Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

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Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears
Moscow for US.jpg
Poster for USA promotion.
Directed by Vladimir Menshov
Written by Valentin Chernykh
Starring Vera Alentova
Irina Muravyova
Aleksey Batalov
Natalya Vavilova
Raisa Ryazanova
Oleg Tabakov
Leonid Kharitonov
Music by Sergey Nikitin
Cinematography Igor Slabnevich
Edited by Yelena Mikhajlova
Running time 140 minutes
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Russian: Москва слезам не верит; translit. Moskva slezam ne verit) is a 1979 Soviet film made by Mosfilm. It was written by Valentin Chernykh and directed by Vladimir Menshov. The leading roles were played by Vera Alentova and by Aleksey Batalov. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980.[1]


The film is set in Moscow during the late 1950s and the late 1970s. The plot centers on three young women who come to Moscow from smaller towns: Katerina, Lyudmila, and Antonina. They are placed together in a university dormitory apartment and eventually become friends. Antonina is seeing Nikolai, a reserved but kind young man. Katerina (Vera Alentova) strives to earn her degree and also works hard at a factory. She is asked to house-sit an apartment for her well-to-do Moscow relatives while they are away on a trip, and Lyudmila (Irina Muravyova) convinces her to throw a dinner party at the apartment, and pretend that they are the daughters of a rich professor, as a ploy to meet successful Muscovite men. At the party, Lyudmila meets Sergei, a famous hockey player, who falls in love with her and marries her even after discovering the truth about her origin. Katerina meets Rudolf (Yuri Vasilyev), a smooth talker who works as a cameraman for a television channel. He charms Katerina and persuades her to have sex with him. During Antonina and Nikolai's wedding, Lyudmila and Antonina find out that Katerina is pregnant. Upon discovering that Katerina does not actually come from a prestigious professor's family, Rudolf refuses to marry her or acknowledge the child as his own. Rudolf's mother tells Katerina to stop bothering her son and offers her money, which Katerina refuses. Katerina hasn't been bothering Rudolf and his mother, it was actually Lyudmila who was calling Rudolf's mother pretending she is Katerina to demand child support. This leaves Katerina alone with the baby.

The film shows Katerina, with tears in her eyes, setting her alarm clock in a dormitory where she just arrived after giving birth to her daughter, Alexandra (subsequently played as a grown young woman by Natalya Vavilova). The film then takes a 20-year leap forward in time. Katerina is shown waking up to the sound of an alarm clock in her own apartment. She is still single, but she has gone from being a down on her luck student to becoming the executive director of a large factory. She has a lover, an older married man named Vladimir (Oleg Tabakov), but she leaves him after he shows himself to be cowardly and disrespectful. Despite her successful career, Katerina seems unfulfilled and weighed down by a deep sadness. She is still close friends with Lyudmila and Antonina. Several years after marrying Lyudmila, Sergei quit playing hockey and became an alcoholic. Now divorced, Lyudmila is single and working at a laundry. Antonina is happily married and has three children.

One evening, when Katerina is returning home from Antonina's dacha in the countryside on an elektrichka train, she meets a man named Gosha (Aleksey Batalov) who flirts with her. She seems to feel he is beneath her, but finds him amusing, and lets him continue to flirt. Gosha is a metalworker, and he believes that a woman must not make more money than a man, so Katerina doesn't tell him about her position. Soon afterward they start seeing each other. As their romance begins, Rudolf unexpectedly reenters Katarina's life. He is part of a news crew that arrives at Katerina's factory to do a report on the factory's success at exceeding their production quota. He does not recognize his ex-lover at first, but when he does, he wants to make amends and meet his daughter. Katerina lets him know that she does not want to see him again. Nonetheless, Rudolf shows up uninvited at her apartment one evening when Katerina is having dinner with Gosha and Alexandra. Rudolf tells Gosha and Alexandra about the interview, and Gosha finds out that Katerina is a factory director. His pride is hurt not only because of Katerina's high position and large salary, but also because she has lied to him, and he leaves the apartment. Unable to stop him, Katerina feels upset and very angry with Rudolf. In her rage, she reveals to Alexandra that Rudolf is, in fact, her father.

For several days, Gosha disappears from Katerina's life. She becomes frantic. Lyudmila, Antonina, and Nikolai come to her apartment to comfort her. Nikolai gathers what little information Katerina knows about Gosha and sets out to find him. He finds him drinking and, after getting drunk with him, convinces Gosha to return to Katerina.

The final scene of the film is set in the kitchen of Katerina's flat. Gosha eats at the table while Katerina watches him with tears in her eyes. Gosha asks, "What's wrong?" and Katerina replies, "I have been looking for you for so long". After a moment of thought, Gosha says, "Eight days," and Katerina says "No," and then repeats, "I have been looking for you for so long," implying that Gosha is the man she has been looking for her whole life.


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