By Lawrence O'Toole
Updated January 10, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST
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Closely Watched Trains

type
  • Movie

Director Jiri Menzel expertly juggles pathos and absurdity in this erotic and ultimately shocking black comedy about life at a Czechoslovak train station during World War II. With a puritanical stationmaster and a satyric conductor for role models, a callow dispatcher (Vaclav Neckar) discovers love and pain on his new job. Menzel’s generosity of spirit toward his characters lends the film a sweetness that is accomplished and rare. Winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1967, Closely Watched Trains loses little, and in fact gains in intimacy, in the transfer to video (at least in this new release — avoid the older, RCA/Columbia version, whose subtitles are frequently unreadable). A-

Closely Watched Trains

type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
  • UNRATED
runtime
  • 93 minutes
director
  • Jiri Menzel

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