The cast of The Hop Pickers (1964)
The cast of The Hop Pickers (1964)
The Hop Pickers (1964)

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

The Hop Pickers

Ladislav Rychman | Czechoslovakia | 1964 | Unclassified (15+)

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Wed 21 Dec 2022

Rychman expanded upon his experience making proto-video clips when bringing to the big screen the first great Czechoslovak musical, a Romeo and Juliet-like tale of teen love often dubbed 'East Side Story'. Framed by a trio of guitarists acting as a Greek chorus, this sly satire of the socialist-realist “tractor musical” dramatises the conflict between collective and individualistic principles and foregrounds the interests of youth no less than the films of the contemporaneously emerging New Wave. The film’s terrific songs are sung by domestic pop stars working in the American idiom including Karel Gott, “The Golden Voice of Prague”.

Digital restoration courtesy of the National Film Archive in Prague.

Format: DCP
Language: Czech with English subtitles
Source: National Film Archive, Czech Republic
Runtime: 88 mins

Event duration

88 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Also screening on Wed 21 December


Genre Nonconformity and East Side Stories: Decentering the Musical Part 1

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) – Wed 7 Dec, 7pm
City of Lost Souls (1983) – Wed 7 Dec, 8.50pm
The Lure (2015) – Wed 14 Dec, 7pm
The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (1985) – Wed 14 Dec, 8.45pm
The Hop Pickers (1964) – Wed 21 Dec, 7pm
Singing on the Treadmill (1974) – Wed 21 Dec, 8.45pm

View the full program

About the program

The movie musical, while intermittently revived in the mainstream affections, has long been associated with the golden age of Hollywood between the 1930s and the 1960s. This season demonstrates that the musical has also flourished away from this perceived American “centre” – while still existing in dialogue with it – throughout the subsequent decades.

Read the full program notes
The Hop Pickers - Melbourne Cinémathèque program

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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. 

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