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The Idiot (1958)

Idiot (original title)
Upon Prince Myshkin's return to St. Petersburg from an asylum in Switzerland, he becomes beguiled by the lovely young Aglaya, daughter of a wealthy father. But his deepest emotion is for ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Yuliya Borisova ...
Nikita Podgorny ...
Vera Pashennaya ...
General's wife
Nikolai Pazhitnov ...
General Yepanchin (as N.Pazhitnov)
Sergei Martinson ...
Leonid Parkhomenko ...
Emmanuil Geller
Raisa Maksimova ...
Aglaya Yepanchina (as Raya Maksimova)
Vladimir Muravyov ...
Ferdishchenko (as V. Muravyov)
Ivan Lyubeznov ...
General Ivolgin (as I. Lyubeznov)
Grigoriy Shpigel
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olesya Ivanova ...
Klavdiya Polovikova ...
P. Strelin ...
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Storyline

Upon Prince Myshkin's return to St. Petersburg from an asylum in Switzerland, he becomes beguiled by the lovely young Aglaya, daughter of a wealthy father. But his deepest emotion is for the wanton, Nastasia. The choices all are forced to make lead to great tragedy. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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21 July 1960 (USA)  »

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The Idiot  »

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Version of The Idiot Returns (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not to be Myshed
25 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Rather than try to condense Dostoevsky's long ample novel into one film, the makers of this Soviet adaptation wisely decided to do it in multiple parts, allowing them to explore the material at less of a rushed pace. Only the first part ended up being made, but it is enough of a treasure in itself that we can be grateful, and comes to an end at a natural point.

"Intense" is probably the one best word to describe this adaptation; the performances are all tuned to an appropriate level of passionate unreason and tortured emotionality for Dostoevskian characters, and the direction supports this, with plenty of tense, lingering close-ups. The production looks rich and claustrophobic, with the lush but small rooms seeming to amplify the charged nature of the scenes. Even the make-up people seem to have assisted in creating the uniform artistic effect, as all the characters seem appear sunken-eyed and almost maddened.

Yuriy Yakovlev is appropriately innocent and ineffectual and Myshkin, which in this tense atmosphere means his character tends to fall into the background perhaps more than one might expect. The show is really stolen by Yuriy Yakovlev as Nastasya Filipovna. She's looks gorgeous and gives a fantastic performance -- constantly laughing and toying with others. She has as much screen magnetism as anyone I've ever seen, and I was surprised and disappointed to learn that she appeared in relatively few films being mainly a stage actress. With her interpretation is makes perfect sense why so many of the men fall head over heels for this "shamed" woman, and her mercurial, teasing, troublemaking character makes perfect sense.


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