Film Heritage's Top 50 Czech/Slovak Films

by mymovieslists | created - 04 Sep 2011 | updated - 04 Sep 2011 | Public

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1. The Firemen's Ball (1967)

Not Rated | 73 min | Comedy, Drama

A volunteer fire department throws a party for their former boss with the whole town invited, but nothing goes as planned.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jan Vostrcil, Josef Sebánek, Josef Valnoha, Frantisek Debelka

Votes: 8,031

2. Marketa Lazarová (1967)

Not Rated | 162 min | Drama, History, Romance

A grim portrayal of the shift from Paganism to Christianity in medieval Czechoslovakia - as a young virgin promised to God is kidnapped and raped by a marauder who her religious father seeks to kill in return.

Director: Frantisek Vlácil | Stars: Josef Kemr, Magda Vásáryová, Nada Hejna, Jaroslav Moucka

Votes: 3,699

3. The Shop on Main Street (1965)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama, War

A carpenter in the Nazi-occupied Slovak State is appointed "Aryan controller" of a Jewish widow's store.

Directors: Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos | Stars: Ida Kaminska, Jozef Kroner, Hana Slivková, Martin Hollý

Votes: 7,083

4. Closely Watched Trains (1966)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An apprentice train dispatcher at a village station seeks his first sexual encounter and becomes despondent when he is unable to perform.

Director: Jirí Menzel | Stars: Václav Neckár, Josef Somr, Vlastimil Brodský, Vladimír Valenta

Votes: 9,994

5. Spalovac mrtvol (1969)

95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Set in World War II, a demented cremator believes cremation relieves earthly suffering and sets out to save the world.

Director: Juraj Herz | Stars: Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlasta Chramostová, Jana Stehnová, Milos Vognic

Votes: 5,738

6. Intimate Lighting (1965)

TV-PG | 71 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

One of the most important images of the Czech New Wave 60s, which was ranked among the top ten domestic films of all time. Feature debut screenwriter and director Ivan Passer is currently ... See full summary »

Director: Ivan Passer | Stars: Zdenek Bezusek, Karel Blazek, Miroslav Cvrk, Vera Kresadlová

Votes: 979

7. Lemonade Joe (1964)

84 min | Adventure, Comedy, Musical

Straight shooting Lemonade Joe cleans up Stetson City, in this musical parody of early Westerns, after shooting the pants off villain Old Pistol. Joe's endorsement of Kolaloka (Crazy Cola) ... See full summary »

Director: Oldrich Lipský | Stars: Karel Fiala, Rudolf Deyl, Milos Kopecký, Kveta Fialová

Votes: 2,290

8. Prípad pro zacínajícího kata (1970)

102 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Lemuel Gulliver (Lubomír Kostelka) has had a car accident and continues his journey across the unknown countryside on foot. On the road he finds a dead rabbit dressed like a man and takes a... See full summary »

Director: Pavel Jurácek | Stars: Lubomír Kostelka, Klára Jerneková, Milena Zahrynowska, Radovan Lukavský

Votes: 353

9. All My Compatriots (1969)

120 min | Comedy, Drama

Various scenes in the life of a tight-knit community in Czechoslovakia exploring the human spirit in the backdrop of the political changes that they experience.

Director: Vojtech Jasný | Stars: Vlastimil Brodský, Radoslav Brzobohatý, Vladimír Mensík, Waldemar Matuska

Votes: 648

10. Ecstasy (1933)

TV-MA | 82 min | Drama, Romance

Eva has just gotten married to an older gentleman, but discovers that he is obsessed with order in his life and doesn't have much room for passion. She becomes despondent and leaves him, ... See full summary »

Director: Gustav Machatý | Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Aribert Mog, Zvonimir Rogoz, Leopold Kramer

Votes: 1,855

11. Údolí vcel (1968)

97 min | Drama, History

Ondrej, a young boy who loves bees and bats, is introduced to his new mother, a woman much younger than his father. He brings her a basketful of flowers which she starts to throw in the air... See full summary »

