The Firemen's Ball Reviews

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January 24, 2020
A showcase for [director Milos] Forman's unique talents.
October 9, 2019
In the microcosm of the ball, there are no bad intentions, just ideas of grandeur that fall sweetly short.
October 11, 2018
The film is shot through with the darkest of Czech humor-everyone, from the committee to the people to the landscape itself is the butt of a joke, representative of petty rivalries, drunken idiocy, and smug leadership that cannot lead.
July 14, 2018
Although the film is enormously engaging, its humour is by no means all comfortable; nor is it meant to be.
September 18, 2017
In 1967, the year before Soviet tanks rampaged through Czechoslovakia, the Czech director Milos Forman subtly, scathingly used the premise of a quaint provincial party to mock the Party.
February 11, 2015
I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard that I cried, but I did for The Firemen's Ball, and more than once.
September 19, 2014
A socio-political satire that thrums with warmth and spontaneity, yet so enraged Communist authorities it was banned.
September 19, 2014
Begins as a gently mocking comedy of small-town manners, but ends as a blazing allegorical satire on the incompetence, insularity and ideological idiocy of the country's rulers.
September 19, 2014
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.
September 19, 2014
This ingratiating farce is perhaps the last noteworthy film of the Czech renaissance before the political crackdown forced most filmmakers, director Forman and co-screenwriter Passer included, into exile.
Top Critic
September 19, 2014
A delicious parody-fable of Slavic bureaucracy.
November 3, 2012
Milos Forman and his co-writers knew they were making a dangerous movie.
November 17, 2011
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.
June 4, 2011
The Party, the People, and the flames that won't be extinguished
March 31, 2011
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.
November 22, 2009
A lively but gross satire by Czech writer-director Milos Forman.
March 26, 2009
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.
December 10, 2008
The nonprofessional actors, hammy slapstick and overwrought politics make it a better conversation piece than viewing experience.
July 28, 2007
It may be Forman's greatest work.
October 10, 2005
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