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Smoke on the Potato Fields (1977)

Dým bramborové nate (original title)
At the airport terminal lobby a husband and wife are parting calmly but seemingly for good. Unlike his wife Ema, the medical doctor Meluzin (Rudolf Hrusínský) is returning to his home ... See full summary »


Frantisek Vlácil


Václav Nývlt (screenplay), Frantisek Vlácil (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Rudolf Hrusínský ... Dr. Meluzin
Vera Galatíková ... Pavla Kodetová
Jana Dítetová ... Simonová
Marie Logojdová Marie Logojdová ... Markéta
Vítezslav Jandák ... Ota
Josef Somr ... Vlach
Alois Svehlík ... Kodet
Nina Popelíková ... Markétina matka
Václav Lohniský ... Jaros
Jan Faltýnek ... Karel
Jaroslava Obermaierová ... Vlachová
Vera Tichánková ... Pùlpánová
Václav Trégl ... Hybs
Jaroslava Tichá Jaroslava Tichá ... Ema Meluzinová


At the airport terminal lobby a husband and wife are parting calmly but seemingly for good. Unlike his wife Ema, the medical doctor Meluzin (Rudolf Hrusínský) is returning to his home country. He has become a district doctor in an area that reminds him of his childhood. He is given a room in the health-care center next to the flat of a childless Kodet's married couple. The chairman of the Local National Committee Vlach (Josef Somr) can't stop wondering why Meluzin has left his prestigious position at his former clinic, but in time the considerate doctor wins his trust, and the trust of his patients. Written by NFA.cz

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Plot Keywords:

potato | food in title | See All (2) »









Release Date:

April 1977 (Czechoslovakia) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Rauch des Kartoffelfeuers See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color (Eastmancolor)

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Did You Know?


Edited into Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

"That's not allowed! What are you, crazy?"
24 July 2002 | by cranesareflyingSee all my reviews

A measured, evenly paced, extremely controlled, psychologically mesmerizing film about a doctor's split with his wife, and his subsequent return to his Communist homeland, brilliantly underplayed by Rudolf Hrusinsky, a man in real life who was blacklisted in Czechoslovakia for his anti-Communist leanings, and only the slightest movement in his face could ever be detected. But he was superb in this role, his dignity challenged at every turn, but always remaining intact. He is introduced to a countryside clinic by the local Communist lackey, his quarters are spare and without possessions. Immediately, as the outsider, he is the object of the entire town's suspicion, represented in a single scene where he is smoking potatoes, something he must have learned as a child, in a small attempt to gather some semblance of himself. Yet across the landscape a cry is heard for him to put out the fire; that's not allowed; what is he, crazy? Every attempt to help someone is met with whispers behind his back and with the town's scorn. The psychological pressure to allow so little to be shown, always holding everything inside, as who knows, someone near could, and would use any piece of information against you. This film reminded me of some of the early Kieslowski films, such as the rarely seen CURRICULUM VITAE, where in that film the Communist Party pressure is relentless to obtain confessions from your neighbors for the most ordinary actions of men. To live under the pressure of such a constant cloud of suspicion, where the Party representative is rarely even seen or heard, is wonderfully transparent in this film.

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