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    Soviet era films
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    Some are classic; some less so.

    The title of "Abduction in the Caucuses" or "Kidnapping, Caucasian style" is a play on words from Leo Tolstoy's novel "Prisoner of the Caucases". This comedy was a top Soviet film of 1967 with over 76 million tickets sold.

    The film is available via its rights holder Mosfilm and has English subtitles (click on CC, then chose the desired language)



    Here's film's English language Wikipedia page (with a full plot, such as it was).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnap...aucasian_Style

    The Soviet style film making is an acquired - or discarded - taste. Humor is better understood by the era. Nonetheless, some of you may enjoy it.

    If someone has a question about certain references, I'll be glad to answer them (if I know them myself).


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    Thanks for the tip!
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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLD View Post
    The film is available via its rights holder Mosfilm and has English subtitles (click on CC, then chose the desired language)
    Unfortunately not in the USA, I get a blocked by Mosfilm message.

    Edited: Nevermind it works when you actually view it on YouTube!


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    I'll check it out. What do you think of "I Am Cuba"? I interviewed Scorsese about his involvement in the restoration and even before I saw the restored version,
    I was always endlessly impressed by the creativity in how it was filmed and directed.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    I'll check it out. What do you think of "I Am Cuba"? I interviewed Scorsese about his involvement in the restoration and even before I saw the restored version, I was always endlessly impressed by the creativity in how it was filmed and directed.
    The precursor to "Soy Cuba" (it was shot in Spanish for whatever reasons - OK, it was in Cuba - despite the script being by a prominent Soviet poet Yevgeniy Yevtushenko) was a previous Kalatozov-Urusevski collaboration called the "Cranes are flying". It was shot during the Khrushchev Thaw (late 50's/early60's) where film makers were given considerably more leeway than under Stalin. The "Cranes" won Palm D'Or in Cannes and made the Soviets a lot of money overseas. That gave Kalatozov pretty much a cart blanche. So, he and Urusevski decided to go all out with their long takes off the handheld and cable cams. Many found the cinematography incredible. Andrei Tarkovsky, on the other hand, blasted it as "photography without any other purpose".

    Of course, after it came out in the USSR, Suslov was in charge of ideology/media and he shelved the film because Kalatozov made the pre-Castro Cuba "look too good".

    Here's a sample from the "departure to the battlefield" scene from the "Cranes". (Mosfilm has the full version as well)



    (have to watch it on YouTube, as is the case with all Mosfilm properties)
    Last edited by DLD; 10-27-2019 at 08:24 PM.


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    If one looks at the opening scenes of "Soy Cuba", one sees Suslov's point.



    PS. I don't think Mosfilm has it on their page. Someone uploaded it somewhere else in a not-so-good quality.


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    Staying with comedies, the "Gentlemen of Fortune" was a top Soviet hit of 1972 with over 65 million tickets sold.



    There are no "direct" OEM subtitles. One'd have to click on CC first. That gives the Russian language subtitles, which then can be translated into English with a selector. That does a decent job, even with a fake prison jargon. (in the USSR, foul language was not allowed).

    The only read hiccup they have with nicknames. Docent (Dozent in German, with the Soviets copying the word) may be an "associate professor" in English but would be far too long a calling card for a "made man". Kosoy (Slant Eyes) is translated as Oblique sometimes.

    Other than that. One should easily understand the setting and the plot. Some jokes will obviously be lost.

    Side note - of the film's actors, two made it into the US. The most famous of them Savely Kramarov (1934-1995) was a huge star in the USSR but then became a refusenick. He was allowed to leave after Reagan's interference in 1981 and had several roles in Hollywood, including a KGB officer role in "Moscow on the Hudson". The blond Oleg Vidov (1943-2017) defected to the US in 1985 from Yugoslavia and, toward the end of his life ran a drug treatment center in Malibu with his American wife.

    English Wikipedia page -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentlemen_of_Fortune

    Russian page via Google Translate - https://translate.google.com/transla...2587%25D0%25B8


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    "The Courier" (aka, "The Gopher Boy") was a 1986 pre-perestroika comedy-drama in the mode of a "Graduate", adjusted for the era and the geopolitical landscape. It touches on so many themes that the first time I saw it about a decade ago, I missed on half of them. Mosfilm presents it in wide screen and HD.

    Film's IMDB page https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091364/ - (8 stars out of 10!)

    English subtitles under the CC.


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    The 1969 "Crime and Punishment", an unlicensed version but it's been on YouTube for six years. Uploaded in 15 min clips, has English subtitles. Yes, it's Dostoevsky. It's supposed to make you depressed.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DLD View Post
    The 1969 "Crime and Punishment", an unlicensed version but it's been on YouTube for six years. Uploaded in 15 min clips, has English subtitles. Yes, it's Dostoevsky. It's supposed to make you depressed.
    Talking of Dostoevsky... Did you see the TV series “Gogol”? Apparently it’s supposed to be based on his books and life. The images I saw looked nothing like the books I’ve read though...
    (Dostoevsky said something like “the Russian prose rests in the cape of Gogol”)
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