IMDb > Letter Never Sent (1960)
Neotpravlennoe pismo
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Letter Never Sent (1960) More at IMDbPro »Neotpravlennoe pismo (original title)

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Release Date:
27 June 1960 (Soviet Union) See more »
Four geologists search for diamonds in the wilderness of Siberia. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
NEW RESTORATION gets a screening @ the 2007 Tribeca Film Fest (NYC) See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order)

Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy ... Sabinin (as I. Smoktunovskiy)

Tatyana Samoylova ... Tanya (as T. Samoylova)

Vasiliy Livanov ... Andrey (as V. Livanov)
Evgeniy Urbanskiy ... Sergey (as Ye. Urbanskiy)
Galina Kozhakina ... Vera (as G. Kozhakina)

Directed by
Mikhail Kalatozov 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Grigori Koltunov  (as G. Koltunov)
Valeri Osipov  screenplay (as V. Osipov)
Valeri Osipov  story (as V. Osipov)
Viktor Rozov  (as V. Rozov)

Original Music by
Nikolai Kryukov  (as N. Kryukov)
Cinematography by
Sergey Urusevskiy  (as S. Urusevskiy)
Film Editing by
N. Anikina 
Production Design by
David Vinitsky  (as D. Vinitskiy)
Costume Design by
Leonid Naumov  (as L. Naumov)
Makeup Department
M. Maslov .... makeup artist
Production Management
Viktor Tsirul .... production manager (as V. Tsirul)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
B. Fridman .... assistant director
Sergey Urusevskiy .... assistant director
Sound Department
Valeri Popov .... sound (as V. Popov)
Camera and Electrical Department
Pyotr Terpsikhorov .... camera operator (as P. Terpsikhorov)
Yuri Zubov .... camera operator (as Yu. Zubov)
Music Department
Arnold Roytman .... conductor (as A. Roytman)
Other crew
D. Ovchinnikov .... consultant
Yu. Shevkunenko .... script editor
B. Yerofeyev .... consultant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Neotpravlennoe pismo" - Soviet Union (original title)
"The Unmailed Letter" - USA
See more »
97 min | USA:80 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Cited by director Rian Johnson as an influence for Star Wars: Episode VIII, along with Twelve O'Clock High (1949)See more »
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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
NEW RESTORATION gets a screening @ the 2007 Tribeca Film Fest (NYC), 22 April 2007
Author: SONNYK_USA from NYC

Welcome to Siberia, circa 1959 (in perfectly restored, glorious Black and White).

Although this story revolves around four 'pioneers' dropped into a vast wilderness to search for a rumored vein of diamonds (aka 'the Diamond Pipe'), the real star of the movie is cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky ("Soy Cuba," "The Cranes Are Flying").

Urusevsky is master of composition, dolly shots, and hand-held photography (when necessary). The way he frames his close-ups of the actors practically allows the audience to see into their souls.

Of course, it helps that he's shooting a top-notch Russian cast, including actress Tatyana Samojlova ("The Cranes Are Flying") whose character 'Tanya' is desperate to survive the troubling events that befall the group. Tanya is also the lone female and commands the attentions of two men in the rock-sampling group (though one is unrequited).

In addition, the visual elements are underscored aurally by composer Nikolai Kryukov's ("The Forty-first") evocative score, although he does amp up the music a bit too much in a couple of scenes. Not unusual for the time period, so set your appreciation meter back to the 50's and you won't be as bothered as I was.

The title of the film refers to not one but two letters that figure into the plot. One is a long, personal letter that is referred to in voice-over from time to time throughout the film, while the other is a love letter thought to be hidden away until it accidentally comes to light.

The plot is very straightforward so I won't spoil any surprises by detailing it here, suffice to say that the main attractions of this film are the artistic cinematography, the strong cast, and the director's choice to foreshadow plot elements by overlaying fiery images over his hardcharging trekkers.

If you've never seen any films by director Mikhail Kalatozov ("The Red Tent," "Soy Cuba," "The Cranes Are Flying"), then this one is probably as accessible as any and with a new restoration to boot, practically a MUST-SEE.

The ending alone is worth the price of admission, so check it out festival goers.

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