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      I Served the King of England

      2006, Comedy/Romance, 1h 58m

      88 Reviews 5,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

      With charm and an eye for life's bittersweet moments, Czech New Wave master Jiri Menzel paints a picaresque story with whimsy and intellect. Read critic reviews

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      I Served the King of England  Photos

      I Served the King of England (2006) I Served the King of England (2006) I Served the King of England (2006) I Served the King of England (2006) Back Row Far Left: Ivan Barnev as Jan Dít? Middle: Far Right: Martin Huba as front waiter Sk?ivánek Front Row Left: Far Right: Tonya Graves as the Emperor of Ethiopiaa From Left to Right: Ivan Barnev as Jan Dít?, with staff at the Hotel Tichota Center Left: Martin Huba as front waiter Sk?ivánek Center Right: Ivan Barnev as Jan Dít? Left: Martin Huba as front waiter Sk?ivánek Left: Ivan Barnev as Jan Dít? (L-R) Ivan Barnev as Jan Dít? and Julia Jentsch as Liza. A Dancer Entertaining Guests at the Hotel Tichota

      Movie Info

      After serving 15 years in a Czechoslovakian prison, Jan Díte; (Ivan Barnev) looks back on his life as an aspiring millionaire. As a young man, Jan comes to believe that wealth and prestige are the ultimate source of happiness. He works his way up from a lowly train attendant to a series of jobs in prominent hotels with wealthy guests. While in constant pursuit of money, Jan has a string of affairs and a relationship with a fanatical Nazi that lead him towards temptation and social ruin.

      • Rating: R (Sexual Content|Nudity)

      • Genre: Comedy, Romance, War

      • Original Language: Czech

      • Director: Jirí Menzel

      • Producer: Robert Schaffer, Andrea Metcalfe

      • Writer: Jirí Menzel

      • Release Date (Theaters):  limited

      • Release Date (Streaming):

      • Box Office (Gross USA): $617.2K

      • Runtime:

      • Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

      • Production Co: Barrandov Studio, TV Nova, In Film Praha

      Cast & Crew

      Ivan Barnev
      Oldrich Kaiser
      Josef Abrham
      Jirí Lábus
      Jaromír Dulava
      Rudolf Biermann
      Jaromir Sofr
      Jiri Brozek
      Ales Brezina
      Milan Bycek
      Milan Corba

      Critic Reviews for I Served the King of England

      Audience Reviews for I Served the King of England

      • Dec 06, 2012

        An short old man wryly recalls his days of short wily youth when he dreamed of making the big time come hell or high water, only there was that damn war standing in his way ... World War ll, dammit. Set mainly in Prague, the Paris of Eastern Europe, this comic tale of accidentally acquiring wisdom while actually trying to acquire wealth doesn't take itself too seriously and there's plenty of beauty to while that wisdom acquisition time away. Loved it, but its not for the kiddies though.

        kevin w Super Reviewer
      • Jul 25, 2010

        Starts off as an amusingly low-key comedy which surprisingly turns into a history lesson about the German annexation of Czechoslovakia and the effect on its citizens during WW II. Some fine acting and injected with period flavor, the film follows the life of a poor waiter who dreams of owning his own hotel. In the opening shot, we see him in his 60's and getting released from prison after serving 14 years and 7 months of a 15 year sentence (getting out early for good behavior, ha) and find out how he got there. Interesting and with a share of charming & poignant moments sprinkled with substantial and unexpected nudity, all photographed with an artistic lens. This film won't amaze you but ought to hold your interest to the duration.

        Super Reviewer
      • Feb 24, 2010

        Stupendous satire of the bourgeois class with moments of hilarious lunacy and a decent number of sequences of lascivious delicacies. Forty years separate this modern, shining gem from Menzel's masterpiece: the definer of the Czech New Wave. This time, the roots of the modern middle class are explored, wonderfully juxtaposing the visual style of classic cinema that evokes that very characteristic, nostalgic sensation in avid film followers. Sometimes Buñuelesque, sometimes Chaplinesque, the "King of England" is still sitting in his throne, watching all over us while we (conscientiously?) are drowned each time more in banal ambitions, including the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" concept... 84/100

        Super Reviewer
      • Dec 02, 2009

        "I Served the King of England" starts sometime in the 1960's with Jan Dite(Oldrich Kaiser), "a small man from a small town," getting amnesty from his 15 year jail sentence, after serving 14 years and 9 months. To add to his predicament, he is forced to move to the frontier where he encounters Marcela(Zuzana Fialova) which rekindles memories of himself as a young man(Ivan Barnev) who began his career in food service as a hot dog vendor at the train station in Prague before moving on to become a waiter at a bar. It is there that Jaruska(Petra Hrebickova), the new woman at the local bordello, walks in soaking wet one day. "I Served the King of England" is a darkly comic, gorgeously rendered, and sensual movie that starts Jan's story innocently enough with a silent movie homage. In fact, he does remind me of a Chaplinesque hero who suffers under the weight of the world while trying to make it a better place through a smile. However, Jan has more important things on his mind than just service, dreaming of becoming a millionaire and opening his own elite hotel. That along with his love of women(I had not noticed they are all taller than him until it is pointed out) drives him in his life, as he also has a naughty habit of dropping coins to tempt the rich.(This reminds me of Abbie Hoffman and Co. dropping money at the New York Stock Exchange. This event says everything you need to know about capitalism.) At the same time, Jan loses track of important events happening around him which leads to both his physical and moral downfall.

        walter m Super Reviewer

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