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The Shop on Main Street (Criterion Collection) (1965)

Cast: Josef Kroner, Frantisek Zvarik, Ida Kaminska, more...
Director: Elmar Klos, Ján Kadár
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Criterion Collection
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Czech, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 125 min.
Subtitles: English
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Synopsis
The 1965 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, The Shop on Main Street (Obch o Na Korze) stars Josef Kroner as Tono Briko, a slothful Czechslovakian carpenter. The time is World War II, and the occupying Nazis are nationalizing all Jewish-owned businesses. To please his ambitious family, Tono takes the job of "Aryan comptroller" for a rundown button shop managed by an elderly Jewish woman (Ida Kaminska). He realizes that his new job won't bring much in the way of money; the old woman, deaf as a post, realizes nothing, not even that a war is on. The shopkeeper's Jewish friends, knowing that the woman will be carted off for extermination if she doesn't have an Aryan coworker, offer to pay Tono if he'll stay on as her assistant. Kroner and the old woman form a friendship, but when the order goes out that all Jews be rounded up, he panics and prepares to turn her over to the Nazis. His last-minute change of heart unfortunately comes too late. In contrast to the tragic denouement of the film, Shop on Main Street closes on a idyllic, dreamlike sequence, showing the smiling shopkeeper and clerk walking together through the countryside, free from all danger and fear. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

wish I could speak Czech.... by funnytoo April 28, 2012 - 8:25 PM PDT
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...and be able to catch all the nuances, translations always seem to leave too much glossed over. This is truly a heart wrenching movie & well deserving of it's Oscar. The performances of Josef Kroner and Ida Kaminska are at the center of this black & white drama and although we've seen the horror of the Nazi's dealing with the Jews before, this one will stay with you just like Lacombe, Lucien from 1974 has.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.49)
63 Votes
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Best of WW2
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Great movies in, about, and around World War II. And no I did not 'forget' Saving Private Ryan.
goodyerin
Paulina Borsook's "Movies for Adults"
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A list to accompany "Movies for Adults." All comments are Paulina's...
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