Amphibian Man (film)
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Soviet poster for Amphibian Man
|Directed by||Vladimir Chebotaryov|
|Written by||Alexander Beliaev (novel)|
|Music by||Andrei Petrov|
|Distributed by||BijouFlix Releasing|
National Telefilm Associates (TV syndication)
|December 19, 1962|
|Box office||100 million admissions|
Amphibian Man (Russian: Человек-амфибия, translit. Chelovek-amfibiya) is a 1962 Soviet science fiction romance film starring Vladimir Korenev and directed by Vladimir Chebotaryov and Gennadi Kazansky.
It is an almost fable-like story based upon the eponymous novel by Alexander Beliaev. It focuses on a youth named Ichthyander (Russian: Ихтиандр, Ichtiandr) (from Greek: fish+man) who was surgically altered to survive under the sea. Unlike traditional science fiction movies of the time the film focuses much more on the concept of love won and lost. It was given the name of Tarzan des Mers before the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs took exception.
The film was the leader of Soviet distribution in 1962, with 65.5 million admissions during its initial run that year, and up to 100 million admissions including re-runs, the highest for a Soviet film up until The Red Snowball Tree (1974). Amphibian Man is little-known in the West, but has become a cult classic. It held the record for the highest-grossing domestic film at the Soviet box office, up until it was surpassed by Operation Y and Shurik's Other Adventures (1965).
The story is set in a seaside port in Argentina (but filmed in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR), largely among a community of pearl fishers. The protagonist is the adopted son of a doctor/scientist who was sometime in the past forced to save the boy's life by implanting him with shark gills. Thus he is able to live under water, but must keep his secret from the world. The conflict arises from his falling in love with a pearl-fisher's beautiful daughter. His secret is discovered and the girl's stern father attempts to exploit Ichthyander for his ability. Due to being kept caged under water, his ability to breathe in the open air is affected, and he must now permanently live in the sea (at least for several years). Although set free, the lovers are permanently separated from each other.
Although ostensibly a lost-love-tragedy like Romeo and Juliet, the film has a significant focus on greed and commercial exploitation (of the pearl-greedy fishermen), possibly under the influence of Socialist Realism.
|Vladimir Korenev||Ichthyander (voiced by Yuri Rodionov)|
|Anastasiya Vertinskaya||Guttiere (voiced by Nina Gulyaeva)|
|Mikhail Kozakov||Pedro Zurita|
|Anatoli Smiranin||Old Baltazar|
|Nikolay Simonov||Prof. Salvator|
|Vladlen Davydov||Olsen, the reporter|
|Sergei Boyarsky||Chief Prison Guard|
|Anatoli Ivanov||Ichthyander understudy in the most challenging underwater shots|
|Stanislav Chekan||prison guard|
|Anna Nikritina||Zurita’s mother|
|Tito Romalio Jr.||newsboy|
- The Shape of Water, a 2017 American film with a similar plot
- Wingrove, David. Science Fiction Film Source Book (Longman Group Limited, 1985)
- "How film flourished in the USSR". Humanities Division. University of Oxford. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
- Sydney Morning Herald "Movies" 25/9/2000 The Guide page 20 accessed via Ebbsco's Australia New Zealand Reference Centre
- Sergey Kudryavtsev (4 July 2006). "Отечественные фильмы в советском кинопрокате". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- Interview with Boris Pavlenok, deputy director of the USSR GosKino
- "Человек-амфибия". Archived from the original on 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- Шахназаров 2000.
- Гизельдонское ущелье — Центральный Кавказ Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
- Новости NEWSru.com :: 45 лет назад на киноэкраны вышел «Человек-амфибия», собравший 60 млн зрителей
- "The Amphibian Man (1961) - Gennadiy Kazansky". AllMovie.com. Allmovie. Retrieved 10 September 2017.