Closely Observed Trains details
|Starring:||Josef Sommer, Vaclav Neckar|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
Closely Observed Trains
|Run time:||1 hour 32 minutes|
|Rental release:||17 Feb 2004|
Most helpful review
Closely observed lifeBy wnbartlett (7 reviews) from Settle , 06 Jun 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]You'll like this film. Well shot in decent black and white from Eastern Europe while England were winning the 1966 world cup in faltering technicolour. Set in a rural station where the occasional german troop train rumbles through, the film is more about closely observed human weaknesses and life than trains. The new young lazy signalman observes all sorts of goings on in the station including the stamping of a leg, thigh and buttock (with the station's official stamp by a frisky older colleague) while he's having relationship problems of a different kind. Warm and well observed characters. Highly recommended.
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"ejaculatio praecox" Sir?By a customer , 25 Jan 2012Subtle in its humour; but you must wonder if the innocent lad Milos was set up to be the fall guy by his more experienced Czech railway station colleagues.
Surely the film must have been obvious in its criticism of work pactices - and explicit party 'guidance' to the then current fimgoers in communist CZ? Perhaps the setting in Nazi Occupied Bohemia was a perfectly innocent; a good cover to aim the critism at, and deflect possible interference by the authorities?
The film starts with the glorious history of some of MIlos ancestors ( a drummer invalidated out at the students riots; an uncle that to skip work had joined a circus and heroically with a single stare hypnotized a column of invading panzers... and his railway father, retired at 58 and lazily looking forward to a good 30 years on full pension...). His mother is so proud he will follow in such glorious shirking traditions, when he is apprenticed to the BMB, dresses him apprpriately in the uniform, and crowns him with his hat (all very Austro Hungarian)
Milos failure to perform in relation to his sweetheart is the cause of his sorry state. Does he become a man or not? His 'ejaculatio praecox' is the paradigm of the film and gets him into hospital....
One of the best ironies our unwilling hero suffers is when he is abducted at gunpoint after track sabotage occurs not far from his station - affecting one of the Closely Observed munitions trains - from the Station platform, by two angry SS officers bent on reprisals.
He is uncerimoniously taken on to the engine platform, his precious hat removed (Is he to be shot?) but the discovery of his dodgy health condition of 'ejaculatio praecox' instantly convinces the Nazis to kick him out...
The rest is even more fun as a disciplinary committee is held into the incident of the thigh and rump stamping on duty episode involving his senior colleague and the alluring female clerical worker he was filandering with.
While this committee is in session Milos morphs into the hero (and unaware he is about to sacrifice his life) by extracting from a drawer under the Commission's nose the explosives he will drop within minutes over a passing 'closely observed' train. He is shot as he stands up on the signal gantry from a wagon and flops on to the moving train before the train itself blows up in a few more minutes with devastating effect.
An ultimate irony ends the film with no action being taken against the self confessed 'timbreur de derriere' and Milos
frustrated girlfiend picking up Milos hat (presumably all that remains of him on earth)...
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Sexy, dark and funny!!By BinkyMymsy (11 reviews) from High Peak , 23 Oct 2011
[Highly rated reviewer]Wow, this film is amazing!!
Darkly funny and dramatic and terribly enjoyable!!
I must say that is has a very erotic scene in it (well I think it does any way) that is wonderfully sexy and seductive!!
Well worth a watch, and comes highly recommended from me!!
Wish they still made them like thisBy jerym (38 reviews) from caerphilly uk , 05 Sep 2011Beautiful little film. delicious sly bitter- sweet humour Can`t watch it enough only regret that we rarely see new films like this
Still good after all these yearsBy a customer , 29 Jul 2011Saw this on the BBC 2 World Cinema in my youth and really enjoyed watching it again when I found a DVD copy. Still made an impact after so many years. Has one of the sexiest scenes in cinema without resorting to any nudity - rubber stamps - say no more. Wide gamut of emotions: humour, love and tradegy. One of the few films that I own a dvd of.
Observe this!By Oldbloke (350 reviews) from Sidmouth , 23 Sep 2009In the backwaters of wartime Czechoslavakia, a young simpleton gets a job as a trainee signalman. With the encouragement of his lecherous superior, he concentrates on avoiding hard work and losing his virginity. A bit slow maybe, but it's also subtle, funny and occasionally surreal, I loved it!