Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia

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Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia
Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia.jpg
Directed by Eldar Ryazanov
Franco Prosperi
Produced by Dino De Laurentiis
Luigi De Laurentiis
Written by Emil Braginsky
Franco Castellano
Giuseppe Moccia
Eldar Ryazanov
Starring Andrei Mironov
Ninetto Davoli
Antonia Santilli
Alighiero Noschese
Tano Cimarosa
Yevgeniy Yevstigneyev
Olga Aroseva
Music by Carlo Rustichelli
Cinematography Mikhail Bitz
Gábor Pogány
Edited by A. Stepanov
Distributed by Mosfilm
Release date
January 31, 1974
Running time
100 min.
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian, Italian
Budget 49,200,000 rubles

Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia (Russian: Невероятные приключения итальянцев в России, translit. Neveroyatnye Priklyucheniya Italyantsev v Rossii, Italian: Una matta, matta, matta corsa in Russia) is a 1974 joint Soviet-Italian film directed by Franco Prosperi and Eldar Ryazanov. The film tells a story about a group of Italian treasure hunters who set on a journey to find long-forgotten treasure in Leningrad, Russia.

Plot summary[edit]

The story begins in a hospital somewhere in Rome, Italy, where an elderly lady, originally an immigrant from Russia, is living through her final moments. With her last breath, she tells her granddaughter, Olga, that despite being of seemingly poor origin, she actually belongs to a rich aristocratic bloodline. Whilst fleeing the Red Terror, a series of repressions targeting aristocracy (victims are historically referred to as former people), she was forced to leave her family's treasures, a total of 9 billion Italian lire, in Russia, Leningrad (at the time called Petrograd, today referred to as Saint Petersberg), "underneath a lion", which at first glance seems to imply that the landmark of importance is a lion statue (ironically, the city is notorious for having an overwhelming amount of lion statues). The revelation is overheard by a doctor, 2 male nurses Antonio and Giuseppe, an Italian mafioso Rosario and a hobbling man. All six of them (including Olga, the granddaughter) make their way to Russia and all but one are able to start their search (the doctor is left passport-less by mafioso and is forced to make several round trips from Russia to Italy because neither country is willing to let him in without identification). The treasure hunters are soon joined by Andrei (portrayed by Andrei Mironov), an undercover police captain posing as a "guide for a millionth Italian visitor", who happens to be Antonio, one of the male nurses (the police seem to be aware of the ongoing hunt). The hunt soon turns into a game of elimination, though the characters' rivalry soon grows into a form of friendship (Olga and Andrei actually develop feelings for each other, going as far as Andrei claiming he would marry Olga soon after the two met for the first time). They eventually find the treasure, revealed to be hidden underneath a lion cage instead of a statue. However, the treasure hunters are soon confronted by the police, who confiscate the findings (as by law such treasure belongs to the state). Luckily for the hunters, the Soviet government offers them 25% of all treasures (again, a rule imposed by the law at the time). Their quest being complete, the adventurers part their ways, each now being impressively wealthy. Olga decides to stay in Russia with Andrei (revealed to be promoted to the rank of major within the police), as the two have fallen in love during the journey.



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