In the opulent St. Petersburg of the Empire period, Eugene Onegin is a jaded but dashing aristocrat - a man often lacking in empathy, who suffers from restlessness, melancholy and, finally,... See full summary »
I'm a long-time fan of the great Pushkin's novel "Eugene Onegin" and the great Tchaikovsky's opera with the same title. And I always wanted to see a good film adaptation of "Eugene Onegin".
So, I've been watching 1988 Decca's screen version of the opera, 1999 British screen version of the novel...and I didn't like it. I almost despaired, but I was thinking: "There are no Russian screen version of "Onegin"? It can't be!" And I was right! There are Russian screen version. And WHAT A VERSION! This 1958 Soviet film is just perfect film adaptation of the story + amazing Tchaikovsky's music + singing of the Bolshoi Theatre stars. But that's not all! Beautiful locations, costumes, ball scenes...And what a beautiful Russian actors..! Vadim Medvedev (Onegin) is incredibly handsome, red-haired (Oh,red-haired Onegin is something special!) man with an aristocratic face, majestic posture and eloquent face expressions (love his haughty, puffed-up mien and these curved eyebrows...), and he is amazing as arrogant and selfish dandy Eugene Onegin, Igor Ozerov is good as young and naive poet Vladimir Lensky, and Ariadna Shengelaya makes a lovely Tatiana, a shy landowner's daughter...
Galina Vishnevskaya (Tatiana's voice) is the world famous Russian soprano and her singing is outstanding. Yevgeni Kibkalo (Onegin's voice) is a lyric baritone of truly beautiful timbre, and Anton Grygoriev (Lensky's voice) is expressive lyric tenor.
So, I can't say a single bad word about this film. Everything is perfect: singing, acting, direction, camera work, costumes...just everything. This tastefully made film is another proof of the greatness of the Soviet cinema and true pleasure for all the film and opera lovers.
P.S. Try also a Soviet film "Queen of Spades" ("Pikovaya dama"), 1960 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054183/). This is screen version of another Tchaikovsky's opera, directed by the same director (Roman Tikhomirov) and also starring Vadim Medvedev. A beautifully made opera film.
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