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The Firemen's Ball

The Firemen's Ball (1968)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 2,235

My Rating

Movie Info

Firemen's Ball was Czechoslovakian director Milos Forman's final film in his home country; he was scouting locations in Paris when the Russians moved their tanks into Prague in 1968 causing Forman to decide to remain an expatriate. Because of the supercharged political climate of the era, critics read all sorts of allegory and hidden meanings into the Firemen's Ball. Other critics simply accepted the film as the slapsticky tale of a disastrous small-town celebration in honor of a retiring fire

Feb 12, 2002

Cinema V

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (2) | DVD (15)

The nonprofessional actors, hammy slapstick and overwrought politics make it a better conversation piece than viewing experience.

December 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Milos Forman and his co-writers knew they were making a dangerous movie.

November 3, 2012 Full Review Source:

The Party, the People, and the flames that won't be extinguished

June 4, 2011 Full Review Source: CinePassion

The last film of Czech Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)before leaving his country for the U.S. was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

March 31, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A lively but gross satire by Czech writer-director Milos Forman.

November 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A text book art movie from a young rebel.

September 18, 2008

Once banned in its country of origin, this allegorical comedy is scathing and downright hilarious.

October 22, 2004
Nitrate Online

Works most impressively as a political artifact.

May 24, 2002 Full Review Source:

...the film strikes deeper chords and reminds us how important artistic freedom is to any lover of cinema

May 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

should be a one-joke political satire, but Forman brings a level of humanity to the allegorical meltdown that belies its sharply barbed political intentions

February 20, 2002
Q Network Film Desk

A work of genius

February 18, 2002 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Firemen's Ball

Milos Forman's first film in color and banned from Czechoslovakia for being understood as a satire on the Communist regime - an exaggerated idea of a hilarious and amusing simple story made by a talented director who knows his way with an unpretentious dark comedy.
October 3, 2013

Super Reviewer

fantastically funny
April 7, 2012

Super Reviewer

A hilariously quirky little foreign comedy from a brilliant director. There aren't any really well known actors or anything like that, but it's short and simple and enjoyable, so I highly recommend it.
April 4, 2012

Super Reviewer

Director Milos Forman's last film endeavor in his native Czechoslovakia is a comedy ripe with covert political satire, so much so that it almost cost him 10 years in a socialist prison.

A small town fire brigade is throwing a party to honor their retiring commissioner, complete with a dance, a prize lottery and a beauty contest. Murphy's Law applies and all that can go wrong does.

Whether it's intentional or not, Forman's film has a lot to say about the fallacy of social control committees and bureaus when they run counter to common sense and human nature. The Fireman's Ball is as courageous as it is funny. Four Stars.
April 4, 2012
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Horí má panenko - Der Feuerwehrball (DE)
  • The Firemen's Ball (Hori, ma panenko) (UK)
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