Lemonade Joe (Oldřich Lipský, 1964)

Currently rewatching this, the Czech dvd. Fun stuff to revisit.

Database entry:

Here’s a translation of my old review, originally written in Dutch:

The squeaky clean gunfighter Lemonade Joe is the son of soft drink manufacturer Kola Loka and travels through the Wild West to sell Dad’s lemonade. Slick Joe shoots faster than anyone else because he doesn’t consume alcohol. This inspires an old man and his lovely daughter to open a saloon where only Kola Loka is served. The clientele of the adjacent Trigger Whiskey saloon then disappears like snow in the sun. The owners of this competitor, the Badman brothers, together with the saloon singer Tornado Lou, want revenge…

Lemonade Joe was created a few years before the Prague Spring and is a shining example of the cultural revival in Czechoslovakia at that time. The film can be described as a parody of the Wild West and the films it produced, but it is much more than that. Western excesses such as capitalism and religion are also ridiculed in an almost clownish manner, while its ‘own’ communism is also subtly exposed.

The film is visually fantastic and displays a lot of inventiveness with its frivolous cinematography. Strange characters, crazy fights and shootings and weird songs alternate rapidly and are captured in an expressionistic manner, with strong light-dark contrasts in various color shades. The absurd and surreal elements should not be missed. All this creates an artisanal, playful whole that still looks wonderfully fresh today.

It’s not a movie for everyone. I can imagine that the experimental character, as well as the good-natured tone, will repel many viewers. I personally found the distraction of this Eastern Bloc production pleasant, I could regularly laugh at the jokes and even took the musical intermezzos for granted.


I have the U.S. release…not the greatest by any means. But, as for the movie itself, I got a kick out of it…something a bit off the beaten path.

1 Like

The movie is fun. It is a very tongue-in-cheek musical that will be appreciated more by native speakers. It was not made during Prague Spring though. Prague Spring dates to 1968.

1 Like

Thanks, i corrected it

Its my childhood as im in fact from Slovakia. Good old days with this films i remember The big saloon brawl at the beginning :smiley:

1 Like