Scarlet Sails (film)

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Scarlet Sails
1961 alye parusa.jpg
Poster for original USSR release
Directed by Alexandr Ptushko
Written by Alexandr Yurovsky
Semyon Nagorny
Starring Anastasiya Vertinskaya
Vasily Lanovoy
Lena Cheremshanova
Sasha Lupenko
Ivan Pereverzev
Music by Igor Morozov
Cinematography Gennady Tsekavy
Viktor Yakushev
Edited by I. Moronov
Distributed by RUSCICO
Release date
USSR: 1961
USA: 2004 (DVD)
Running time
88 min.
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

Scarlet Sails (Russian: Алые паруса, Alye parusa) is a 1961 Soviet film produced by Mosfilm and directed by Alexandr Ptushko. It is based on Alexander Grin's 1923 adventure novel of the same name and stars Vasily Lanovoy and Anastasiya Vertinskaya.[1][2] The story is a romantic fantasy[3] and is described as a "fairy tale",[4][5] though it contains no overtly supernatural elements.


The setting is a small fishing village. The former seaman Longren (Ivan Pereverzev) raises his daughter Assol (Lena Cheremshanova/Anastasiya Vertinskaya)[6] alone after losing his beloved wife, making a meager living by selling the toy boats he carves from wood. As a child, Assol encounters an old man (Nikolay Volkov) who claims to be a wizard and promises the girl that one day a prince will come on a ship with scarlet sails to carry her away. The villagers scoff but Assol believes her dream will come true one day.

Arthur Grey (Sasha Lupenko/Vasily Lanovoy) is a nobleman's son who breaks away from his cruel father (Pavel Massalsky) to pursue a life at sea, and eventually becomes the captain of a merchant vessel. Having set to port at Assol's village, he spies the young maiden sleeping in the forest and falls in love. After inquiring in the village he learns of Assol's dream and sets about to make it come true.

Principal cast[edit]

Actor Role
Anastasiya Vertinskaya Assol
Vasily Lanovoy Arthur Grey
Yelena "Lena" Cheremshanova (Елена "Лена" Черемшанова) Young Assol
Aleksandr "Sasha" Lupenko (Александр "Саша" Лупенко) Young Arthur
Ivan Pereverzev Longren
Nikolay Volkov (Николай Волков) Egl (the "wizard")
Sergei Romodanov Captain Gop
Oleg Anofriyev Letika (a seaman)
Zoya Fyodorova (Зоя Федорова) Governess
Pavel Massalsky (Павел Массальский) Arthur's father
Grigori Shpigel (Григорий Шпигель) Menners Jr. (the innkeeper)


DVD cover

This was the film debut of Anastasiya Vertinskaya, who celebrated her 16th birthday during the filming.[7] She went on to star in such Soviet classics as The Amphibian Man and Hamlet.[8]

Locations used in the filming include Koktebel and Yalta in Crimea (Ukraine), Baku in Azerbaijan, and Pitsunda in Abkhazia (Georgia).[5]

Grey's ship Secret was actually the training ship Alfa from the Rostov Naval School. It was outfitted with 2,500 meters of scarlet parachute silk procured to satisfy Ptushko's demand for authenticity.[5]


  1. ^ Scarlet Sails [DVD]. (IV quarter 2003). Russia: RUSCICO.
  2. ^ Alye Parusa at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ "Scarlet Sails review". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Official DVD disc description". Retrieved 2009-03-09. 
  5. ^ a b c "Interview with Oleg Anofriev". Scarlet Sails [DVD]. (IV quarter 2003). Russia: RUSCICO.
  6. ^ The heroine's name is changed to "Isolde" in the English-language dubbing on the DVD.
  7. ^ "Interview with Vassily Lanovoy". Scarlet Sails [DVD]. (IV quarter 2003). Russia: RUSCICO.
  8. ^ Anastasiya Vertinskaya at the Internet Movie Database


  • Alexandr Ptushko (Director). Scarlet Sails [DVD]. (IV quarter 2003). Russia: RUSCICO

External links[edit]