Director: Frantisek Vlácil | Stars: Petr Cepek, Jan Kacer, Vera Galatíková, Zdenek Kryzánek

Votes: 1,226

12. Diamonds of the Night (1964)

Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, War

Diamonds in the night is the tense, brutal story of two Jewish boys who escape from a train transporting them from one concentration camp to another. Ultimately, they are hunted down by a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Nemec | Stars: Ladislav Jánsky, Antonín Kumbera, Ilse Bischofova, Ivan Asic

Votes: 1,382

13. Loves of a Blonde (1965)

Not Rated | 88 min | Comedy, Romance, Drama

A factory manager in rural Czechoslovakia bargains with the army to send men to the area, to boost the morale of his young female workers, deprived of male company since the local boys have... See full summary »

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Hana Brejchová, Vladimír Pucholt, Vladimír Mensík, Josef Sebánek

Votes: 6,466

14. Daisies (1966)

74 min | Comedy

Two girls try to understand the meaning of the world and their life.

Director: Vera Chytilová | Stars: Ivana Karbanová, Jitka Cerhová, Marie Cesková, Jirina Myskova

Votes: 8,103

15. Distant Journey (1950)

78 min | Drama, Thriller, War

The terrible effect of the Nazis upon a single Jewish family provides the basis for this drama. The family cannot handle the strain and gradually breaks up. Interspliced within the film are... See full summary »

Director: Alfréd Radok | Stars: Blanka Waleská, Otomar Krejca, Viktor Ocásek, Zdenka Baldová

Votes: 199

16. Carriage to Vienna (1966)

78 min | Drama, War

A WW2 story of a young Austrian soldier running from the Russian army and a woman whom he forces to come along in order to save his wounded mate.

Director: Karel Kachyna | Stars: Iva Janzurová, Jaromír Hanzlík, Ludek Munzar, Vladimír Ptácek

Votes: 553

17. A Report on the Party and Guests (1966)

71 min | Comedy, Drama

A small group of adult bourgeois friends are on a day outing in the country, that outing which includes having a picnic. While they are going for a walk after the picnic, they encounter a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Nemec | Stars: Ivan Vyskocil, Jan Klusák, Jiri Nemec, Pavel Bosek

Votes: 1,188

18. Romance pro kridlovku (1967)

86 min | Drama, Romance

A lyrical story about first love, death and disappointment, based on a poem of the same title.

Director: Otakar Vávra | Stars: Jaromír Hanzlík, Zuzana Cigánová, Janusz Strachocki, Stefan Kvietik

Votes: 189

19. Adelheid (1970)

99 min | Drama

In the aftermath of World War II, a former Czech soldier takes charge of a manor formerly owned by a German family. He falls in love with the daughter, who is now a maid, and is forced to ... See full summary »

Director: Frantisek Vlácil | Stars: Petr Cepek, Emma Cerná, Jan Vostrcil, Jana Krupicková

Votes: 592

20. Black Peter (1964)

85 min | Comedy, Drama

Reality movie of a few days in the life of a Czech teenager when he starts work.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Ladislav Jakim, Pavla Martinkova, Jan Vostrcil, Vladimír Pucholt

Votes: 1,987

21. Pictures of the Old World (1972)

70 min | Documentary

Pictures of the Old World is an unquestioned masterpiece of European documentary cinema, with existential radicalism that offers a contrast to the shallowness of hundreds of other ... See full synopsis »

Director: Dusan Hanák

Votes: 484

22. Slnko v sieti (1962)

90 min | Drama

Oldrich "Fajolo" Fajták (Marián Bielik), a student who directs quasi-existentialist verbal abuse at his girlfriend Bela Blazejová (Jana Beláková), takes off to a formally volunteer summer work camp at a farm where he meets her grandfather.

