Policeman giving a man in stocks a cigarette in Happy End (1967)
Policeman giving a man in stocks a cigarette in Happy End (1967)
Happy End (1967)

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

Happy End

Oldřich Lipský | Czechoslovakia | 1967 | Unclassified (15+)

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Wed 27 Sep 2023

Death is just the beginning in this black comedy about a butcher who murders his wife and her lover. Literally told in reverse, it begins with its protagonist’s guillotined head reattaching itself to its body as its owner (played by prolific Czech actor Vladimír Menšík) declares this his “birth”. Lipský (Lemonade Joe) treats us to an absurdist life, with slapstick elements borrowed from Chaplin and Keaton, in which time’s ravages are reversed: jealousies undone, young love reattained.

Preceded by The Robber (1927) 6 mins – Unclassified 15+. A funny short promotional film for An Old Gangster’s Molls.

Digital prints courtesy of the National Film Archive in Prague.

Format: DCP
Language: Czech with English subtitles
Source: National Film Archive in Prague
Runtime: 71 mins

Event duration

71 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Also screening on Wed 27 September

About the program

This season charts 50 years of a peculiarly antic, extraordinarily inventive strain of popular comedy from Czechoslovakia, spanning the late silent era through to the end of the 1970s. It highlights the extraordinary comedic talents of performers still famed domestically but too little known in the anglophone world...

Read the full program notes
“All The World’s Bedlam”- Screwball, Czechoslovak Style

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About Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven. 

Learn more | View the 2023 program | See membership options

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