The Shop on Main Street

"Good"

The Shop on Main Street Review


The Czech film The Shop on Main Street earned acclaim from critics around the globe, a success that culminated in its winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1966. But watching it today, it's clear that its success was less a matter of any particular cinematic greatness than it was timing and subject matter. By the mid-'60s Czechoslovakia was as exciting a film nation as Italy and France for many cineastes: Before the 1968 Soviet invasion the country enjoyed a creative boom generated by a host of young directors (Milos Forman most famous among them) producing intimate films that were also deeply engaged in Europe's tangled wartime politics. The Shop on Main Street, for its part, tackles the persecution of Jews in one small town, centering on an elderly Jewish woman, Rozalie Lautmann (Ida Kaminska), and Antonin Brtko (Jozef Króner), who's ordered to take over her shop in advance of the roundup for the death camps.

Early on the film has the shape of a comedy -- Brtko is a hapless peasant who's constantly harangued by his wife, and Mrs. Lautmann's nearly deaf and blissfully ignorant of the Nazi machinations surrounding her. Both play their roles with workmanlike skill, but while the movie neatly tracks Brtko's slow-growing wisdom about his inability to be an innocent bystander, its insights into fascism, family, moral responsibility, and religion aren't surprising. Directors Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos stubbornly play the story slow, severe, and foursquare; that may be appropriate for the material, but a pair of sweetly turned fantasy sequences suggest a less leaden, didactic film could've been made out of this parable. As it stands, this isn't much beyond dutiful viewing for students of the Czech New Wave.

Aka Obchod na korze.



The Shop on Main Street

Facts and Figures

Run time: 128 mins

In Theaters: Monday 24th January 1966

Distributed by: Prominent Films

Production compaines: Filmové Studio Barrandov

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 12

IMDB: 8.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos

Producer: Jordan Balurov, M. Broz, Karel Feix, Jaromir Lukas

Starring: Ida Kaminska as Rozalia Lautmannová, Jozef Kroner as Antonin 'Tono' Brtko, Martin Gregor as Jozef Katz, Hana Slivková as Evelyna Brtková, Martin Hollý as Imro Kuchar, Adam Matejka as Piti Báci

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.