7.9/10
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11 user 30 critic

The Ear (1990)

Ucho (original title)
Husband (senior ministry official) and wife find their house is riddled with listening devices put there by his own ministry. A harrowing night follows (reminiscent of 'Who's Afraid Of ... See full summary »

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, (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jirina Bohdalová ...
Anna
Radoslav Brzobohatý ...
Ludvik
Gustav Opocenský
Miroslav Holub
Lubor Tokos
Borivoj Navrátil ...
Cejnar
Jirí Císler
Jaroslav Moucka
Karel Vasicek
Ladislav Krivácek
Frantisek Nemec
Jan Teplý
Josef Sulc
Bronislav Poloczek
Alois Mottl
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Storyline

Husband (senior ministry official) and wife find their house is riddled with listening devices put there by his own ministry. A harrowing night follows (reminiscent of 'Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf'), and the resolution is _worse_ than being carted off to jail... Written by Stephen Simmonds <ssimmond@extro.ucc.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1990 (Czechoslovakia)  »

Also Known As:

A fül  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director's first choice for the part of Ludvík was Vladimír Brabec and Jirina Jirásková was supposed to play Anna, his wife. Finally Karel Kachyna casted Radoslav Brzobohatý and Jirina Bohdalová, who were real-life couple at the time. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Krásný ztráty: Episode dated 14 April 2003 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding and only unknown because of bad luck
21 May 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is an outstanding film, even by the standards of the Czech New Wave and a hundred times better that The Lives of Others which covers similar ground and won much acclaim and the Oscar for Foreign Film- which just confirms that the process of critical evaluation and film recognition is grossly unfair. The only reason Ucho is not on any Best Film lists is because is was made in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact I am also baffled that it every got made at all- I see how it got banned, but how did anyone get the studio to make it?

So what makes the film outstanding?...well everything really: Like all the Czech films of this period, it is great in every department.

Very good photography cutting from the pitch black house (shot entirely by candlight- no mean feat technically) to the crossly overlit party. At the party, there is a lot of virtuosic hand held camera and wide angle point of view shots as the man slips in uncut sequence from intense gossip huddle to gossip huddle. These shots alone are remarkable.

Acting- the core of the film is the disintegrating relationship between the man and his alcoholic wife – it's like Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff but with the added edge that every accusation she makes of him is overheard and potentially going to destroy them. It's very well acted.

Music and sound- typically of Czech films, a minimalist modern score with a very skillful post dub sound edit and mix

Script- beautifully nuanced...maybe drags a little in the middle, but it takes on a huge challenge and it does it very well


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