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Papirosnitsa ot Mosselproma (1924)

As she works in her tedious office job, Maria Ivanovna dreams about being married, and she has particular hopes that her co-worker Nikodim Mityushin will take an interest in her. Nikodim, ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Zina Vesenina, cigarette girl
Igor Ilyinsky ...
Nikodim Mityushin, bookkeeper
Anna Dmokhovskaya ...
Maria Ivanovna (as A. Dmokhovskaya)
Nikolai Tsereteli ...
Latugin, cameraman (as N. Tsereteli)
Leonid Baratov ...
Barsov-Aragonsky, film director (as L. Baratov)
M. Tsybulsky ...
Oliver Mac-Bride, American


As she works in her tedious office job, Maria Ivanovna dreams about being married, and she has particular hopes that her co-worker Nikodim Mityushin will take an interest in her. Nikodim, though, is in love with Zina, who sells cigarettes on the sidewalk, and he frequently buys cigarettes from her even though he does not smoke. One day, a film crew uses Zina as an extra in an outdoor scene, and the cameraman, Latugin, falls in love with her. Latugin soon arranges an acting job for Zina. To complicate matters further, Zina has yet another admirer in Oliver MacBride, an American businessman who is visiting Moscow. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance





Release Date:

2 December 1924 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

The Cigarette Girl from Mosselprom  »

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Featured in Sergei Eisenstein: Autobiography (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

A Pleasant, Entertaining, Self-Deprecating Comedy
21 February 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This pleasant, entertaining, self-deprecating comedy is worth seeing both in itself and as one of the very earliest Soviet-era Russian comedy movies. It has an array of sympathetic, if silly, characters, and a story that creates some amusing predicaments and that also provides some interesting self-referential commentary.

The center of it all is Zina, "The Cigarette Girl of Mosselprom", played by a good-natured Julia Solntseva. She gets involved in a number of romantic mix-ups at the same time that she starts a budding acting career. Most of the story is very light, and it never takes itself seriously. At the same time, the humorous look at film-making works quite well. There is one particularly good sequence, which begins with one of Zina's admirers watching her precariously atop a bridge, that nicely ties together several of the movie's themes.

Much of what makes this work is that it treats almost all of the characters sensitively, even when they behave foolishly. Who could not sympathize with Nikodim when he buys things he doesn't need, just to be close to the girl he adores? Who cannot feel empathy for Maria's loneliness, or Latugin's dreams? None of them behave with any particular degree of intelligence, but that just makes them human.

The movie is well-crafted for the most part, and it makes good use of its resources. Aside from Solntseva, the acting is at times just a bit over-the-top, but the cast makes their characters believable and human. As a whole it works well, providing a pleasant comic look at human nature, at movie-making, and at the everyday life of its own time and place.

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