Director: Stefan Uher | Stars: Marián Bielik, Jana Beláková, Eliska Nosálová, Olga Salagová

Votes: 607

23. Starci na chmelu (1964)

90 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

LOVE HARVESTS IN SUMMER seems to anticipate 4 years the wrongful intrusion of the soviet tanks. And with the style of WEST SIDE STORY, puts music, color and emotion surrounding the born of ... See full summary »

Director: Ladislav Rychman | Stars: Vladimír Pucholt, Ivana Pavlová, Milos Zavadil, Irena Kacírková

Votes: 302

24. Ucho (1970)

94 min | Drama, Thriller

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 »

Director: Karel Kachyna | Stars: Jirina Bohdalová, Radoslav Brzobohatý, Gustav Opocenský, Miroslav Holub

Votes: 2,072

25. The Joke (1969)

80 min | Drama

In the 1950's, Ludvik Jahn was expelled from the Communist Party and the University by his fellow students, because of a politically incorrect note he sent to his girlfriend. Fifteen years ... See full summary »

Director: Jaromil Jires | Stars: Josef Somr, Jana Dítetová, Ludek Munzar, Evald Schorm

Votes: 1,063

26. Az prijde kocour (1963)

91 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Some people with a strange cat arrive in a small village. The cat wears glasses, and when someone takes them off, she can colour people, according to their nature and mood. The grown-ups of... See full summary »

Director: Vojtech Jasný | Stars: Jan Werich, Emília Vásáryová, Vlastimil Brodský, Jirí Sovák

Votes: 715

27. A Journey to the Beginning of Time (1955)

83 min | Adventure, Animation, Family

Youngest of four boys one day finds a fossil of trilobite. So his older friend take him on journey through prehistory, up to beginning of time, to see real live trilobites.

Director: Karel Zeman | Stars: Vladimír Bejval, Petr Herrman, Zdenek Hustak, Josef Lukás

Votes: 1,236

28. Witchhammer (1970)

103 min | Drama, History, Horror

A very popular movie on the medieval persecution of witches (inquisition).

Director: Otakar Vávra | Stars: Vladimír Smeral, Elo Romancik, Josef Kemr, Sona Valentová

Votes: 1,407

29. Capricious Summer (1968)

Unrated | 74 min | Comedy

Middle-aged Antonin and his friends, the major, now retired, and the canon, are in the river, swimming and philosophizing. Then it starts to rain. It just seems to be that sort of summer. ... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Menzel | Stars: Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlastimil Brodský, Frantisek Rehák, Míla Myslíková

Votes: 1,105

30. Vynález zkázy (1958)

Unrated | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

An evil millionaire named Artigas plans to use a super-explosive device to conquer the world from his headquarters inside an enormous volcano.

Director: Karel Zeman | Stars: Lubor Tokos, Arnost Navrátil, Miroslav Holub, Frantisek Slégr

Votes: 1,506

31. Erotikon (1929)

85 min | Drama, Romance

A young woman is seduced and abandoned by a man who was invited to stay at his home by her father in a stormy night. Noticing that she is pregnant, the girl decides to leave home and start a new life.

Director: Gustav Machatý | Stars: Karel Schleichert, Ita Rina, Olaf Fjord, Theodor Pistek

Votes: 446

32. Skrivánci na niti (1990)

94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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.

Director: Jirí Menzel | Stars: Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlastimil Brodský, Václav Neckár, Jitka Zelenohorská

Votes: 1,442

33. Návrat idiota (1999)

99 min | Romance, Comedy, Drama

Frantisek, the main character is returning to his family. Until now he's been, "successfully" avoiding all relationships. He is an ingenuous and a pure person and thus, is regarded as an ... See full summary »

Director: Sasa Gedeon | Stars: Pavel Liska, Anna Geislerová, Tatiana Vilhelmová, Jirí Langmajer

Votes: 901

34. Nebestí jezdci (1968)

91 min | Drama, War

The white gravestones at the military cemetery in English Brookwood display many Czech names. These were members of the British army of Czechoslovak origin who fought here and died for ... See full summary »

Director: Jindrich Polák | Stars: Jirí Bednár, Jirí Hrzán, Svatopluk Matyás, Elsie Randolph

Votes: 252

35. Petrolejové lampy (1971)

PG | 101 min | Drama

In 1900, Stepha, the vivacious 30 year old daughter of a wealthy couple, agrees to marry her cousin Paul, who has accumulated large debts as an Austrian army officer. Paul refuses to work ... See full summary »

Director: Juraj Herz | Stars: Iva Janzurová, Petr Cepek, Marie Rosulková, Ota Sklencka

Votes: 265

36. Holubice (1960)

76 min | Drama

A poetic film about a dove getting lost on its way to Prague getting shot down by a paralyzed boy. An artist who finds the dove becomes friends with the boy. Together they take care of it bringing it back to recovery.

