I Served the King of England
I Served the King of England (2008)

Despite the 1997 death of longtime friend and Closely Watched Trains collaborator Bohumil Hrabal, 1960s-era Czech New Wave filmmaker Jirí Menzel enters into a postmortem collaboration with the famed author in this pitch-black comedy… More

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Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: August 29, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009
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Critic Score: 80% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: With charm and an eye for life's bittersweet moments, Czech New Wave master Jiri Menzel paints a picaresque story with whimsy and intellect.

Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

The world it depicts is too dangerous and too lovely to classify.

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Peter Howell
Toronto Star

Most movies of this kind would lead towards redemption of sorts. Menzel prefers quiet introspection to loud conversion, and that's both a strength and weakness of this movie.

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Peter Bradshaw

The pseudo-sensuality is annoying and the supposed absurdism and satire are flimsy.

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Jonathan F. Richards

The movie is filled with wonderful moments, set pieces of absurdity, and a richness of humor. But underneath, Menzel and Hraba have a wry and sometimes painful story to tell of the history of their country in the 20th century.

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

I Served the King of England should be a brilliant picture, one last testament to the intertwined sensibilities of two brave artists. Should be, but isn't.

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Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan

[A] delightful, lighthearted satire, a quirky story of fantasy, wealth and pretty women with exposed nipples.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

Tasty enough but inoffensive even when it should offend, provoke, startle.

Larry Ratliff
San Antonio Express-News

I Served the King of England plays like a combination of Life Is Beautiful and Forrest Gump.

Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International

This inventive, charming picture-perfect picaresque tale of an ambitious young Czech rascal scrambling in the pre-Nazi and wartime eras marks a welcome and victorious return for Jiri Menzel, whose last major conquest was his 1967 Oscar-winning debut, C

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More reviews for I Served the King of England

Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
An short old man wryly recalls his days of short wily youth when he dreamed of making the big time come hell or high water, only there was that damn war… More
Walter M.
"I Served the King of England" starts sometime in the 1960's with Jan Dite(Oldrich Kaiser), "a small man from a small town," getting… More
Elvira B
I don't know much about Jiri Menzel, but I know he's a reknown Czech new wave filmmaker (correct me if I'm wrong). Unbiased as I am, here's… More
Mark Abell
Quirky tale about a simple man, Jan Ditie (Ivan Barney and Oldrich Kaiser) with a simple plan: watch and learn how millionaires live so that when he becomes… More
Ross Collins
A hilarious story that follows the life of a lucky barman starting in the opulent 20s & 30s with tales of the Czech aristocracy's extravagant life,… More
John Ballantine
Wonderfully quirky and wonderfully witty. Grab it if your video store has a copy or two.