I Served the King of England

„And also remember, you need to see and hear everything!“

I Served the King of England

Is it possible to be a waiter, then become a hotel manager, and then lose it all in the end? It is! And it isn't that hard, either. If you need proof, the film I Served the King of England, based on the novel of the same name by Bohumil Hrabal, provides it. Moreover, the first half of the 20th century, an era of great political convulsions, was a period in which similar cases were the order of the day.

Imagine you aren't exactly the tallest person in the world, nobody particularly likes you and your last name is Dítě (Child). All of the above is not very helpful with your dreams of becoming a millionaire and winning the love of a beautiful woman. However, you can rise above it all and walk on in life with ease. You only need to be at the right place at the right time. Then even someone like Dítě can expect great experience his way!

Start with Slapy Castle and its magnificent pseudo-Baroque house which served filming purposes as the hotel Tichota. It silently sails through the story with dignified elegance, although it is eventually taken by the Nazis rather loudly. The castle did face similar fate during WW II. You might need to leave it after some time because of your cunning, but it doesn't matter much, since you've managed to make quite an amount of money. Wealthy people open new paths to other rich groups for you. Do you want to know how to recognize them? Usually they have wallpapers or carpets made of banknotes they can no longer spend.

The tiny legs of the tiny waiter then take him to the restaurant of Prague's most renowned hotel, Paris. The location is actually a luxurious restaurant in the Municipal House, so you can personally admire all the beautiful facilities from the film. It isn't considered the most beautiful restaurant in the Art Nouveau style in the world for nothing. The Emperor of Ethiopia didn't visit in reality, but famous stars like actor John Travolta or tennis player Roger Federer enjoyed their meals here. The scene of the Emperor's majestic arrival was actually filmed in front of Le Palais, another Prague hotel.

One should indulge in a bit of luxury from time to time. It is always better than to wait for another coup d’état and have it all taken away from you. If you expose your wealth with such pride as Jan Dítě did in the film, you may face some time in prison as a bonus. It would be a shame not to taste some freedom and personally experience the beauty of all the places seen in the film.

Director Jiří Menzel
Cast Ivan Barnev, Oldřich Kaiser, Julia Jentsch, Zuzana Fialová, Milan Lasica, Marián Labuda
Country Czech

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