Ninety Degrees in the Shade

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Ninety Degrees in the Shade
Directed by Jiří Weiss
Produced by Raymond Stross
Written by David Mercer
Jiří Mucha
Jiří Weiss
Starring James Booth
Anne Heywood
Music by Luděk Hulan
Cinematography Bedrich Batka
Edited by Jan Chaloupek
Russell Lloyd
Distributed by Unger Films (USA)
Release date
Running time
90 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Czech Republic
Language English

Ninety Degrees in the Shade is a 1965 British-Czech drama film directed by Jiří Weiss.[1]


It's very hot, putting a strain on everyone. A beautiful woman works in a shop in Eastern Europe during the Communist era. She is in the late, disillusioned stages of an affair with a married man. Two government inspectors arrive to carry out an audit. The shop sells expensive alcoholic drinks. One inspector is relaxed, an old hand, but the other is a newcomer and meticulous. The heroine's boyfriend has stolen some bottles with her compliance. She manages to hide this from the meticulous inspector during the first day of the inspection. That night she and her boyfriend raise money and buy bottles to replace those he stole. That night also, we see the unhappy home life of the meticulous inspector - his alcoholic wife and lazy son. We are led to wonder if he has feelings for the heroine (the shop worker). On the second day of the inspection, the relaxed inspector of the pair drops a bottle and it breaks, leading to the discovery that almost all the bottles have had their contents stolen and are filled with tea. We (the viewers) wonder if the meticulous inspector will allow the heroine to go unpunished - his boss actually suggest that. The film ends with an ambiguous act by the heroine, her motives unclear. It's a sad story with a subtext of men subjugating women and another about immorality under Communist rule.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Berlin International Film Festival

  • Won, "UNICRIT Award" - Jirí Weiss

Golden Globe Award

  • Nominated, "Best English-Language Foreign Film"


External links[edit]