7.7/10
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53 user 57 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
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Václav Neckár ... Milos Hrma
Josef Somr ... výpravcí Hubicka
Vlastimil Brodský ... rada Zednícek
Vladimír Valenta Vladimír Valenta ... Prednosta stanice
Alois Vachek Alois Vachek ... stanicní pomocník Novák
Ferdinand Kruta ... fotograf Noneman, Másin strýc
Jitka Scoffin Jitka Scoffin ... Mása (as Jitka Bendová)
Jitka Zelenohorská Jitka Zelenohorská ... Zdenicka Svatá
Nada Urbánková ... Victoria Freie
Libuse Havelková ... Prednostová
Kveta Fialová ... Hrabenka
Pavla Marsálková Pavla Marsálková ... Matka
Milada Jezková ... Zdenina matka
Zuzana Minichova Zuzana Minichova
Václav Fiser Václav Fiser ... Zedník (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:

People kept telling young, lazy inexperienced Miles "Work makes you grow up. War Makes you grow up. Sex makes you grow up." So young, lazy, inexperienced Miles went to work, went to war, went, etc...etc See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening sequence, the "German" tank shown during the anecdote about Janos' grandfather is a Soviet SU-152 "tank killer" of WWII vintage. 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.
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Connections

Spoofed in Get Smart: Closely Watched Planes (1968) See more »

User Reviews

 
Train Station at the End
9 August 2001 | by oslojSee all my reviews

This film adds a quirky resonance to the history of Neo-Freudian interpretation of human sexual psychology in film that rivals Bertolucci's "The Conformist". Gorgeously filmed in black and white, each frame by frame echoes of a past when life was still mired in concealment and innocence. The story centers around a train station in a Czech, German occupied small town and an apprentice train watcher, Milos Hrma, who is confused about his place in the world. He is a young man and is approaching an instance in his life when sexuality is flourishing all around him and yet he can not comprehend it. Scattered throughout the film are leitmotifs that represent sex: the train blowing steam, a horse with a woman riding it, a skinless rabbit being fondled by a woman cook, etc. He is under the tutelage of a train dispatcher who seems a zealot when it comes to seducing women. Although he notices that the train dispatcher is a sex fiend, he does little to elicit help from him. The general thought of the males is that a young man should be bestowed with the foreknowledge and insight at birth. Thus, his inability to perform when his girlfriend Masa is in bed during a bombing causes him great existential crisis and leads to his attempted suicide. In fact, the war was subliminally to blame for his impotence. This isn't a political film but uses subtle innuendos to trace the history of a young man into adulthood. Scattered throughout the film are affable characters such as a pigeon loving, crap covered Train master, a noble, aristocratic woman, a benign, slightly insane, photographer uncle of Masa, and a Nazi ideologue who refuses to believe that the Reich is in ruins. The sexual metaphors are spread in gusty humorous episodes such as when the train dispatcher 'stamps' a girl's buttocks in a moment of ecstasy. In the finale, the boy is finally cured of his 'impotence' by a big bang, I won't give it away, you'll have to see this delightful film.


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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 »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,198
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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