Hussar Ballad

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Hussar Ballad
A 1962 poster for the Hussar Ballad
Directed byEldar Ryazanov
Written byEldar Ryazanov
Aleksandr Gladkov
StarringLarisa Golubkina
Yury Yakovlev
Igor Ilyinsky
Tatyana Shmyga
Music byTikhon Khrennikov
Distributed byMosfilm
Release dates
1962 (Soviet Union)
July 13, 1963 (United States)
Running time
96 min.
CountrySoviet Union

The Hussar Ballad (Russian: Гусарская баллада, romanizedGusarskaya ballada) is a 1962 Soviet musical film by Eldar Ryazanov, filmed on Mosfilm. In effect, it is one of the best loved musical comedies in Russia.

With most of its dialogue delivered in verse, Ryazanov's script romanticizes the adventures of Nadezhda Durova during the Napoleonic wars. The swift paced, action packed, humor filled adventure is ingeniously mixed with light-hearted acting bravado and memorable operetta pieces. The film's musical score and songs were written by Tikhon Khrennikov.

The leading roles — those of the cavalry maiden Shurochka Azarova and the dashing hussar Poruchik Dmitry Rzhevsky — were played by Andrei Mironov's future wife Larisa Golubkina and the People's Artist of the USSR Yuri Yakovlev, respectively. Comedian Igor Ilyinsky appeared as one-eyed Field-Marshal Prince Mikhail Kutuzov.

The film is based on the play A Long Time Ago by Alexander Gladkov.[1]

The film proved so popular with Soviet audiences that poruchik Rzhevsky became quite a folklore character, featured in numerous jokes. See Russian jokes#Poruchik Rzhevsky for samples.[1]


Interesting facts[edit]

  • The director was planning to take Alisa Freindlich for the leading role. She was even auditioned several times for the role. No one doubted that she would get the role. However, at the last moment, Larisa Golubkina, who was not known to anyone yet, was confirmed for the role of Shurochka. It was her debut in the movie.
  • Before Freindlich, Lyudmila Gurchenko, Valentina Malyavina, Tatyana Nikulina and Svetlana Nemolyaeva were auditioned for the role of Shurochka.
  • The film was made especially for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Borodino. The premiere of the film was held September 7, 1962, the day of the battle, in the Moscow cinema "Russia".
  • A few of the costumes created for the film War and Peace were used during the filming.
  • Sergei Yursky and Vyacheslav Tikhonov were first auditioned for the role of Lieutenant Rzhevsky.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ a b Emil Draitser, Making War, Not Love: Gender and Sexuality in Russian Humor (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.) ISBN 0-312-22129-0, p.120a review Archived 2008-08-21 at the Wayback Machine in Journal of Folklore Research
  2. ^ "Гусарская баллада".
  3. ^ "7 интересных фактов о фильме "Гусарская баллада"".
  4. ^ "Гусарская баллада. История создания".

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