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Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator (1967)
"Ljubavni slucaj ili tragedija sluzbenice P.T.T." (original title)

 -  Drama  -  6 February 1968 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 708 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 24 critic

After many adventures, young female switchboard operator starts a love relationship with a serious young man. But while he's away on business, she gets lonely and succumbs to her ... See full summary »


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Title: Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator (1967)

Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator (1967) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast overview:
Eva Ras ...
Izabela, telefonistkinja
Slobodan Aligrudic ...
Ahmed, sanitarni inspektor
Ruzica Sokic ...
Ruza, Izabelina koleginica
Miodrag Andric ...
Mica, postar i zavodnik
Aleksander Kostic ...
Ekspert za seksualna pitanja (as Dr Aleksandat Dj Kostic)
Zivojin Aleksic ...
Ekspert za kriminalistiku (as Dr Zivojin L Aleksic)
Dragan Obradovic ...
Obducent (as Dr Dragan Obradovic)
Rade Ljubisavljevic ...
Aca Tadic ...


After many adventures, young female switchboard operator starts a love relationship with a serious young man. But while he's away on business, she gets lonely and succumbs to her colleague's passes. When the boyfriend returns, he gets into fight with the impregnated girl that ends up tragically with a killing. Written by nixona

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TV-MA | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 February 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An Affair of the Heart  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was initially refused a UK certificate by the BBFC owing to shots of pubic hair, though the distributor himself partly ruined its chances by ignoring the film's creative aspects and instead telling censor John Trevelyan "I am sending you a film with a few tits in it. I don't think much of it but I can sell it to the sex theaters". It was eventually passed with minor cuts in 1969 and released fully uncut on video in 1996. See more »


Featured in Zabranjeni bez zabrane (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

rats, a girl, and phallus art: all in a day's work for Dusan Majavejev
12 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

To the newcomer, especially to a work like Love Affair or The Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator, it might appear that the filmmaker Dusan Makavejev has attention deficit disorder. The guy isn't interested in stories like your Pappy filmmaker John Ford was. He comes from a country that has been through the war and revolution, but he's well aware of what the moving image can give to the intended (or unintended) viewer. His style goes from one thing to another in a snap, without fair warning. This is why, perhaps, the best entry point into his career is the scandalous, hilarious politi-sex docu-drama-comedy WR The Mysteries of the Organism. Once you get through that, and you want more, you can go on to his earlier works such as this one.

In a way it's similar to WR in that it tells a very conventional, some would say uber-melodrama, story of a average-but-pretty switchboard operator who meets a rodent-catcher (aka sanitation worker) and they have a love affair. It has this, but Makavejev also cuts in clips from a sex doctor espousing about the nature of sex and phalluses in art, and how an egg is more than "just an omelet" and faces the audience directly with this. And, on top of this, we get every so often a fact about rodent over-populations and some political imagery and workers marching the in the street for good measure. For the filmmaker, this story of a girl and a man having a fling, mostly happy and only sad towards the end of their affair, when an unintentional betrayal occurs on the part of the girl, is just part of the woodwork, and we can take what we will what it means in context of rodents and sex... or a murder mystery for that matter.

Some of the film is amusing in its sudden movements and cutaways. Take the scene where Isabella is trying to work late and the guy that runs the switchboard keeps teasing her sexually, trying to have his way. She finally gives in, very reluctantly, and we see her face is devastated. Immediately this cuts to a very scratchy-grainy film stock showing "Adam and Eve", a naked man and woman, in a circling movement in various sculpture-like poses. What does this mean? Why does Makavejev throw this in here? Perhaps as a practical joke, or as one of those self-conscious beats akin to Godard. But for him, it could mean everything or nothing. We get some blatant nudity, but none of the sex is too graphic; it's about average people, then made non-linear by a (somewhat) average murder case, and then made extraordinary by its editing style and fresh outlook on Yugoslavian love and work.

In other words, expect a free-wheeling film that mixes real romance and satire, real documentary footage and breaking-the-fourth wall, melodrama and tragedy. It's not always exciting, and a little rough around the edges. For even the somewhat-fan of the director's, it's an anarchic treat.

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