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

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

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1967 New York Times Film Critics. 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

Referenced in Knoflíkári (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Stamp of Excellence
17 August 2005 | by ww_sketcherSee all my reviews

Closely Watched Trains is a a film to be watched again and again.

It's a coming-of-age type story that delves into the viewers psyche, young Milos who has some troubles with his girlfriend, seems to have this dwell on his life. And the world around him reacts, from the woman riding a horse to steam coming out of the train, the woman working her baking, and simply the movement of young Milos becoming a man in his own sense.

But this film isn't just a sexual innuendo, smart comedy presides through it all which most anyone can pick up on, a lot of it is sexual but not all. Making it a surprisingly upbeat film throughout, a rarity not just in a War film, but Czech cinema in general. This may make it sound a bit too happy but it definitely isn't. It's still a moving piece that demands repetitive watches.

Recommended for anyone with an interest in classic European cinema. If you are going to start watching Czech films, start with Closely Watched Trains.


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