"I Served The King of England" Movie Serves Viewers Well

Based on the novel of the same name by the late Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, I Served The King of England tells the story of one Jan Dite, a short man with tall ambitions to be a millionaire.

Directed and written by Jiri Menzel (whose movie Closely Watched Trains introduced the postwar Czech cinema to the Western world), Jan Dite’s story is in some ways the story of the Czech people in the twentieth century from the independent Czechoslovak Republic to the Nazi occupation to the brief revival of Czech democracy to its fall under Communist subjugation.

As a waiter, Dite serves the patron’s needs and desires while a parade of beautiful women serve his needs and desires.

The two totalitarianisms impact Dite’s life adversely.

A fascinating note I made is that two of the actors are not native Czech speakers, Julia Jentsch who plays Dite’s Sudeten German and Nazi sympathizing wife is actually a German actor while Ivan Barnev is a Bulgarian actor who plays Dite as a young man.  This testifies to the greatness of their performances speaking a language not their own.

With a family connection to Central Europe, I found this an interesting movie that is both funny and poignant.  Go see it. -30-

About the author: Richard Cooper is a international trade executive with a manufacturing firm on Long Island, New York, USA.