5 user 11 critic

Larks on a String (1990)

Skrivánci na niti (original title)
Set in the late 1940s, the film concerns the treatment of suspect "bourgeois elements", a professor, a saxophonist, and a milkman, who are put to work in a junkyard for rehabilitation.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pavel Hvezdár
Jitka Zelenohorská ...
Guard Andel
Ferdinand Kruta ...
Public prosecutor
Vladimír Ptácek ...
Eugen Jegorov ...
Saxophonist (as Evzen Jegorov)
Jirina Stepnicková ...
Pavel's mother


Prague in the early 1950's. Bourgeois elements are being re-educated by working in a scrapyard full of the detritus of industrial society. The volunteer workers comprise a professor of literature, a public prosecutor, a dairyman, a saxophonist, a barber, and a young cook. Also working in the yard are a number of female prisoners serving a year for trying to defect... A camera crew arrives with potted plants and other props. An idyllic scene is created; the prisoners star briefly in a pro-North Korean newsreel before going back to work... The volunteers are striking because the scrapyard work quotas have risen without consultation. A union rep arrives to persuade them otherwise... The guard for the female prisoners gets married but the gypsy musicians make a mess at his reception. The cook flirts with one of the pretty prisoners and finally proposes... Written by David Carless

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

February 1990 (Czechoslovakia)  »

Also Known As:

Larks on a Thread  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filmed in 1969, the film was withheld by the censors and released only in 1990 after the fall of the Communist regime. See more »


References Monsieur Verdoux (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

superior to closely watched trains
9 April 2001 | by (North Thailand) – See all my reviews

menzel's "larks on a string" is even better than his "closely watched trains." supressed for decades in its home country this sharp, bitter and exuberant little comedy showcases its director's unique ability to mix humour and tragedy to great effect. a lyrical love story set in a scrapyard full of political dissidents who are occasionally carted off by secret police (never to return) if they talk out of turn. in the end it's an ode to the czech people, depicting them as refusing to be broken, full of a lust for life that cannot be contained even in the darkest times. some truly funny, great moments make for a deceptively simple, beautiful little movie.

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