Born Feb. 28, 1911, in Brno. Czechoslovak film director, scriptwriter, and People’s Artist of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
Vávra has worked in films since 1929. He laid the foundations for the monumental historical film in Czechoslovakia, directing the historical films A Philosophical History (1937, based on a novella by A. Jirásek), The Guild of the Virgins of Kutna Hora (1938, based on comedies by L. Stroupežnický), the trilogy Jan Hus (1955), Jan Zižka (1956), and All Our Enemies (1957, based on a novel by Jirásek). The film The Silent Barricade (1949, from a short story by J. Drda; State Prize, 1949) dealt with the national and patriotic struggle against fascism and with the heroism of the people of Prague. Vávra’s other films include Citizen Brich (1958, from a novel by J. Otčenášek), A Sunday in August (1960), Midnight Mass (1962), The Golden Apple (1965), and Romance for Trumpet (1966). His best films are noted for their high level of expressiveness and their montage and stills. Since 1957 Vávra has been a professor in the directing department of the Academy of Arts in Prague.