Closely Observed Trains (Members’ Choice)

March 10

Oscar-winning comedy-drama from Czech New Wave director and actor Jiri Menzel (Larks on a String, I served the King of England). Set in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during WWII, a shy clerk at a village train station fails in his first attempt at making-love. Feeling inadequate and despondent, a local doctor gives him some advice and he tries again, finally succeeding with the most unlikely of candidates. This is a gentle film about innocence, sit back and be charmed.

It’s great that Phillip Bergson, BBC broadcaster and member of the UK Critics’ Circle is able to join us for Q&A. Phillip’s also visiting lecturer at the Prague Film School and expert on Czech film.

‘Menzel’s love of small detail and his tenderness towards his characters leaves in almost everything your average Hollywood editor would cut … quietly uproarious.’

Derek Malcolm, Guardian. 

Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film plus BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.


Václav Neckár, Josef Somr, Vlastimil Brodský

Film Information

Title Closely Observed Trains (Members’ Choice)
Directed by Jiri Menzel
Country Czechoslovakia
Classification 15
Running Time 92 mins
Release Year 1966
Subtitles Yes
Colour No (B&W)