Review: ‘Hori, Ma Panenko’

Milos Forman comes up with another funny, human but never sentimental pic after his Loves of a Blonde. A group of elderly firemen of a small town are planning to bring off a farewell ball for their retiring director. Filmmaker Forman has cannily used a bevy of non-actors to flesh out a practically plotless vehicle, a lively, brimming comedy on human conduct and smalltown life.

Milos Forman comes up with another funny, human but never sentimental pic after his Loves of a Blonde. A group of elderly firemen of a small town are planning to bring off a farewell ball for their retiring director. Filmmaker Forman has cannily used a bevy of non-actors to flesh out a practically plotless vehicle, a lively, brimming comedy on human conduct and smalltown life.

An attempt to pick girls for a Miss Fireman prize leads to heavy searching in the dancing, drinking crowds. A scuffle, when the girls are being rounded up to parade, is interrupted by a real fire. And a house burns down when the fire truck is caught in a snowdrift. Back at the ball, the lottery prizes are found to have been stolen.

The probing camera of Miroslav Ondricek, with his finely-honed hues, is a big help, as well as the sprightly music and well-paced editing. Title is actually a Czech folk song about firemen.

Hori, Ma Panenko

Czechoslovakia - Italy

Production

Barrandov/Ponti. Dir Milos Forman; Screenplay Milos Forman, Jarouslav Papousek, Ivan Passer; Camera Miroslav Ondricek; Editor Miroslav Hajek; Music Karel Mares Art Dir Karel Cerny

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 73 MIN.

With

Vaclav Stockel Josef Svet Jan Vostrcil Josef Kolb Frantisek Debelka Josef Sebanek
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