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Closely Watched Trains 1966 / Ostre sledované vlaky film review

Closely Watched Trains 1966 film review

Closely Watched Trains (1966, Czechoslovakia)

Original title
Ostre sledované vlaky
Running time
93 minutes
Our rating
★★★★★★★★★☆ 9 / 10

On the small Czechoslovak railway station Kostomlaty Milos Hrma begins his first ever job. He’s just graduated from railway school and dreams of becoming an adult man and even better a hero. Despite the fact that World War II is underway at a small station nothing is happening, time is running slowly, stationmaster spends most of his time taking care of his pigeons. From time to time Kostomlaty is visited by inspector, the avid German collaborator who instructs the locals that "Czechs are mindless, smiling beasts..." and tries to convince them they will be better off joining the Nazi movement. Hrma is bored with his job, so he concentrates on his own mattera and he falls in love with the female conductor, Maša. He is still a virgin, so he is jealous of the conductor Hubička, who is successful with women. But when Miloš has chance to spend the night with Maša, he experiences a disgraceful fiasco.

The film was based on the short story by Bohumil Hrabal, a well-known Czech writer. This is Jiri Menzel’s feature-length debut. In 1968, the film won an Oscar for best foreign film. Despite many dramatic events, this film is a comedy or at least a grotesque. The film is unusual, a bit surreal, which is further enhanced by the use of black and white film. Most importantly, this film is very original, just as the Czechs were able to make them, without the usual schemes, and in that it is attractive production. Jiri Menzel has also filmed several stories by Hrabal, such as Mr. Balthazar’s Death and others, all with success.

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Creators of Closely Watched Trains

Jiri Menzel films

Jiri Menzel


Jiri Menzel films

Jiri Menzel


Bohumil Hrabal films

Bohumil Hrabal


Cast of Closely Watched Trains

Vaclav Neckar films

Vaclav Neckar

as Milos Hrma

Josef Somr films

Josef Somr

as Hubicka

Vlastimil Brodsky films

Vlastimil Brodsky

as Zednicek

Jitka Bendova films

Jitka Bendova

as Masa

Vladimir Valenta films

Vladimir Valenta

as Maxim

Nadia Urbankova films

Nadia Urbankova

as Viktoria Freie

Libuse Havelkova films

Libuse Havelkova

as Maxs wife

Closely Watched Trains 1966 add comment
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