Closely Observed Trains

Closely Observed Trains

Jirí Menzel (1966)

88min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
This superb piece of cinema is one of the key pictures of the Czech New Wave of the mid-1960s and fully deserved its Oscar for best foreign language film. Set during the Nazi occupation, the film follows the bungled efforts of a bashful young apprentice railway guard to lose his virginity, seduce the stationmaster's wife and then kill himself. After a variety of misadventures, he meets a beautiful resistance fighter who finally offers him the chance to prove himself. Employing a complex, episodic structure, Jirí Menzel - making his feature debut - seamlessly dovetails satire, romance, heroism and the horror of war to devastating tragicomic effect.

Cast & Crew

Milos Hrma Vaclav Neckar
Masa Jitka Bendova
Stationmaster Vladimir Valenta
Hubicka Josef Sommer
Stationmaster's wife Libuse Havelkova
Station assistant Alois Vachek
Telegraphist Zdenicka Svata Jitka Zelenohorska
Councillor Zednicek Vlastimil Brodsky
Uncle Noneman Ferdinand Kruta
Circus performer Viktoria Freie Nada Urbankova
Director Jirí Menzel
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Other Information

Language: Czech +subtitlesBlack and whiteGuidance: Contains some violence and swearing. Available on: video and DVD