Old Hags

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Old Hags
Old Hags 2000.jpg
Directed by Eldar Ryazanov
Produced by Vladimir Dostal
Written by Eldar Ryazanov
Vladimir Moiseenko
Starring Liya Akhedzhakova
Lyudmila Gurchenko
Svetlana Kryuchkova
Irina Kupchenko
Music by Andrey Petrov
Cinematography Gregory Belenky
Release date
3 March 2000
Running time
127 minutes
Country Russia
Language Russian

Old Hags[1] (Russian: Старые клячи[2], translit. Starye klyachi) is a 2000 Russian comedy film directed by Eldar Ryazanov.


Four middle-aged women with different fates live in Moscow. One of them, Anna - PhD, has to work at a car wash and is constantly subjected to insults from the owner. Another woman, Lisa - a former trade-union worker, now works at a market. The owner of the vegetable shop constantly penalizes her for allegedly stealing money. Third, Masha - a former railway worker, sells pies in an underpass. Finally, Lyuba – an intelligent woman – has to sell newspapers. All of these women are very different, but they share one thing - they are most loyal friends, always ready to help each other.

Soon Lyuba gets in a terrible situation. She decides to sell her luxurious apartment (her parental inheritance) with a view of the Kremlin for 100 thousand dollars, and buy inexpensive housing somewhere in the outskirts of the capital. Businessman Khomenko, who turned out to be a fraud, fraudulently takes possession of Lyuba's flat, and she finds herself in the street with no money and no housing. In desperation, Lyuba appealed for help, and three of her friends begin to act.

The women decide to punish the villain Khomenko, completely upsetting his criminal business. As a result of puzzling adventures, ladies return the apartment to Lyuba. In this good deed the girlfriends are helped by theater administrator Lazovsky and general Dubovitsky. However, the actions of the resourceful and brave women were partly outside the law, and therefore the friends are imprisoned. During the trial, the whole truth about the "victim" Khomenko is turned out, and the judge grants an acquittal to the friends. They form a group called "Old Hags" and decide to start concert activities.



The movie received mostly negative reviews on the time of release and became a box office bomb.

As Sergey Kudryavtsev wrote, «I feel both ashamed and sorry for the aged classic of the national cinema; blaming him for his artistic impotence would be the same as making fun of an old man because of his poor health... The final scene where the author (by the way, he (Ryazanov) personally plays the fair judge) bids farewell to his heroes is automatically seen as his personal epitaph that may bring tears of regret to the eyes, like when you are standing in front of a dead man's tomb».[3]

Mikhail Brashinskiy from the Afisha magazine concluded: «Ryazanov completely lost his sensibility, together with the USSR, Emil Braginsky and his ear for music. Today he has no idea what makes us laugh or grief, who we are and why we eat our bread. At least I felt that we are living in two different countries after finishing the film. He seems to be living on a block of ice that heads somewhere».[4]


  1. ^ "Старые клячи". Kinopoisk.ru. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  2. ^ "Старые клячи (2000) - информация о фильме - российские фильмы и сериалы - Кино-Театр.РУ". Kino-teatr.ru. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  3. ^ Old Hags review, 3.5/10 by Sergey Kudryavtsev at KinoPoisk, 2000 (in Russian)
  4. ^ Old Hags review by Mikhail Brashinskiy at Afisha, January 1, 2001 (in Russian)

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