Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears
|Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears|
|Directed by||Vladimir Menshov|
|Written by||Valentin Chernykh|
|Edited by||Yelena Mikhailova|
|Music by||Sergey Nikitin|
|11 February 1980|
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Russian: Москва слезам не верит, romanized: Moskva slezam ne verit) is a 1980 Soviet romantic drama film made by Mosfilm. It was written by Valentin Chernykh and directed by Vladimir Menshov. The leading roles were played by Vera Alentova and Aleksey Batalov. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1981.
This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (April 2022)
The film is set in Moscow in 1958 and 1978. The plot centers on three young women: Katerina, Lyudmila, and Antonina, who come to Moscow from smaller towns. They are placed together in a workers' dormitory room and eventually become friends. Antonina (Raisa Ryazanova) is seeing Nikolai, a reserved but kind young man whose parents have a dacha in the country. Katerina (Vera Alentova) is a serious, upstanding woman who strives to earn her chemistry degree while working at a factory. She is asked to house-sit an apartment for her well-to-do Moscow relatives (a famous professor's family) while they are away on a trip. Lyudmila (Irina Muravyova), a flirty go-getter looking for a well-to-do husband while working at a bakery, convinces her to throw a dinner party at the apartment, and pretend that they are the daughters of Katerina's professor uncle, as a ploy to meet successful Muscovite men. At the party, Lyudmila talks with Sergei, a famous hockey player, whom she met earlier on a subway train. He has fallen in love with her. They later marry. Katerina meets Rudolf (Yuri Vasilyev), a smooth talker who works as a cameraman for a television channel. They have a date and she becomes pregnant. During Antonina and Nikolai's wedding, Lyudmila and Antonina find out that Katerina is pregnant. Rudolf refuses to marry Katerina. Katerina is unable to get an abortion because her pregnancy is in a late stage (in 1958 it was legal in the Soviet Union only up to the 12th week) and ends up giving birth to a daughter, Aleksandra. She hides from others who was the father, and even gives her daughter a made-up patronymic "Aleksandrovna" instead of "Rudolfovna".
The film shows Katerina, with tears in her eyes, setting her alarm clock in the dormitory room she shares with her daughter (subsequently played as a grown young woman by Natalya Vavilova). The film then takes a 20-year leap forward in time to 1978. Katerina is shown waking up to the sound of an alarm clock in her own larger 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 feels unfulfilled and weighed down by a deep sadness. She is still close friends with Lyudmila and Antonina. By this time Sergei has quit playing hockey and become an alcoholic. He and Lyudmila are divorced. She works at a dry-cleaning store where she tries to find a bridegroom (preferably a general) amid the clients. 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 (electric commuter train), she meets a man, Gosha (Aleksey Batalov). He notices that she notices his dirty shoes and starts a dialogue with her. She finds him insightful and they soon begin seeing each other. Gosha is an intelligent tool-and-die maker in a research institute, where his instrument maintenance skills are an enormously valued help to his scientist coworkers), but states his belief that a woman should not make more money than her husband, so Katerina tells him nothing about her position. As their romance begins, Rudolf (who has changed his Western name to the older Russian name Rodion) unexpectedly reenters Katerina's life when he is assigned to film an interview with her on her factory's success at exceeding its production quota. At first, he does not recognize her, but when he does, he wants to meet his daughter. Katerina curtly tells him that she does not want to see him again. Rodion then shows up uninvited at her apartment as Katerina is having dinner with Aleksandra and Gosha, who welcomes him politely. Rodion tells Gosha and Aleksandra about the interview, revealing that Katerina is a factory director. Gosha's pride is hurt not only because of Katerina's high position and large salary, but also because (besides having once spoken forcefully to him, for which she apologized) she had kept this fact secret, and he leaves the apartment. Unable to stop him, Katerina is upset with Rodion. She reveals to Aleksandra that Rodion is, in fact, her father.
Gosha disappears from Katerina's life, and she becomes frantic. A week later, 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. Gosha has been binge-drinking at home for days, and Nikolai, during a "men's talk" over vodka, defends Katerina and convinces Gosha to return.
Sobered up, Gosha and the drunk Nikolai return to Katerina's flat. The friends leave, and Gosha asks for dinner. As he eats, Katerina watches him, saying "I've been looking for you for such a long time." "Eight days", Gosha replies, to which Katerina, with tears in her eyes and thinking instead on her life, repeats, "I've been looking for you for such a long time."
