7.2/10
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9 user 18 critic

...and the Fifth Horseman Is Fear (1965)

...a pátý jezdec je Strach (original title)
TV-MA | | Drama, War | 6 May 1968 (USA)
A Jewish doctor in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia risks his life and attempts to regain his identity by assisting a wounded political fugitive.

Director:

Zbynek Brynych

Writers:

Milan Nejedlý (technical screenplay), Hana Belohradska (prose Bez krásy, bez límce) | 4 more credits »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miroslav Machácek ... Dr. Braun
Olga Scheinpflugová Olga Scheinpflugová ... Music Teacher
Zdenka Procházková ... Mrs. Vesely
Jirí Adamíra ... Mr. Vesely
Josef Vinklár ... Fanta
Ilja Prachar ... Sidlak
Jana Pracharová Jana Pracharová ... Sidlak's Wife
Jirí Vrstála ... Police Inspector
Tomás Hádl Tomás Hádl ... Honzik
Eva Svobodová ... Porter's Wife
Jirí Pleskot ... Husband
Milan Mach Milan Mach ... Husband
Mirko Musil ... Husband
Roman Hemala Roman Hemala ... Husband
Slávka Budínová ... Mrs. Wiener
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Storyline

Dr. Braun is forbidden to practice medicine because he's a Jew living in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia. He's old, seems resigned about the fate of the Jews, and even works in the Department of Confiscation of Jewish Property. One day a neighbor asks him to assist a wounded political fugitive. Dr. Braun reluctantly operates to remove the bullet, but warns that plenty of morphine will soon be needed in order to keep the man from screaming when he awakes, which would attract unwanted attention. After some soul searching, Dr. Braun decides to redeem himself and reclaim his identify as a person and doctor by continuing to provide assistance. His search for the scarce morphine takes him on a nightmarish journey which includes a brothel where local women are forced to be prostitutes for German soldiers, a bar where the locals try to drown their misery in booze and dancing, and a Jewish insane asylum with a high suicide rate. Meanwhile, in a world where there is constant propaganda instructing... Written by TimeNTide

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Czechoslovakia

Language:

Czech

Release Date:

6 May 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

...and the Fifth Horseman Is Fear See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in The Projectionist (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Lili Marleen
(uncredited)
Written by Norbert Schultze and Hans Leip
Played and sung during the bordello sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

this gem of a film..
8 December 2004 | by didier-20See all my reviews

I spent one winter systematically going through each & every film in the London Czech Centre's Video library, & of all the films, I returned to this one time & again. It's a fantastic & bizarre film, where the state of despair that existed under communism is encoded in a strange blending of the past , the present & film

noir.

There is the feeling that an ad-hoc attempt to get past the censors unwittingly produces an utterly Czechoslovakian perspective.To those familiar with Eastern Europe pre 1989, the sense of time having become stuck & disorientated & playing games with your perception is part of

the magic of this film.

My fondness for this film is rooted in a nostalgia or need to remember

communist Europe. I first visited Prague in the mid 1980's & i was so struck that the Prague of this film replicated almost identically the Prague i found & came to know 20 years later, in the last years of Communism. My nights at the Cafe

Slavia were exactly as the Jazz club scenes depicted in the film, with the same dramas & the same characters. Also the sense of mistrust , betrayal & of being watched & listened to & the perverse relation to Psychiatry. I thought this connection was very profound, & it made me think this film was, in some way, important . Both the film & my experiences in Prague sat either side of the Brief thaw of the late sixties. They bypassed that optimistic period & looked directly at each other; the one reflecting a National trauma of the war & Communist conversion & the other reflecting the trauma of 2 decades of

stagnation. Often when people think of Czech New Wave, they think in terms of 60's youth & Prague spring. But this film brought home to me how brief that

period really was & it's focus is the context from which that period rose &

returned to; a shockingly, relentless, hyper-unreal, oppressive isolation which was the former state of Czechoslovakia. Go see, fantastic -


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