31 June

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31 iyunya
Directed by Leonid Kvinikhidze
Written by Original Story:
J. B. Priestley
Screen Writers:
Nina Fomina
Leonid Kvinikhidze
Starring Nikolai Yeryomenko Ml.
Natalya Trubnikova
Vladimir Zeldin
Vladimir Etush
Lyubov Polishchuk
Music by Aleksandr Zatsepin
Cinematography Ilya Minkovetsky
Edited by Inessa Brozhovskaya
S. Manovtseva
Distributed by Mosfilm
Release dates
1978
Running time
142 min.
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

"31 iyunya" (31 June, Russian: 31 июня) is a two-part fantasy TV musical, loosely based on a story by John Boynton Priestley. The film premiered in the USSR in 1978.

The film was conceived and developed by Leonid Kvinikhidze and Alexander Zatsepin. After its premiere, it was archived for over ten years because Alexander Godunov, one of the film's leads who was also a famous dancer in the Bolshoi Theatre, requested political asylum in the United States due to persecution by Soviet censorship.

Story[edit]

The film takes place simultaneously in twelfth and twenty first centuries in England, on the fictional date of "thirty first of June, lunar day".

Meliot, king of Peradore, is looking for a husband for his daughter, princess Melicent, but she keeps rejecting all her suiters. An evil warlock, Malgrim, tries to bribe Melicent with a future suiter in exchange for Merlin's magical broach, which can only be effective when passed on as a gift. Meanwhile, sometime on the thirtieth of June in the early twenty-first century, Sam Pintat (said suiter), a resident artist in an advertisement agency, experiences a creative block concerning an image of a "stocking girl" for a commercial, which he must finish by the end of the day. Seeing Melicent in the mirror (as arranged by the warlock), Sam realizes that she is his "stocking girl" muse, and instantly falls in love. Malgrim arranges for a brief meeting between Melicent and Sam on the Milky Way, but breaks it up upon realization Melicent would not give up the broach.

The good magician Marlogram tries to help the couple by sending Melicent to the twenty-first century, but Malgrim joins forces with a jealous pretender to the throne, Lady Ninette, to sabotage that plan by bringing Sam back to the twelfth century and locking him in jail. Lady Jane, the ghost of the Peradore castle, travels to the twenty-first century, to warn Melicent that Sam is in danger and bring her back. Melicent fences her way to freeing Sam, but the lunar day ends, scattering everyone back to their time. However, Melicent utilizes the one and only wish granted by Merlin himself, giving up her princess status and agreeing to forget everything related to Perador, only to be with Sam.

The epilogue shows Sam and Melicent, now married and without a shred of memory pertaining the film's events, taking a tour of the Peradore Museum. The curator, Malgrim, shows them the wax figures of the castle's inhabitants, tells that "they all died a long time ago, not from natural causes", vainly tries to trigger Melicent's memory, and sadly concludes that "it is a small museum, and it is only open one day a year – thirty first of June, lunar day". The camera then zooms in on a wax figure, presumably that of Malgrim, his face obscured by a mysterious scroll, and Merlin's broach on his chest.

External links[edit]