The Firemen's Ball

"Excellent"

The Firemen's Ball Review


You can almost smell the cabbage in Milos Forman's The Firemen's Ball, a lovely little farce about a party for an 86-year-old fire marshall in a small Czech town. The problems center around a beauty contest, designed to pick the girl who will bestow an award to the elderly gentlemen -- only the girls aren't exactly supermodels, and then, once they've finally been selected, they're too afraid to go on stage. Other problems erupt (someone is stealing the prizes for the lottery), until the party is interrupted by -- of all things -- a fire.

This 73 minute film is practically a trifle, hardly a masterpiece but definitely the work of genius. Forman's social satire makes more sense in the context of 1967 Czechoslovakia, which had a government in crisis much like the firemen on parade in the film, on the eve of the country's invasion by Russia and imminent conversion to communism. The film was reportedly "banned forever" on the spot by the new regime. Apparently those Russkies were on to the movie, too...

Forman fled Czechoslovakia shortly after making this film. His life experience in a country none of us are likely to ever visit (and in fact, no longer really exists) makes our lives all the richer.

Aka Horí, má panenko.



The Firemen's Ball

Facts and Figures

Run time: 71 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 29th September 1968

Distributed by: Cinema V

Production compaines: Filmové Studio Barrandov

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Rudolf Hájek,

Starring: as předseda plesového výboru, as člen plesového výboru, as člen plesového výboru, as člen plesového výboru, Josef Řehořek as člen plesového výboru, Vratislav Čermák as člen plesového výboru, Václav Novotný as člen plesového výboru, František Reinstein as člen plesového výboru, František Paska as člen plesového výboru, Ladislav Adam as člen plesového výboru, as Josef, as Stöckl

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