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Closely Watched Trains (1966)
"Ostre sledované vlaky" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 7,105 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 44 critic

An apprentice train dispatcher at a village station seeks his first sexual encounter and becomes despondent when he is unable to perform.

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Title: Closely Watched Trains (1966)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Václav Neckár ...
Milos Hrma
Josef Somr ...
Hubicka
Vlastimil Brodský ...
Zednicek
Vladimír Valenta ...
Max
Alois Vachek ...
Novak
Ferdinand Kruta ...
Uncle Noneman
Jitka Scoffin ...
Masa (as Jitka Bendová)
Jitka Zelenohorská ...
Zdenka
Nada Urbánková ...
Victoria Freie
Libuse Havelková ...
Max's wife
Kveta Fialová ...
The countess
Pavla Marsálková ...
Mother
Milada Jezková ...
Zdenka's mother
Zuzana Minichova
Václav Fiser ...
Plasterer (as V. Fiser)
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Storyline

A young man follows his father's footsteps and joins the railway company, where he learns the job and has his first affair. Set in the country, during the German occupation. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All it takes to make a man of a boy is a woman.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 November 1966 (Czechoslovakia)  »

Also Known As:

Closely Watched Trains  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening sequence, the "German" tank shown during the anecdote about Janos' grandfather is a Soviet SU-152 "tank killer" of WWII vintage. See more »

Goofs

The blanket covering the stamped girl changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Milos Hrma: My name is Milos Hrma. People often laughed at my name. But ours was a famous family. Great Grandfather Lukas was a drummer and fought on the Charles Bridge in Prague. The students threw cobblestones at the soldiers and hit Grand Grandfather so hard that he was pensioned off on one gulden a day. He didn't do anything after that except buying a bottle of rum and a pack of tobacco every day.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.35 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amusing blend of comedy and war
20 August 2013 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

'Ostře sledované vlaky', the winner of 68's Foreign Film Oscar, tells the story of the workers of a small railway station in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia as WWII rages on and the railway is a target for Czech partisans. Young Miloš Hrma is in love with the conductor Máša but is unable to perform sexually in his first time; the somewhat perverted dispatcher Hubička tries to help him while also ending up in a sexual scandal; and a plot by the partisans is set in motion to attack the trains.

This Czechoslovakian film stands apart from others in that it is a serious war film but has the feel of the silly spy/noir films from the Cold War Era, as well as a strange, more sexually charged but still naive style of comedy. There is not much emphasis on the comedy aspect, the catch being that it comes naturally from the situations presented; some situations actually are rather funny, with Václav Neckář portraying well the naive and frustrated Miloš.

Sometimes it tries too hard (or maybe too little) to make the comedy come naturally, making it not work well; however, when not funny, it is still often amusing to watch, more so when you consider its sexual aspect in a time it was probably a scandal in most places for it to be shown this blatantly.

The movie is at times slow, a trademark of European dramas, but at only 93 minutes there is too little time to actually be boring. The talks in regard to the raging war are also convincing and very well done.

The ending is excellent, and one of the reasons I liked this so much. No spoilers here, but it was both unexpected and satisfying. A pity this isn't very known today.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Good film --BUT the anachronisms bother me Bob Pr.
What a unknown gem! Boldsoliloquy
Big deal? thisismynewe-mail
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Cab ride lukebarber2000
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