The Firemen's Ball (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Firemen's Ball (1968)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Firemen's Ball Photos

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 chief, and laughed accordingly. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Cinema V


Josef Kolb
as Josef
Marie Jezkova
as Josef's Wife
Josef Sebanek
as 2nd Committee Member
Frantisek Debelka
as 1st Committee Member
Vaclav Stockel
as Fire Brigade Commander
Josef Svet
as Old Man
Josef Valnoha
as Adjutant
Jan Vostrcil
as Committee Chairman
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Firemen's Ball

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (7)

With Loves of a Blonde, it's the best work Forman's done, rooted in a social reality that has eluded him in his American projects.

Full Review… | September 19, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A delicious parody-fable of Slavic bureaucracy.

Full Review… | September 19, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Quietly, irresistibly funny in the early Forman manner (this was his first film in colour); but the belated switch to allegorical satire seems altogether too sour in the context.

November 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 10, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

A hilarious shaggy dog story, with the pessimism of the exquisite logic that leads nowhere.

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

Audience Reviews for The Firemen's Ball

Banned from Czechoslovakia for being understood as a satire that openly mocked the heroes of the Communist regime (the people), Milos Forman's first film in color is this hilarious story made by a talented filmmaker who did know his way with an unpretentious dark comedy.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

fantastically funny

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

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.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Firemen's Ball Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Firemen's Ball on our Movie forum!

News & Features