In the Nineteenth Century, at the seaside resort of Yalta, the upper class Dimitri Gurov from Moscow meets Anna Sergeyovna walking with her little dog. Both have unhappy marriages: Dimitri ... See full summary »
During World War II, 19 year old soldier Alyosha gets a medal as a reward for a heroic act at the front. Instead of this medal he asks for a few days leave to visit his mother and repair ... See full summary »
Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the ... See full summary »
Ambitious poor relation Blanche Fullerton accepts a job as governess from her wealthy cousins who have adopted the name Fury since they acquired the ancestral home of the Fury family. ... See full summary »
Rudolf is a good-natured pan-sexual golden boy, who cavorts on his rural estate with a host of beautiful, aristocratic lovers and friends of both sexes. He refuses to leave his country ... See full summary »
Haworth is a show biz producer who has a number of ex-girlfriends that he has beaten over the years. He is now engaged to two girls- Lisa and Trenna. After drinking and starting a fight ... See full summary »
George B. Seitz
The first puppet kinescope in the world. It is based on the famous poetic comedy by William Shakespeare. Three worlds meet in this story: the noble world of three Athens couples, a common ... See full summary »
The opening scene of Aleksei Batalov's "The Overcoat" has a baby crying on being given his lousy name- Akaki Akakiyevich. It's a moment that is both sad and funny, and establishes the tone of the story, which is about a good-hearted man who just seems to have been cursed with low status and bad luck. Akaki grows up to become a clerk in an office filled with people who mock him and make him the butt of their practical jokes. He goes home everyday to his dingy apartment, where he has a stash of money hidden so he can save up for an overcoat. When he finally buys it, the coat brings Akaki a kind of warmth and companionship that he has been missing. No one else can see why it's so special to him. Then, one day, his coat is stolen...
Anyone familiar with Gogol's justly famous short story will probably like this film. It has a few flaws: Rolan Bykov, despite having a strong lead performance, is a little too doe-eyed at moments (such as when he tearfully asks his bullying co-workers "Why do you persecute me?" and they are immediately overwhelmed with sympathy), and the sense of humor that was so crucial to Gogol's masterpiece diminishes as the film progresses. But the pluses outweigh the minuses by far. The script is very faithful to the story, allowing the twist at the end to come as a satisfying surprise for the audience, just as it should. Yelena Ponsova is delightful as the crotchety old landlady, and the other supporting actors all have enjoyable performances. The music score adds a nice touch, and the beautifully lit black-and-white photography is often stunning. At 75 minutes, Batalov's film is a short work of art in its own right- not always perfect, but very likeable and deeply felt.
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