- Vera Alentova – Katerina Aleksandrovna Tikhomirova ("Katya")
- Irina Muravyova – Lyudmila Sviridova ("Lyuda")
- Raisa Ryazanova – Antonina Buyanova ("Tosya")
- Aleksey Batalov – Georgy Ivanovich ("Gosha"), Katya's beloved
- Aleksandr Fatyushin – Sergei Gurin ("Seryozha"), Lyuda's ex-husband, hockey player
- Boris Smorchkov – Nikolai, Tosya's husband
- Viktor Uralsky – Mikhail Ivanovich, Nikolai's father
- Valentina Ushakova – Anna Nikitichna, Nikolai's mother
- Yuri Vasilyev – Rodion Rachkov ("Rudolph"), Aleksandra's father, cameraman
- Yevgeniya Khanayeva – Rodion's mother
- Liya Akhedzhakova – Olga Pavlovna, club's director
- Zoya Fyodorova – aunt Pasha, Hostel's security
- Natalya Vavilova – Aleksandra, Katya's daughter
- Oleg Tabakov – Vladimir, Katya's ex-lover
- Vladimir Basov – Anton Kruglov, deputy chief of central board
- Alexander Borodyansky – Gosha's friend on the picnic
- Garri Bardin – chemical plant chief engineer
- Cameo appearances:
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears won the 1980 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, and was nominated for a Golden Bear in the 1980 Berlin International Film Festival. Over 93 million Soviet viewers went to watch it in theaters, making it one of the most successful films in Soviet cinema. In 2021, in a poll conducted by Russian Public Opinion Research Center, it was voted as the most favorite Soviet movie among Russian viewers.
Awards and recognition
- The film won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980, and was chosen to participate in the International Film Exchange.
- The film was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 30th Berlin International Film Festival (1980).
- Vera Alentova was named as the best Soviet actress according to a poll by magazine Soviet Screen (1980).
- In 1981 it was awarded the USSR State Prize.
- U.S. President Ronald Reagan watched the film several times before his meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in order to gain a better understanding of the "Russian soul".
- Moskva slezam ne verit, translated officially as "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears", but more accurately, "Moscow puts no faith in tears" or "Moscow is unmoved by tears", is a Russian proverb meaning "don't complain, solve your problems by yourself".
- Valentin Chernykh admitted that he received many proposals from Hollywood at that time, but he rejected all of them, since he thought that any remakes of the movie would fail.
- Vitaly Solomin, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Oleg Yefremov, and Leonid Dyachkov auditioned for the part of Gosha. However, none of them convinced the director to take them, and he even wanted to play the main character himself, until he saw Aleksey Batalov in the film My Dear Man on television.
- It was also difficult to find someone apt for the part of Katerina. Many well known actresses such as Anastasiya Vertinskaya, Zhanna Bolotova, Irina Kupchenko, Natalya Sayko, Valentina Telichkina and Margarita Terekhova auditioned for the part, but most of them did not like the script, so the part eventually went to the director’s wife, Vera Alentova.
Songs from the film
- Jamaica by Robertino
- Les Routiers by Yves Montand
- Besame Mucho
- Satirical couplets from late 1950s by Pavel Rudakov and Veniamin Nechaev
- Daddy Cool by Boney M
- Давай закурим (Let's take a smoke) by Klavdiya Shulzhenko
- Александра (Aleksandra) by Sergey Nikitin and Tatyana Nikitina
- Диалог у новогодней ёлки (Dialogue by the New Year tree) by Sergey Nikitin and Tatyana Nikitina
- List of submissions to the 53rd Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Soviet submissions for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film
- Peter Rollberg (2009). Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema. US: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 465–466. ISBN 978-0-8108-6072-8.
- "The 53rd Academy Awards (1981) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
- "Русская кинодвадцатка Радио Свобода "Москва слезам не верит"". Radio Svoboda. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
- Richard Stites (1992). Russian Popular Culture: Entertainment and Society Since 1900. Cambridge University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0-521-36214-8.
- "Россияне назвали своим самым любимым советским фильмом «Москва слезам не верит»". Meduza (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-01-07.
- "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears" – via www.imdb.com.
- English, Robert; Halperin, Jonathan J. (1 January 1987). The Other Side: How Soviets and Americans Perceive Each Other. Transaction Publishers. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-4128-3035-5.
- "IMDB.com: Awards for Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears". imdb.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "about movie on kinoros.ru (russian)".
- "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears". RussianFilmHub.com.
- "Сиротоэкранное кино". www.kommersant.ru. October 10, 2005.
- "Интервью с Верой Алентовой и Владимиром Меньшовым, "В Нью-Йорке с Виктором Топаллером", RTVi". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- "10 фактов о фильме "Москва слезам не верит"". maximonline.ru.
- "10 занятных фактов о фильме «Москва слезам не верит»". September 18, 2015.
- "Москва слезам не верит". www.vokrug.tv.
- Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears at IMDb
- Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears at AllMovie
- Watch Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears online at official Mosfilm site with English subtitles
- Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears at RussianFilmHub.com
- An interview with Vladimir Menshov (Russian)
- Trailer and Screenshots