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Dark Blue World (2001)

Tmavomodrý svet (original title)
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The friendship of two men becomes tested when they both fall for the same woman.

Director:

Jan Sverák

Writers:

Zdenek Sverák (story), Zdenek Sverák (screenplay)
8 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ondrej Vetchý ... Frantisek Sláma
Krystof Hádek ... Karel Vojtisek
Tara Fitzgerald ... Susan Whitmore
Charles Dance ... Wing Commander Bentley
Oldrich Kaiser ... Jan Machatý
David Novotný ... Bedrich Mrtvý
Linda Rybová ... Hanicka Pecharova
Jaromír Dulava ... Railwayman Kanka
Lukás Kantor Lukás Kantor ... Tom Tom
Radim Fiala ... Jura Sysel
Juraj Bernáth Juraj Bernáth ... Jan Gregora
Miroslav Táborský ... Vilha Houf
Hans-Jörg Assmann ... Doctor Blaschke
Thure Riefenstein ... German Officer Hesse
Anna Massey ... English Teacher
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Storyline

March 15, 1939: Germany invades Czechoslovakia. Czech and Slovak pilots flee to England, joining the RAF. After the war, back home, they are put in labor camps, suspected of anti-Communist ideas. This film cuts between a post-war camp where Franta is a prisoner and England during the war, where Franta is like a big brother to Karel, a very young pilot. On maneuvers, Karel crash lands by the rural home of Susan, an English woman whose husband is MIA. She spends one night with Karel, and he thinks he's found the love of his life. It's complicated by Susan's attraction to Franta. How will the three handle innocence, Eros, friendship, and the heat of battle? When war ends, what then? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

War | Drama | Action | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

Czech | German | English | Slovak

Release Date:

17 May 2001 (Czech Republic) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark Blue World See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,541, 30 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$258,215, 2 June 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Czech Republic's official submission to 74th Academy Award's Foreign Language in 2002. See more »

Goofs

The RAF-commissioned officer conducting the life raft training is shown wearing "shoulder flashes" with an embroidered eagle. These were not worn by commissioned officers, only by Warrant Officers and below. See more »

Quotes

Oberleutnant Hesse: I understand how you feel. A German officer would shoot himself in a situation like this. But you can... You are a different type of person. Heil Hitler!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in DVTV: Jan Sverák (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Pochod karnevalu umelecké besedy
by Jaroslav Jezek
Performed by Dvorakuv komorní orchestr
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sparse realism
20 December 2002 | by trask77See all my reviews

I've been a devoted IMDB visitor for a few years. This is the movie that finally compelled me to write in a review.

I caught this movie by chance (the opening credits happened to be scrolling past when I turned my TV on one morning). I thoroughly enjoyed the film for many reasons, all of which have been well covered by other reviewers -- the moodiness, the forgotten history of the Czech pilots, the subtle charm of the supporting characters, the fatalism of the main characters, and the first person view during the battle scenes.

But the element of "Dark Blue World" that really stood out was the lack of dramatic effects, especially during combat (and this is a good thing!). While the pilots were flying in battle no musical score accompanied them, no manipulative shots of worried spouses/girlfriends were interwoven, every little aerial maneuver did not elicit trite patriotic cheers, and viewers weren't asked to swallow unbelievable James Bond-esque pilot heroics. Instead the audience is allowed to feel the melancholy, fear and isolation of these single pilot fighters while they try to stay aloft during combat. As comrades are shot down we are spared tearful howls and the typical (but audience pleasing) revenge based heroics. Instead the other pilots sadly and quietly observe their fellow pilot's fate -- in reality they still need to remain intensely focused on their own safety and objectives at that very moment. We only briefly experience the pilot's breathing and the background roar of the engines as we, the audience, witness a friend spiral quietly down to his death. And then immediately 'we' need to jump back into combat mode and focus on survival.

Too often in Hollywood we're spoon-fed the emotions we're supposed to feel and no room is left for the viewer's imagination. "Dark Blue World" maintains a sparseness that captivates and involves the viewer, allowing us to invest in the movie and fill in the gaps and spaces using our own thoughts and feelings.

Excellent film, well worth seeing.


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