The cinema of the Soviet Union, not to be confused with “cinema of Russia” despite films in the Russian language being predominant in the body of work so described, includes films produced by the constituent republics of the Soviet Union reflecting elements of their pre-Soviet culture, language and history, albeit they were all regulated by the central government in Moscow.
At the same time, the nation’s film industry, which was fully nationalized throughout most of the country’s history, was guided by philosophies and laws propounded by the monopoly Soviet Communist Party which introduced a new view on the cinema, socialist realism, which was different from the one before or after the existence of the Soviet Union. Here the the few Soviet comedies from those times:
Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession
Leonid Gaidai 1973
The american audience knows this moview named as “Ivan Vasileivich: Back To The Future”. This kind of title was given on purpose, so that people would draw an analogy with the famous Hollywood movie “Back To The Future”. The central character is a soviet inventor Timofeev, who created a time machine. His device suddenly breaks and he faints. As soon as he regains consciousness he decides to repeat this experiment. Real adventures begin in his apartment. Thanks to his time machine Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible himself teleports from XVI century into XX. Funny thing is that the house manager Bunsha and the thief Miloslavsky teleports from XX century into XVI and everybody think that Bunsha is their tsar, Ivan the Terrible. Complete resemblance of Bunsha and Ivan the Terrible is the central plot of the movie. It’s one of the most comical USSR movie ever.
Caucasion Captive, Or Shurik’s New Adventures
Leonid Gaidai 1966
It’s about a common soviet student who came to Caucasus to learn local traditions of highlanders. He gets into a string of events that were set by unlucky gangsters. If you didn’t know, bride kidnapping is an old known tradition of Caucasian peoples. So the gangsters engaged Shurik (soviet student) in crime, but he thought it was all for fun. But the bride took it too seriously and feels she is in danger. But luckily for spectators and characters, this story turns out to be very funny and kind. The mixture of adventure, comedy and of course, a brilliant talent of director Gaidai made this movie one of the coolest in soviet film industry.
Leonid Gaidai 1968
A common civil servant Semen gets a chance to travel abroad. His family is full of joy and can’t realise this happened. He couldn’t even guess how interesting the journey would be. Walking along the street he gets into funny situation by slipping on the skin of banana, falls down and faints. After regaining consciousness he realises he is in little room with two huge men standing around him. He sees they are getting a cast on his arm and put diamonds underneath it. The main hero thought it was the last minutes of his life but was very surprised when smugglers let him go. The police offers him a deal: to be their agent and to help them to arrest danderous gang. Semen accepts this offer and real adventures begin.
The Irony Of Fate, Or Enjoy Your Bath!
Eldar Ryazanov 1975
Actions take place in Moscow of 1970x. For Evgenii, one of the main characters, the New Year’s Eve was supposed to be a very special day. He wanted to propose to his girlfriend this very day. He even asked his mom to celebrate holidays with her friend so that an apartment would be available only for him and his girlfriend. Following their tradition, Evgenii with his friends went to bathhouse that day. They drank too much and he mistakenly took his friend’s ticket and flew to Saint Petersburg. After waking up in the airport he asked a taxi driver to get him home. The driver gave him a lift to the place Evgenii asked. The funny thing is that there were the same streets with the same house numbers in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Moreover, the districts looked very similar to one another. We don’t have to tell you how surprised was the owner of the flat (young beautiful woman, starring Barbara Brylska – Polish movie star) when our hero entered her apartment and relaxed on the couch with complete confidence. This fateful meeting completely changed their lives.
Gentlemen Of Luck
Aleksandr Seriy 1971
What do you think a duet of cruel criminal and the head of kindergarten can turn out? One can’t imagine that life paths of totally opposite people could ever cross. But the fate decreed otherwise. The movie is full of wise quotes, funny moments and a little bit dramatic. This story is relevent for all generations and times.