IMDb > Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator (1967)

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

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Release Date:
6 February 1968 (USA) See more »
After many adventures, a young female switchboard operator starts a love relationship with a serious young man... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
rats, a girl, and phallus art: all in a day's work for Dusan Majavejev See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order)
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 ... Vodoinstalater
Aca Tadic ... Jorgandzija

Directed by
Dusan Makavejev 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Dusan Makavejev 
Branko Vucicevic 

Cinematography by
Aleksandar Petkovic 
Film Editing by
Katarina Stojanovic 
Production Design by
Vladislav Lasic 
Costume Design by
Jelisaveta Gobecki 
Makeup Department
Dragica Milivojevic .... makeup artist
Production Management
Aleksandar Krstic .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Branko Vucicevic .... assistant director
Zelimir Zilnik .... assistant director
Sound Department
Dusan Aleksic .... sound
Miodrag Petrovic-Sarlo .... sound editor
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Milanka Sultanovic .... wardrobe

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ljubavni slucaj ili tragedija sluzbenice P.T.T." - Yugoslavia (original title)
"An Affair of the Heart" - USA (festival title)
"A Love Affair" - Belgium (English title) (alternative title)
See more »
79 min | USA:70 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Finland:K-16 | USA:TV-MA (TV rating)

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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Balkan Spirit (2013)See more »


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
rats, a girl, and phallus art: all in a day's work for Dusan Majavejev, 12 November 2009
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

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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