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The fire department in a small town is having a big party when the ex-boss of the department celebrates his 86th birthday. The whole town is invited but things don't go as planned. Someone is stealing the prizes to the lottery and the candidates for the Miss Fire-Department beauty contest are neither willing nor particularly beautiful. Written by
This film is great taken at face value. One does not really need to know anything about Czechoslovakia or the time period to appreciate its brilliance, the same way one does not need to know much about Medieval Denmark to appreciate Shakespeare's Hamlet. Therefore, I wish some of you here would refrain from making all kinds of clever comments about communism or how this film attempts to ridicule it. It's a simple story that is both hilarious and tragic, and it could have taken place anywhere. After all, human greed, dishonesty and stupidity are all around us. It just so happens this film was made in Czechoslovakia in 1967 by a Czech director, but the message is universal, and that is what makes it so great. So, to those of you who try read a whole bunch of stuff into it, please drop the condescending western attitude and just enjoy this gem of a movie without analyzing it too much.
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