The Firemen's Ball
The Firemen's Ball (1968)

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.… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 29, 1968
DVD Release Date: February 12, 2002
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

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.

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Tom Milne
Time Out

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.

Dan Jardine

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.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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.

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Variety Staff

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.

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Jamie Graham
Total Film

A socio-political satire that thrums with warmth and spontaneity, yet so enraged Communist authorities it was banned.

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TIME Magazine

A delicious parody-fable of Slavic bureaucracy.

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Stephen Garrett
Time Out

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

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David Parkinson
Radio Times

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.

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More reviews for The Firemen's Ball

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
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… More
Randy Tippy
Director Milos Forman's last film endeavor in his native Czechoslovakia is a comedy ripe with covert political satire, so much so that it almost cost him… More
Ken Stachnik
fantastically funny
Tim Sigur
Milos Foreman before Amadeus and with real people instead of actors = badass.
Aj V
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… More
Pierluigi Puccini
Hilarious. Reminded me of the farcical tone and ineptitude of the Keystone cops and sense of anarchy of the Marx brothers. Superb political satire.