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The Firemen's Ball (1967)
"Horí, má panenko" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  29 September 1968 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,752 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 41 critic

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 ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jan Vostrcil ...
Head of Committee
Josef Sebánek ...
Committee Member #2
Josef Valnoha ...
Committee Member
Frantisek Debelka ...
Committee Member #1
Josef Kolb ...
Jan Stöckl ...
Retired Fire Chief
Vratislav Cermák ...
Committee Member
Josef Rehorek ...
Committee Member #4
Václav Novotný ...
Committee Member
Frantisek Reinstein ...
Committee Member
Frantisek Paska ...
Committee Member
Stanislav Holubec ...
Josef Kutálek ...
Frantisek Svet ...
Old Man
Ladislav Adam ...
Committee Member


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 Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Barevná komedie, v níz se tancí, krade a hasí. (A colorful comedy, in which people dance, steal and extinguish the fire.) See more »


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

29 September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Firemen's Ball  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Included in Roger Ebert's Great Movies. See more »


Referenced in Show Leose Marese: Episode #1.8 (2015) See more »


From Me to you
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Played by the band at the ball
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the Top-Five Comedies Ever
27 March 2009 | by (Romania) – See all my reviews

Without hesitation, I place "The Firemen's Ball" to the apex of world comedy, together with Buster Keaton's "The General", Stanley Kramer's "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World", Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" and Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot".

Funny-wise, this is the definition of INTELLIGENCE, WITS, SPIRIT, INSPIRATION, BRIGHTNESS. The laughs are coming non-stop, in an atrocious vein. But there is much more than that...

Yes, there is much more - because, all being said and done, we watch an extremely sad story... The poor blundering provincials, limited, foolish, ridiculous in their stupidity, pathetically try to have a good time, and they only arrive to set-up a grotesque, sub-human masquerade... Innocent in their insanity, childish in their ignorance, their solemn ball looks like a parade of apes dressed as human beings. And the (you-know-what) hits the fan at the moment when things get really serious: the fire at Pan Havelka's house. During that excruciating scene, we really see the fallacy of it all.

The ending - all of it! - is the top of the masterpiece. The solemn delivery of the homage (that was stolen also from its case!), followed by the dawn shot of the two poor old men covering themselves with the same blanket, under the gently beginning snow-fall, is worthy of Chaplin. Definitely, with this movie, Forman offered a priceless heritage to the world of cinema - and culture; and spirit; and HUMANITY.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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