit Olmer. East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 2695. Photo: Progress. Collection: Manuel Palomina Arjona / Performing Arts.

Sources: Vojtěch ‘Joeey’ Havlík (Csfd.cz) (Czech), AllMovie, Wikipedia (Czech) and IMDb.

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