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Czechoslovakia, 1964 (MIFF 1965)

Director: Oldrich Lipsky

Here the Czechs have taken a classic American folk-form, the Western, and shot it full of holes. This is the story of a folk-hero named Lemonade Joe whose exploits would astonish those other great cowboys, Bronco Billy Anderson and William S. Hart, who rode the Purple Sage.

It all begins with a bang-up saloon fight replete with timid pianist, heavies and torch singer. Into this scene comes a preacher, with a shy but beautiful daughter, and Lemonade Joe, a white-clad avenger of wrongs who mops up the place.

Since, in the classic Westerns, it is traditional for Virtue always to triumph over Vice, it should not be surprising if the moral of Lemondate Joe turns out to be somewhat different. The Czechs have tilted at convention with good humour, and have reproduced the American Western milieu of the 19th century wiih remarkable accuracy.

Second Prize, San Sebastian Festival.

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