Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Good Soldier Schweik|
Actors: Senta Berger, Egon Von Jordan, Franz Muxeneder, Heinz Rhmann, Fritz Muliar
Director: Axel VonAmbesser
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Josef Schweik is a good-natured buffoon with a story for every occasion. After Emperor Franz Joseph is assassinated, and WWI begins, Schweik is arrested for making comments against the state. He ends up at a mental ward be... more »
Blast from the past
Sterling | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Good Soldier Schweik" 1956 (color) film is based on the legendary novel by Czech writer Jaroslav Hasek. The book itself, illustrated by Josefa Lady is a one of a kind treasure, and Schweik has achieved a folk hero status. The film is a comedy-satire about the trials and tribulations of a simple, officially declared to be "dim-witted" soldier Schweik during the First World War. Schweik's business as a civilian is selling dogs, some many times over. That part is not fully covered in the film. In the book his business methods makes you roll with laughter.
Schweik's political views and actions are not exactly anti-establishment, although the establishment does not believe him.
After the assassination of Ferdinand in Sarajevo, Schweik openly predicts the declaration of war, for which he is arrested. Subsequently, even though he supports The War, he is placed in a mental institution for people with ailments trying to avoid being sent to the front. There, the treatment for all ailments is daily pumping of the stomach and enemas, until the patient gets cured by volunteering for the front.
At a sermon for the prisoners by a drunk Chaplain, Schweik begins to sob. After the sermon the Chaplain asks him why he was sobbing, to which Schweik replies that he wanted to show to all that the Chaplain had succeeded in reforning a sinner. That changes Schweik's luck and he becomes the Chaplain's orderly. Later the Chaplain loses him in a card game and Schweik becomes the orderly of another officer. As an orderly Schweik always manages to satisfy the wishes of his bosses, many times by hilarious means and with unintended consequences.
The casting and the performances are very good. As a bonus, the action takes place in Prague and the viewer get a mini tour of one of the World's most beautiful, ancient cities.
There are two reasons why I did not give the film 5 stars. The first is that unless you know the Czech language, you will be reading the sub-titles and you will be missing some of the richness and humor of the film. Further, the sub-titles stay on the screen a short time. You have to be a fast reader to read them all without pausing. The second is that the film ends when Schweik is sent to the front. You have to get Schweik 2 DVD to get the full story."