8.0/10
7,076
24 user 79 critic

The Cremator (1969)

Spalovac mrtvol (original title)
Set in Central Europe during World War II, a demented cremator believes cremation relieves earthly suffering and sets out to save the world.

Director:

Juraj Herz

Writers:

Ladislav Fuks (novel), Ladislav Fuks (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rudolf Hrusínský ... Kopfrkingl
Vlasta Chramostová ... Lakmé / Dagmar
Jana Stehnová Jana Stehnová ... Zina
Milos Vognic ... Mili
Zora Bozinová Zora Bozinová ... Reinkeová
Ilja Prachar ... Walter Reinke
Eduard Kohout ... Bettleheim
Jirí Menzel ... Dvorák
Míla Myslíková ... Hloupá zena
Vladimír Mensík ... Manzel hloupé zeny
Jirí Lír ... Strauss
Václav Stekl ... Hudebník / rozhodcí boxu / majitel panoptika
Helena Anýzová ... Bledá dívka
Jindrich Narenta ... Nacista ve smokingu
Marie Rosulková ... Zena dozadující se rakvicky
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Storyline

Czech Karel Kopfrkingl enjoys his job at a crematorium in the late 1930s. He likes reading the Tibetan book of the dead, and espouses the view that cremation relieves earthly suffering. At a reception, he meets Reineke, with whom he fought for Austria in the first World War. Reineke convinces Kopfrkingl to emphasize his supposedly German heritage, including sending his timid son to the German school. Reineke then suggests that Kopfrkingl's half-Jewish wife is holding back his advancement in his job. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has a 100% rating based on 6 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »

Goofs

Interiors, fashion and hairstyle are in some cases obviously from the sixties... See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Kopfrkingl: My sweet. This is the blessed spot where we met 17 years ago. Only the leopard is new. Kind nature long ago relieved the other of his shackles. You see, dear, I keep talking of nature's benevolence, of merciful fate, of the kindness of God. We judge and criticize others, rebuke them. But what about ourselves? I always have the feeling that I do so little for you.
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Connections

Referenced in Death of a Shadow (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

New World Symphony Op. 95 - Largo
Composed by Antonín Dvorák
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User Reviews

 
Fantastic And Chilling
15 March 2007 | by zoothorn21See all my reviews

Juraj Herz's The Cremator, lost to Western audiences for many years before being recently rediscovered by the Brothers Quay, is an extraordinary surreal meditation on the political horror of 1930s Europe. Hrusínský's remarkable title performance literally and figuratively fills the screen, an alarming depiction of a deceptive and compulsive character slowly inhabited by Nazi political dogma. In some respects The Cremator recalls Polanski's claustrophobic nightmare Repulsion, though this is arguably even further out than Polanski could manage. Utterly devastating but incredibly watchable (the 90 minute running time passes in a heartbeat), this is a real find. I posted this comment because I was aware that the only other comment on the film was negative, and I really do believe it is worth your time checking this out.


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Details

Country:

Czechoslovakia

Language:

Czech | Hebrew

Release Date:

14 March 1969 (Czechoslovakia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cremator See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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