Amphibian Man (film)

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Amphibian Man
Amphibian Man.jpg
Soviet poster for Amphibian Man
Directed byVladimir Chebotaryov
Gennadi Kazansky
Written byAlexander Beliaev (novel)
Akiba Golburt
Aleksei Kapler
Aleksandr Ksenofontov
StarringVladimir Korenev
Anastasiya Vertinskaya
Mikhail Kozakov
Music byAndrei Petrov
CinematographyEduard Rozovsky
Distributed byBijouFlix Releasing
National Telefilm Associates (TV syndication)
Release date
December 19, 1962
Running time
82 min.
CountrySoviet Union
Box office100 million admissions[1]

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.[2]

The film was the leader of Soviet distribution in 1962, with 65.5 million admissions during its initial run that year,[3] and up to 100 million admissions including re-runs,[1] the highest for a Soviet film up until The Red Snowball Tree (1974).[4] Amphibian Man is little-known in the West, but has become a cult classic.[5][6] 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[7]), 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.[8]


Actor Role
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
Nikolai Kuzmin sailor
Mikhail Medvedev boatswain
Yuri Medvedev fishmonger
Anna Nikritina Zurita’s mother
Tito Romalio Jr. newsboy
Georgi Tusuzov episode
Aleksandr Zakharov policeman


Home media[edit]

The Amphibian Man made its debut on DVD on August 21, 2001 where it was released by Image Entertainment. It was later re-released by VFN on July 9, 2015.[9]

See also[edit]


  • Wingrove, David. Science Fiction Film Source Book (Longman Group Limited, 1985)


  1. ^ a b "How film flourished in the USSR". Humanities Division. University of Oxford. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  2. ^ Sydney Morning Herald "Movies" 25/9/2000 The Guide page 20 accessed via Ebbsco's Australia New Zealand Reference Centre
  3. ^ Sergey Kudryavtsev (4 July 2006). "Отечественные фильмы в советском кинопрокате". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  4. ^ Interview with Boris Pavlenok, deputy director of the USSR GosKino
  5. ^ "Человек-амфибия". Archived from the original on 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  6. ^ Шахназаров 2000.
  7. ^ Гизельдонское ущелье — Центральный Кавказ Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Новости :: 45 лет назад на киноэкраны вышел «Человек-амфибия», собравший 60 млн зрителей
  9. ^ "The Amphibian Man (1961) - Gennadiy Kazansky". Allmovie. Retrieved 10 September 2017.

External links[edit]