Film 144 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1967’s “The Firemen’s Ball”. Or as it’s known in Czechoslovakia at the time, “Hoří, má panenko”. This comedy drama is set at an annual ball of a small town’s volunteer fire department, and the plot portrays the series of disasters that occur during the evening. In 2002, Roger Ebert had this to say about the film, “The movie is just plain funny. And as a parable it is timeless, with relevance at many times in many lands”. I have no idea what Roger found funny because I didn’t laugh at all throughout the film. I read online that this film is a Czech version of a “Carry On” film which I was looking forward to. But it’s nothing like a “Carry On” film. Every fireman in this film comes across as a pervert, all the women in the film aren’t attractive (even the ones for the beauty pageant) and nothing makes any sense. Why does one of the firemen have a Hitler mustache? Why is one fireman arguing about prizes at a raffle? Why are all of them terrible at their jobs? There’s one scene where a old man’s house is on fire and I didn’t spot one fireman there. I saw a bunch of policemen there and a guy selling beer but no firemen. This film made no sense what so ever. It was never explained why they’re having a beauty pageant, it was never explained why one of the firemen was stealing all the raffle prizes and what was the deal with the axe? Also, for a film that is only 73 minutes long, it really dragged. I lost interest after 25 minutes but carried on watching thinking “maybe something will happen”. Nothing happened. Unless you find someone’s house burning down or old men trying to grope women funny. Fun Fact of the Film – The idea for the film arose after Milos Forman and Ivan Passer attended a fireman’s ball in a small town. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1967’s “The Firemen’s Ball”
Film – The Fireman’s Ball (Hori, ma panenko)
Year – 1967
Director – Milos Forman
Written by – Milos Forman, Ivan Passer, Jaroslav Papousek
Staring – Van Vostrcil, Josef Sebanek, Josef Valnoha
IMDb Rating – 7.7/10
My Rating – DUD
Length – 73 min (1h 13min)
Genre – Comedy, Drama
This music sounds like it belongs in a war movie
I have an axe! – Gimli gave me it
Eight firemen have a beer and a chat about something – It’s all in Czech
That fireman looks like Tommy Lee Jones
Time to prepare for the ball
Nothing like a raffle at a ball
Was that a pig’s head at the raffle?
Who’s eaten the raffle prize?
The fireman looks like Ade Edmundson
Sit down! You’re drunk
Are they having a fight over a pair of shoes?
Whoops! Someone didn’t look after that guy’s ladder!
And there goes the banner
Now we get the opening credits – Only been 8 minutes
Time for the actual ball and it looks like a good time
That guy looks like the lead singer from Green Day
And that fireman looks like David Walliams
They’re organising a beauty pagent for tonight
I’d do her, do her, do her…
That fireman cleary likes his beer
He then has an arguement with the woman whos in charge of the raffle
Back to the others at the beauty pagent planning
This fireman is clearly a pervert
Was that a bowl of cereal in the raffle?
Where is my hearing aid?
Three fireman sat on a balcony have teleported onto the dancefloor
Why does that fireman have a Hitler mustache?
Who ordered three shots of blood?
Someone go deal with that old man spying on us
The three fireman chat to a woman about being in the beauty pagent
Better distract the old man while we chat to these women
Why does every woman in this film remind me of lunch ladies at my old primary school?
We’ll take that one!
She’s shitting out pearls!!!
Let’s hide under this table and have sex
The woman in charge of the raffle quits and the arguing fireman is still arguing
MY RAFFLE TABLE IS HAUNTED!!!!
Nope! That couple are under the table shagging
Let’s just leave them to it while I heckle them
Look! We’re old pervy fireman and we’re stealing your girlfriend for our beauty pagent
I’ve lost my glasses! Can I look up your dress?
The man has come out from under the table but not the woman
She sneaks out the other side but has someone has left a bag behind
Don’t mind if I have a look
It’s the raffle woman’s bag and it has meat inside it
I wish I knew what was happening
Why is this old man spying on these three?
It’s time for a few words from the leader who introduces someone
The woman who was under the table has been sent to have a chat with every fireman about the beauty pagent
Some woman walks in and volunteers her services for the beauty pagent
She brings in another woman for the pagent – I think it’s her daughter
Woman #3 arrives
Heres Woman #4
And heres Woman #5 who is both mad and looks like a boy
Woman #6 arrives and has clearly stuffed something down her dress to make her look like she has big boobs – She also looks like Lily Allen
Let’s just grab some random woman for #7
This is so dull the leader is reading a magazine
These seven women are in the beauty pagent and don’t look happy about it
We need to get rid of the mother! You! Go dance with her
Some old man claims his woman back and we’re down to six
The winner of the beauty pagent gets an axe as a prize
Better teach them how to stand
Some woman walks into the meeting and decides to strip… almost
Now she strips to her underwear and no one looks impressed
This is really starting to drag
Grumpy Woman is made to pose and she’s still grumpy
Everyone walk in a circle around me while everyone else watches your boobs giggle
If these firemen weren’t coming across as perverts before then they are now
Put your clothes back on! We have a visitor
Time for the pagent to begin
I have a comb for my mustache
Time to walk the judge walk towards the stage only to be taken back to his seat
Somethings gone wrong and the women aren’t interested
Now the judge heads to the stage!
Nope! He’s taken away
None of the other women want to do it
Fake Boob Woman walks down and is told to leave
The third is thrown in and runs away
She and Fake Boob Woman hide in the women’s toilet
Let’s just drag any women we can for this
This is a disaster! Both the pagent and the film
EVERYONE TO THE WOMEN’S TOILET!!!
Some random woman claims the crown and wins
WOOP WOOP IT’S THE SOUND OF THE POLICE
Nope! Someone’s set a house on fire and everyone wants to leave
It’s worse as the fire truck is stuck in the snow
Get off me!! I want to die in the fire
SAVE THE CHICKENS!!!!
And the sewing machine
The police are working on this fire but not the firemen
Sit here old man and watch your house burn to the ground
PUT THE FIRE OUT WITH SNOW!!!!
This is the worst fire squad I’ve ever seen
They’re not even here!!!! IT’S ACROSS THE ROAD!!!
I know your house is burning but I have a job to do! I need to serve beer
Still no sign of the firemen
Finally! The fire is out! Only took all night
Back at the ball! Everyone returns
So… The firemen were there! They did a shit job
I want all your raffle tickets
The old man from the fire is invited into the ball
Looks like the raffle prizes got stolen
If you have to do a speak… remember your lines
Here old man who just lost his house in the fire! You draw a winner
The firemen arrive to take him away
The leader has a few words to say
POWER OUTAGE!!! – Is this a film or a ECW suprise
Everyone was quick to get their lighters out
And the raffle prizes have gone!
It was the grumpy fireman who had arguements with everyone! He stole everything!
He has also fainted
All the firemen have a chat about something
I wish I knew what was happening
Don’t let him look at you!
Looks like the ball is over as everyone is gone… Except for one man
Better give him the axe
He says a few words
Where’s the axe?
Back with the old man from the fire
Better go to sleep in my bed in the snow
A fireman is in his bed…. Let’s just share