The only Oscar-winning Slovak film that was almost not made at all

The Slovak film reminds people how easy it is for totalitarianism to take over, and it was only a conflict between communist leaders that allowed it even to be made. After the Prague Spring, the movie was banned.

Jozef Kroner in the role of carpenter Tóno Brtko in The Shop on Main Street film. It won an Oscar in 1966. Jozef Kroner in the role of carpenter Tóno Brtko in The Shop on Main Street film. It won an Oscar in 1966. (Source: MAGAZIN.REALFILM.CZ)

When he learned that The Shop on Main Street (Obchod na korze) received a nomination for a prestigious Oscar, he decided to travel to America and represent Czechoslovakia.

Legendary actor Jozef Kroner, who portrayed "Aryan overseer" and carpenter Tóno Brtko in the film, got four suits tailored for the Oscars. It cost him 17,000 Czechoslovak crowns, which was a huge amount of money in the sixties.

In the end, however, the Czechoslovak communists did not allow him to leave for America, and he was left behind at the airport, tailored suits all packed.

The only Oscar-winning film from Slovakia

The Shop on Main Street remains the only Slovak film awarded the prestigious statuette. The win in the best foreign language film category occurred over a half century ago, in 1966.

It was, however, a great success that the film was made at all, considering the conditions of the country at the time.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Six moments that marked Andrej Kiska’s presidency

His tenure was affected by disputes with the ruling Smer party, but also some scandals.

What do we know about Kiska’s emerging party?

We have each others' phone numbers, Kiska said when asked about being open to joining forces with the democratic opposition.

Andrej Kiska and future-members of his political party

We eat about 5 grams of microplastics a week

Problem also evident in Slovakia.

Both bottled waters and natural sources include micro-plastics, illustrative stock photo.

A spy allegedly involved in Golunov’s detention is active in Slovakia

The Ján Kuciak Investigative Centre revealed property and business activities of an FSB agent in Slovakia, near Bratislava.

Ivan Golunov, a prominent Russian investigative reporter, who worked for the independent website Meduza, leaves the cage in a court room in Moscow, Russia on June 8, 2019.