Director: Frantisek Vlácil | Stars: Katerina Irmanovová, Karel Smyczek, Gustav Püttjer, Vjaceslav Irmanov

Votes: 451

37. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1959)

76 min | Animation, Comedy, Fantasy

The first puppet kinescope in the world. It is based on the famous poetic comedy by William Shakespeare. Three worlds meet in this story: the noble world of three Athens couples, a common ... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Trnka | Stars: Joss Ackland, Ann Bell, Richard Burton, Tom Criddle

Votes: 285

38. Staré povesti ceské (1953)

91 min | Animation, Fantasy, History

Excellent stop-motion animation film from one of the best Czech filmmakers, Jirí Trnka. It tells the ancient story of Czechoslovakia, how it was founded by Czech, the Forefather, and a ... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Trnka | Stars: Zdenek Stepánek, Eduard Kohout, Karel Höger, Rùzena Nasková

Votes: 155

39. Ecce homo Homolka (1970)

83 min | Comedy

It is a beautiful Sunday and the Homolka family are having a picnic in a forest not far from Prague. The grandfather and grandmother have settled comfortably in the grass, their son Ludva ... See full summary »

Director: Jaroslav Papousek | Stars: Josef Sebánek, Marie Motlová, Frantisek Husák, Helena Ruzicková

Votes: 525

40. Neco z Alenky (1988)

Not Rated | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

A surrealistic revision of Alice in Wonderland.

Director: Jan Svankmajer | Stars: Kristýna Kohoutová, Camilla Power

Votes: 10,164

41. Valerie a týden divu (1970)

Not Rated | 77 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Inspired by fairy-tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red-Riding Hood, "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.

Director: Jaromil Jires | Stars: Jaroslava Schallerová, Helena Anýzová, Petr Kopriva, Jirí Prýmek

Votes: 6,637

43. Transport z ráje (1963)

93 min | Drama, War

Teresienstadt camp where Nazis held prominent Jews during the World War II. Film shows last days of the camp under the Nazis.

Director: Zbynek Brynych | Stars: Zdenek Stepánek, Ilja Prachar, Jirí Vrstála, Cestmír Randa

Votes: 153

44. Zbehovia a pútnici (1968)

103 min | Drama, War

Three war stories ranging from World War I to a post-apocalyptic nuclear holocaust treat death and the fragility of the humankind through different approaches.

Director: Juraj Jakubisko | Stars: Mikulás Ladizinský, Jana Stehnová, Augustín Kubán, Helena Gorovova

Votes: 174

45. Den sedmý, osmá noc (1969)

103 min | Drama, Mystery

A bus arrives to the village, carrying a group of traveling actors who begin to perform passion plays from the Bible. Editor Alena (Kveta Fialová), lover of one of the actors, Baritone (... See full summary »

Director: Evald Schorm | Stars: Jan Libícek, Václav Babka, Josef Bek, Karel Belohradský

Votes: 93

46. Return of the Prodigal Son (1967)

103 min | Drama

Engineer Jan Sebek (Jan Kacer) is undergoing treatment in a mental home after his unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide. His therapist, via discussions both with the patient and with ... See full summary »

Director: Evald Schorm | Stars: Jana Brejchová, Nina Divísková, Jan Kacer, Klara Kacerova

Votes: 212

47. Vtáckovia, siroty a blázni (1969)

78 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Three adolescent war orphans seclude themselves in an anarchic and playful existence of denial and juvenile joy.

Director: Juraj Jakubisko | Stars: Philippe Avron, Jirí Sýkora, Magda Vásáryová, Míla Beran

Votes: 634