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90 Degrees in the Shade

  • Crime/detective
  • Drama
  • 1965
  • Jirí Weiss
  • 86 mins
  • 12

Summary

A respected grocery shop employee in Prague is covering up for her manager's misconduct with whom she is having an affair; however, things will get complicated when a thorough auditor pays a visit.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

The connection between gritty British realism and the Czech New Wave is readily evident in Jirí Weiss's stark allegory. Set in a Prague off-licence, it centres on the efforts of manager (and covert black marketeer) James Booth and mistress Anne Heywood to replace some stolen whisky bottles before a pair of government inspectors (Donald Wolfit and Rudolf Hrusinsky) complete a stock take. Tautly scripted by David Mercer and shot in close-ups to emphasise the oppressive sense of constant surveillance and suspicion, the action contrasts the plight of the lovers with the officious Hrusinsky's unhappy home life, as he is loathed for being a Communist Party lackey by both his wife (Ann Todd) and their teenage son. Filmed in Barrandov Studios on evocatively dingy sets, this may be dramatically uneven in places. But it also offers an intriguing insight into life in the Czech capital prior to the Prague Spring in 1968.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
AlenaAnne Heywood
VorellJames Booth
Mr KurkaRudolf Hrusinsky
Mrs KurkaAnn Todd
BazantDonald Wolfit

Crew

rolename
DirectorJirí Weiss

Details

Languages
English | Czech
Available on
DVD
Formats
Black and white
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