Without being vulgar or tasteless, this Czech production mixes comedy, drama and the most delicate love sequences against the background of the German Occupation and the Czech resistance during the last days of WWII.
The locale is a small railway station somewhere in Bohemia. There are only a few people around: the old stationmaster who is mainly concerned with his small cattle; the adjunct whose main interest is the opposite sex; and the apprentice Hrma, a clumsy young lad who’s still rather shy when it comes to making love to a girl. But he’s eventually given practice by an attractive female resistance fighter who doesn’t hesitate to spend a night with him.
The 28-year-old Jiri Menzel registers a remarkable directorial debut. His sense for witty situations is as impressive as his adroit handling of the players. A special word of praise must go to Bohumil Krabal, the creator of the literary original; the many amusing gags and imaginative situations are primarily his. The cast is composed of wonderful types down the line.
1967: Best Foreign Language Film