The main character is the manager of a sport club, nicknamed "Teddy Bear" by his friends and acquaintances. One day he is detained at the border just as his sport team is off to a tournament - somebody has torn out a few pages from his passport. It occurs to him that perhaps his ex-wife has done so to get her hands on their joint account in a London bank. Therefore, he has to get to London as soon as possible in order to transfer the money to a different bank. The solution is a movie, made by his friend. The script requires a double role, thus the search for a character is announced. The double has to apply for the passport, and that is solved through a girlfriend who agrees to play dope's new fiancée. At the engagement party he is slipped a drug, and Teddy Bear runs off to the airport with the false passport. On the plane, however, he meets his ex-wife...
Stanislaw Tym (Ryszard Ochódzki / Stanislaw Paluch), Barbara Burska (Irena Ochódzka), Christine Paul-Podlasky (Aleksandra Kozel (as Christine Paul)), Krzysztof Kowalewski (Jan Hochwander), Bronislaw Pawlik ('Tecza' Worker), Ewa Bem (Singer), Zofia Czerwinska (Candidate for Irena Ochódzka), Cezary Julski (Bald-headed Woman Husband), Marian Lacz (Gasman), Stanislaw Mikulski (Capt. Lech Rys aka 'Uncle Dobra Rada'), Wlodzimierz Nowak (Poet), Wojciech Pokora (Songwriter), Eugeniusz Priwieziencew (Militiaman), Eugeniusz Robaczewski (Songwriter), Hanna Skarzanka (Charwoman), Stefan Sródka (Paluch's Pal), Jerzy Turek (Second Class Coach Waclaw Jarzabek), Andrzej Wasilewicz (Man with Mother), Barbara Winiarska (Woman with Meat), Jerzy Bonczak (Chrostowicz), Andrzej Fedorowicz (Driver), Jan Kociniak (Militiaman), Zofia Merle (Woman with Meat), Ewa Milde-Prus (Zofia Dyrman), Ludwik Pak (Zdzislaw Dyrman), Ryszard Pracz (Film Crew), Edward Rauch (Film Crew), Marek Siudym (Paluch's Pal), Andrzej Stockinger (Boiler House Worker), Janina Traczykówna (Village Woman), Kazimiera Utrata (Cashier on Airport (as Kazimiera Utrata-Lusztig)), Zenon Wiktorczyk (Wladek Zlotnicki), Maria Teresa Winiarska (Woman on Airport), Janusz Zakrzenski (Director Bogdan Zagajny), Szczepan Baczynski (Leon Konar-Derwinski), Tadeusz Bartkowiak (Customs Officer), Zbigniew Bartosiewicz ('Happy' Romek), Wlodzimierz Bednarski (Actor), Andrzej Bieniasz (Militiaman), Andrzej Brzeski...
Like most Polish movies of the Communist era, "Teddy Bear" has several layers of meaning. On the surface it's a comedy of absurdities. But the absurdities make perfect sense in the political context of Poland of the 1970th. The movie shows Communism is its final stages of decay. The system becomes a game with complex and absurd rules. Only people who master these rules can be successful. The film's hero is one of them.
The key to understanding the movie is the dialog between the hero and a film producer about a straw bear--a giant prop for the movie they are making. The producer uses common sense to try to minimize the movie's production costs. The hero explains to him how rational arguments don't apply in the system they are living in. The simpleton film producer is initiated in the ways of the system.
There is a progression from George Orwell's stern an tragic "1984", through Terry Gilliam's tragicomic "Brazil", to the comically absurd "Teddy Bear"--a progression which reflects the various stages and versions of Communism. The Polish version is the most benign and tongue-in-cheek and the film describes it perfectly.
Mis (Poland (original title)) • Teddy Bear ((undefined), International (English title)) • Méda (Czechoslovakia) • Miś (Poland)
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