"The Shop On Main Street" Is Released

The Shop on Main Street (Czech/Slovak: Obchod na korze, in the UK A Shop on the High Street) is a 1965 Czechoslovak film about the Aryanization programme during World War II in the Slovak State.

The film was written by Ladislav Grosman and directed by Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos. It was funded by Czechoslovakia's central authorities (as were all films under communism), produced at the Barrandov Film Studio in Prague, the Czech Republic, and filmed with a Slovak cast on location at the town of Sabinov in north-eastern Slovakia and on the Barrandov sound stage. It stars Jozef Kroner as carpenter Tono Brtko and Polish actress Ida Kamińska as the Jewish widow Rozália Lautmannová.

The film won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Kamińska was nominated in 1966 for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film was also entered into the 1965 Cannes Film Festival.

The 1965 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, The Shop on Main Street (Obch o Na Korze) stars Josef Kroner as Tono Briko, a slothful Czechslovakian carpenter. The time is World War II, and the occupying Nazis are nationalizing all Jewish-owned businesses. To please his ambitious family, Tono takes the job of "Aryan comptroller" for a rundown button shop managed by an elderly Jewish woman (Ida Kaminska). He realizes that his new job won't bring much in the way of money; the old woman, deaf as a post, realizes nothing, not even that a war is on. The shopkeeper's Jewish friends, knowing that the woman will be carted off for extermination if she doesn't have an Aryan coworker, offer to pay Tono if he'll stay on as her assistant. Kroner and the old woman form a friendship, but when the order goes out that all Jews be rounded up, he panics and prepares to turn her over to the Nazis. His last-minute change of heart unfortunately comes too late. In contrast to the tragic denouement of the film, Shop on Main Street closes on a idyllic, dreamlike sequence, showing the smiling shopkeeper and clerk walking together through the countryside, free from all danger and fear. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide