The Firemen's Ball
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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
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"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."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A socio-political satire that thrums with warmth and spontaneity, yet so enraged Communist authorities it was banned."
‑ Jamie Graham, Total Film
"Milos Forman and his co-writers knew they were making a dangerous movie."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"A lively but gross satire by Czech writer-director Milos Forman."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A delicious parody-fable of Slavic bureaucracy."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"The nonprofessional actors, hammy slapstick and overwrought politics make it a better conversation piece than viewing experience."
‑ Stephen Garrett, Time Out New York
"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."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"The Party, the People, and the flames that won't be extinguished"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"It may be Forman's greatest work."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"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."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"A hilarious shaggy dog story, with the pessimism of the exquisite logic that leads nowhere."
‑ Renata Adler, New York Times
"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."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"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."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Once banned in its country of origin, this allegorical comedy is scathing and downright hilarious."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
More reviews for The Firemen's Ball on Rotten Tomatoes