Die Kaskenades van Dokter Kwak

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Screening Details

Duration: 67 min. (Black and White) / Copyright Date: not given / Release Date: 5 April 1948 / Language: Afrikaans / Genre: Comedy / Alternative Titles: none.


When Dr. Hendrikus Kwak arrives in the village of Bergdal to take over the practice he has bought from the elderly Dr. Pansegrouw, he soon finds that “the dear old soul” got the better of the deal. The inhabitants of the town and its immediate surroundings simply don’t get ill and if they do they don’t feel sick enough to see a doctor. However, Kwak is not someone who gives up easily and after employing an attractive young woman as receptionist/nurse, he sets out to convince the locals that they are not as healthy as they feel. During his free Monday consultation hours he manages to find something wrong with everyone and with the pharmacist on his side he soon flourishes in the doctor business. So much so, that after three months the local hotel has been transformed into a sanatorium and when Dr. Pansegrauw arrives to collect his first payment, he ends up offering to buy his old practice back at ten times the price Kwak paid for it....


The film is based on and has been adapted from the stage play Knock (1923) by the French dramatist Jules Romains. The great Louis Jouvet made the role his own and played the part in two film versions, produced in 1933 and 1951 respectively. The South African interpretation displays much evidence of its stage origins, with director Pierre de Wet himself giving an amusing, but highly theatrical performance as the incorrigible and resourceful Dr. Kwak. Gert van den Bergh plays very much against type as the painfully shy and timorous schoolteacher who doubles up as the local taxi owner. Amongst those making their first film appearances are Frances Coertze and Al Debbo.


Pierre de Wet (Dr. Hendrikus Kwak), Gert van den Bergh (Poggenpoel), Paula Styger (Mrs. van Dyk), Jan Cronjé (Auctioneer), Helen Faul (Marietjie), Stanley Raphael (Chemist), Ben Havenga (Dr. Pansegrouw), Susan Roos (Mrs. Vermaak), Frances Coertze (Mrs. Brand), Bernabe van Alphen (Younger Twin), Al Debbo (Older Twin), James Norval (Stationmaster), Schalk Theron (Koert), Rynhardt Smit, Gerhard Mol.


Production Company: African Film Productions (Suid-Afrikaanse Rolprentmaatskappy) / Director & Screenplay: Pierre de Wet / Producer: Joseph Albrecht / Cinematographer: Frank Dixon / Editor: Gerald Ehrlich / Art Director: Rowland Evans / Sound Recorder: Douglas Geerdts / Sound Mixer: Edward Howes / Make-up: William Bell / Titles: Woolf Folb.


Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm


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