International Tributes Pour In for Milos Forman

Oscar Cross
April 15, 2018

Forman was born in Caslav, Czech Republic, in February 1932.

He was the orphan of Nazi Holocaust victims, Forman had abandoned his homeland after communist troops invaded in 1968 and crushed a brief period of political and artistic freedom known as the Prague Spring.

In another adaptation, this time from an E. L. Doctorow novel and nominated for eight Oscars, Forman explored the roots of racism in the United States via an epic 1900s fresco set in and around NY following a black jazz pianist's experience of deep injustice and his radical rebellion, with fatal consequences.

"That is the only way to open the film to a certain kind of lightness", he said.

He won an Oscar for directing 1975's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", which starred Jack Nicholson as a criminal who ends up in a psychiatric facility after pleading insanity and rebels against an oppressive nurse played by Louise Fletcher.

He became an established foreign film director in the 1960s for "Loves of a Blonde" and "The Firemen's Ball", which were nominated for Oscars in the best foreign-language film category.

Never prolific, Forman's output slowed even more after Amadeus, and his three subsequent films were disappointments.


Actor Michael Douglas gave Forman a second chance, hiring him to direct One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, which Douglas was co-producing. "Milos loved life. I will miss his laughter".

Forman's Amadeus, a fictionalised biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, also swept the Oscars, fetching him his second best director trophy apart from registering seven other wins at the 57th Academy Awards. The smash movie won eight Oscars out of 11 nominations.

Valmont, Forman's 1989 adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, proved something of an anticlimax as another version, directed by Stephen Frears and containing a star-making performance from John Malkovich, had been released the previous year.

"A director is little bit of everything, little bit of the writer, little bit of an actor, little bit of an editor, little bit of a costume designer", Forman once said.

The director's first marriage, to actress Jana Brejchova ended in divorce.

In 1999, he married screenwriter Martina Zborilova with whom he also had twin sons, Andrew and James.

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