Original film poster
|Directed by||Gennadi Kazansky
|Produced by||T. Samoznayeva [Production Director]|
|Written by||Lazar Lagin|
|Screenplay by||Lazar Lagin|
|Based on||Old Khottabych by Lazar Lagin|
|Music by||Nadezhda Simonyan|
Starik Khottabych (Russian: Старик Хоттабыч, Old Man Khottabych or Old Khottabych) is a Sovcolor Soviet fantasy film produced in the USSR by Goskino at Kinostudyia Lenfilm (Lenfilm Studio) in 1956, based on a children's book of the same name by Lazar Lagin who also wrote the film's script, and directed by Gennadi Kazansky. In the United States, the film was released theatrically by Sovexportfilm, with English subtitles, under the title The Flying Carpet through Artkino Pictures Inc. in 1960.
Volka, a 12-year-old Soviet Young Pioneer, discovers an ancient vessel at the bottom of a river. When he opens it, a genie emerges. He calls himself Hassan Abdul-rahman ibn Khattab, but Volka renames him Khottabych. The name Khottabych is derived from the Arabic Khattab with the Russian patronymic suffix -ych, yielding a Russian equivalent of ibn-Khattab (son of Khattab). Khottabych later claims to be 3,732 years and 5 months old. The grateful Khottabych is ready to fulfill any of Volka's wishes, but it becomes clear that Volka should use the powers of the genie carefully, for they can have some unforeseen undesirable results.
- Nikolai Volkov as Khottabych
- Alyosha Litvinov as Volka
- Genya Khudyskov as Zhenya, his pal
- Lyeva Kovalchuk as Goga, the bully
- Marya Blinova as Volka's Mother
- Vera Romanova as Goga's Mother
- Olga Cherkasova as Varvara Stepanovna, teacher
- Efim Kopelyan as emir Mukhammdov
- Aleksandr Larikov as The Doctor
- and (roles not determined): Yevgeni Vesnik, Boris Kokovin, Anatoli Korolkevich, A. Galin, V. Kuznetsov, and M. Stepanov
- Production director: Tamara Samoznaeva
- Producer: Lev Makhtin
- Screenplay by Lazar Lagin
- Directed by Gennadi Kazansky
- Cinematographer: Muzakir Shuruckov
- Art directors: Isaak Kaplan, Bella Manevich
- Composer: Nadezhda Simonyan
- Sound operator: Grigory Albert
Special effects team:
- Director of photography: Mihail Shamkovich
- Camera operators: B. Durov, M. Pocrovsky
- Art directors: A. Alekseyev, Mihail Krotkin, Maria Kandat
The novel is influenced by the tale of Aladdin and his magical lamp, and it was quite popular with Soviet kids. There were two major versions of the novel - the original was published in 1938, and a revised version followed in 1955. This later version was the basis of the 1956 film. Revisions to the novel were made by Lagin himself in order to incorporate the changes taking place in the USSR and the rest of the world into the narrative, including some ideological anti-capitalistic elements. The original edition has been republished in the Post-Soviet era.
In 2006, a modern film remake was made. It was called Khottabych. This remake has little in common with the first film, except for the central plot point of finding a genie in a clay vessel, and the central theme of how times have changed, as is emphasized by this very lack of commonality, as well as various anachronism-based humor, like wished-for hundred dollar bills appearing printed on ancient papyrus, a makeover that puts the venerable djinn inside a flashy tracksuit, or the so-old-it's-hip-again luxury Soviet vehicle driven by the protagonists.
The film was released on DVD in Russia in 2004. The disc contains four spoken languages in Dolby Digital 5.1: Russian original, English voice-over, French and Arabic dubbed languages; subtitles in Russian, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, Swedish, German, Portuguese, Hebrew, Arabic and Chinese. It also contains special features "Monologue in the Intermission", "Another Genie", filmography and a photo album.
- Old Khottabych at AllMovie
- Old Khottabych at the Internet Movie Database
- Lazar Lagin. The Old Genie Hottabych (english translation) at Maksim Moshkow's Library
- Old Khottabych (Movie for kids with English subtitles)
- Volka (Willie) is a diminutive form of the name Volya which also was a diminutive name of Vladimir: "Yesterday, a pioneer named Vladimir Kostylkov came to his district militia station and handed the officer on duty a treasure consisting of antique gold objects which he found on the bottom of the river, in a very deep place."