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Milos Forman (1932-2018)

by Nathaniel R

Milos Forman directing Thomas Hulce on the set of Amadeus (1984)

One of the world's most acclaimed directors has passed away at 86 years of age after a long full life and a pretty sturdy filmography. Milos Forman won two Oscars during his career for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Amadeus (1984) began life as Jan Tomas Forman in Czechoslovakia. Like another two-time Best Director winner (Ang Lee), he was twice honored in the Foreign Language Film category before his English language Oscar wins...

Forman began his celebrated career in Czechoslovakia but with his international breakthrough film The Loves of a Blonde (1965) he caught Hollywood's attention with a foreign film nomination at both the Globes and the Oscars. His follow up film Fireman's Ball (1967), which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and well worth a watch, was also Oscar nominated.

By the late 60s with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia he had immigrated to the US where he got his feet wet in Hollywood with the comedy Taking Off (1971) before his career making ...Cuckoo's Nest triumph. Hair (1979), Ragtime (1981), Amadeus (1984), and two arguably underappreciated titles The People vs Larry Flynt (1996) and Man on the Moon (1999) followed. His last two films, Goya's Ghost (2006) and A Walk Worthwhile (2009) were underseen ending his career on a quieter note than would be expected given the often raucous and rebellious spirit that ran through his films.

Forman's international breakthrough "Loves of a Blonde"

But what a career. The New York Times has a terrific overview of his life that you should check out. What's your favorite film of his? Sadly most of his pictures aren't streaming right now (without rental fees at least) but for his segment of the omnibus documentary Visions of Eight at Filmstruck and both Fireman's Ball and Goya's Ghost on Amazon Prime.

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Reader Comments (20)

I love Cuckoo's Nest, I love Amadeus even more, but the one Forman film I couldn't do without is 'The Fireman's Ball'. It's one of the funniest films I've ever seen.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

Listening to And Even The Horses Had Wings in his honor.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

My fave of his is Amadeus but Ragtime, though its a little too long, is a fascinating film.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Fireman's Ball are my top loves.... but others are excellent, too!

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commentergrrr

Amadeus is truly one of my favorite films ever and he just delivered. The last thing I saw from him was Goya's Ghost which was unfortunately terrible. It didn't work for me at all. At least he made a couple of great movies in the 90s in The People vs. Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Love his movies, including the controversial The People vs Larry Flynt (1996), a proof of what Woody Harrelson can do with a great script and director.
He was justifiably appreciated by The Academy, but my favorite of Milos Forman, a hit at its time and now a classic with »zero Oscar nomination«, is Hair(1979) - an evidence that you don't have to be an expert to direct a movie of the gender.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGwen

RIP. Amadeus has been one of my favorite films of all time since I saw it when I was a kid, and it is my favorite Best Picture winner. It is one of the few films I watch every year (I like watching it in December because the scenes of snowy Vienna feel so Christmasy). I have never seen Fireman's Ball, so I will have to check it out at Amazon Prime.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Great, somewhat under-appreciated talent despite the two Oscars. Fireman's Ball is a great little gem, and his filmography deserves recognition besides his two Oscars hitters. You don't make two movies like that just by getting lucky. Amadeus remains my favorite of his. A classic, masterful example of luscious, absorbing period drama done well.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAlexD

As a kid, I had an intense obsession with Amadeus. I even based a school project on the movie!

Cuckoo's Nest moves me deeply everytime and Larry Flint is also very very good. I'll rewatch Valmont to honor him. It's been ages.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

My favourite of his movies is Hair, but I think he made five masterpieces: Hair, Amadeus, Valmont, Cuckoo's and Ragtime.
Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon are also great movies.I believe he was one of the greatest directors of last century.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLuiz Carlos

Sorry to hear of his passing. Loved many of his films. Amadeus is a favorite plus Cuckoo's Nest and Larry Flynt.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

amadeus</I. and hair

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Cuckoo's Nest is his masterpiece. Hair is such a unique vision. A great director.

April 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy


My top 5 faves...

1. Hair
2. The People vs Larry Flynt
3. Man on the Moon
4. Amadeus
5. One Flew over Cuckoo's Nest

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

A great director

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

Those great mainstream directors of the 60s/70s are leaving us rapidly. RIP Milos.

April 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

If possible, you all should check out his LOVES OF A BLOND and TAKING OFF ... as well as all his other tchekoslowakion films. Every single one of them is a cineastic treasure.

April 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterFilmarbeiter

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April 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterFRP Bypass App
March 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSample
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