7.7/10
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42 user 63 critic

Closely Watched Trains (1966)

Ostre sledované vlaky (original title)
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

Writers:

Bohumil Hrabal (novel), Bohumil Hrabal (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Václav Neckár ... Milos Hrma
Josef Somr ... Hubicka
Vlastimil Brodský ... Zednicek
Vladimír Valenta Vladimír Valenta ... Max
Alois Vachek Alois Vachek ... Novak
Ferdinand Kruta ... Uncle Noneman
Jitka Scoffin Jitka Scoffin ... Masa (as Jitka Bendová)
Jitka Zelenohorská Jitka Zelenohorská ... Zdenka
Nada Urbánková ... Victoria Freie
Libuse Havelková ... Max's wife
Kveta Fialová ... The countess
Pavla Marsálková Pavla Marsálková ... Mother
Milada Jezková ... Zdenka's mother
Zuzana Minichova Zuzana Minichova
Václav Fiser Václav Fiser ... Plasterer (as V. Fiser)
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Storyline

A young man follows his father's footsteps and joins the railway company, where he learns the job and has his first affair. Set in the country, during the German occupation. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All it takes to make a man of a boy is a woman. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Czechoslovakia

Language:

Czech | German

Release Date:

18 November 1966 (Czechoslovakia) See more »

Also Known As:

Closely Watched Trains See more »

Filming Locations:

Lodenice, Czech Republic See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmové studio Barrandov See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #131. See more »

Goofs

The blanket covering the stamped girl changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Milos Hrma: My name is Milos Hrma. People often laughed at my name. But ours was a famous family. Great Grandfather Lukas was a drummer and fought on the Charles Bridge in Prague. The students threw cobblestones at the soldiers and hit Grand Grandfather so hard that he was pensioned off on one gulden a day. He didn't do anything after that except buying a bottle of rum and a pack of tobacco every day.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Láska je láska (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly over rated Czech New Wave 60's comedy noir
13 September 2009 | by rboon33455See all my reviews

This is a highly acclaimed 60's new wave movie that won the Oscar for best foreign language film. It established the reputation of film director, Jiri Menzel, and is considered to be one of the very best Czech films ever made. However, embracing the possibility that this may ruin my status as a reviewer for ever, I believe its undeserved reputation significantly underestimates Czech cinema.

The film has a dreamlike quality which emphasises the bumbling sexual innocence of the main character, the Railway Despatcher's Apprentice,Milo, and which gives the unexpected dramatic ending real force.However, it is only then that the grim reality of the Nazi dominated world in which the film is set is really acknowledged. Milo is also an apprentice in the important matter of life and on one level this is a coming of age film. However, the visual sexual innuendo now seems very obvious and clichéd. None of its cardboard characters are really developed and Closely Observed Trains seems very much like a slow paced version of a British "Carry On" film. Like them it feels very dated. My partner was so bored she walked out half way through it. If you want to see a really good Czech film check out the short but superb,"Most"


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