Ostre Sledované Vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) (1966) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ostre Sledované Vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) (1966)

Ostre Sledované Vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) (1966)

Ostre Sledované Vlaky (Closely Watched Trains)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Ostre Sledované Vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In this film, Vaclav Neckar plays a Czech railroad worker during the Nazi occupation. He undergoes several philosophical changes as he becomes attracted to the Czech underground. Determining at last that his own existence hardly matters in the scheme of things, Neckar volunteers for a suicide mission.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Bohumil Hrabal, Jirí Menzel
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 18, 2001
Criterion Collection


Václav Neckár
as Milos Hrma
Josef Somr
as Train Dispatcher Hub...
Vlastimil Brodský
as Counselor Zednicek
Ferdinand Kruta
as Masa's Uncle
Nada Urbánková
as Victoria Freie
Jirí Menzel
as Dr. Brabec, Dr. Brab...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ostre Sledované Vlaky (Closely Watched Trains)

Critic Reviews for Ostre Sledované Vlaky (Closely Watched Trains)

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

[VIDEO ESSAY] Jiří Menzel's 1966 masterwork of the Czechoslovakian New Wave captures the country's unique cultural identity via a subversive wartime story based on a novel by Bohumil Hrabal.

Full Review… | May 17, 2011

The absurdist fun resonates strongly in the memory.

Full Review… | November 15, 2009

Audience Reviews for Ostre Sledované Vlaky (Closely Watched Trains)


A master class in direction, mise-en-scčne, cinematography and editing - there is not a single shot out of place in it -, and it makes the best use of smart symbolism and hilarious sarcasm to jibe the Czech people and society as well as the soviet regime they were living under at the time.

Carlos Magalhăes

Super Reviewer


A young man's search for identity, and getting laid, is interrupted by World War ll, dammit. Later on Menzel will remake this film ("I Served The King Of England") and it'll be a better film then, but this earlier work pretty well gets all the ideas in there anyway. There's an interestingly parodoxical scene where the hero, unable to "achieve manhood", as he phrases it, goes to a brothel to commit suicide. Funny, no? Yes.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A young man's burgeoning sexuality is a refuge and a distraction from the Nazi occupation.
Reading other reviews, I think there is a lot of context that I'm missing. I'm unfamiliar with Czech New Wave cinema or the historical contexts that must have affected the film's production.
What I saw was a slow film that didn't amount to much beyond a self-conscious sex comedy. I noticed the satire when pious men deploy religion against sexual urges; though the reality is the complainers are just pissed off they aren't getting laid. And when Milos goes around asking various older women to sleep with him to cure him of "premature ejaculation," it seemed more the matter for a college comedy than an auteur's tour de force.
Overall, I wasn't impressed with Closely Watched Trains, but I'm owning my own ignorance in this review.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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