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Ninety Degrees in the Shade (1965)

90 Degrees in the Shade (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 28 March 1968 (Hungary)
A respected grocery shop employee in Prague is covering up for her manager's misconduct with whom she is having an affair; however, things will get complicated when a thorough auditor pays a visit.

Director:

Jirí Weiss

Writers:

David Mercer (screenplay), Jirí Mucha (story) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Heywood ... Alena
James Booth James Booth ... Vorell
Rudolf Hrusínský ... invertuník JUDr Rudolf Kurka
Ann Todd ... Kurková
Donald Wolfit ... Bazant (as Sir Donald Wolfit)
Jirina Jirásková ... Vera
Jorga Kotrbová ... Hanka
Vladimír Mensík ... Emil
Jirí Sovák ... Reditel
Walter Taub Walter Taub ... Lékar (as Valtr Taub)
Vera Tichánková ... Vavrová
Vera Uzelacová Vera Uzelacová ... (as Viera Uzelacová)
Jan Cmíral Jan Cmíral ... Soused
Vlasta Jelínková Vlasta Jelínková ... Zena
Jan Libícek ... Muz v budce
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Storyline

In a Prague shop, an assistant has been carrying on an affair with the dishonest, married manager. An emotionally repressed auditor with domestic problems of his own uncovers serious stock discrepancies. A test of loyalties and a questioning of values concludes in tragedy. Written by Capleton

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Czechoslovakia | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1968 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

31 Degrees in the Shade See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Alena: At this rate, you'll miss your train. They'll be waiting for you...
Vorell: Leave my family out of this, will you? When I get home, I'll tell her I want a divorce.
Alena: Not again!
Vorell: What's the matter? Aren't you pleased?
Alena: You're a fool!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Simultaneously shot in English and Czech versions: the English version runs 91 minutes and the Czech 83 (the British actors are dubbed). See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Shop Around the Corner with adult themes.
23 March 2013 | by FilmFlaneurSee all my reviews

90 Degrees is a strange, if excellent little film which sees Zulu's James Booth appear in what could easily be a work from the Czech new wave, and indeed some viewers might find the British accents of the cast (some apparently dubbed, some not) a little disconcerting in the context, although it is done well. It's a modestly scaled tale which is by turn sexual, claustrophobic, and tragic, a title pretty obscure these days but which ought never the less to be better known as it rarely takes a foot wrong. Although Booth looks a little out of place in his European environment, he turns in a characteristically chippy performance as the scoundrel womaniser Vorell, but he is almost upstaged by the dour inspector Kurka (Rudolf Hrusinsky), whose humourlessness is surely inspired by that of contemporary communist functionaries, as well as the performance of Anne Heywood as the doomed Alena.

The 90 degrees of the title of course refers to more than just the sweltering heat of the year, it also invokes the sexual tensions which run throughout the film (most notably in the 'coffee wiping' stock room scene near the beginning). Vorell and Alena, as well as Kurka and his wife, are essentially two aspects of the same game; ultimately Vorell's replacement of tea-filled liquor bottles in the stockroom is a much a betrayal of empathy as is Kurka's replacement of marital warmth back at home with the coldness of duty. Down the cast list is Donald Wolfitt, no barnstorming from him here though, and one eventually wonders why he accepted such a supporting role. In some ways this is The Shop Around the Corner but a year after and with adult themes. Those familiar with Prague will also relish the backgrounds. Altogether this can be highly recommended as a forgotten bywater of British cinema. There is some fleeting nudity.


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