The series, based on a popular novel of the same name, depicts the exploits of a Russian spy Isaev, working undercover as Standartenfuhrer Stierlitz, in Nazi Germany during 17 days in very ... See full summary »
A group of old friends have a tradition of going to a public bathing house on New Years eve. Occasionally too much vodka and beer makes two of them unconscious. The problem is that one of ... See full summary »
Semyon Gorbunkov goes on a cruise. In Istanbul, he slips and breaks his arm. What he didn't know is that this was a signal for a gang of smugglers (a real smuggler - Gena - was also on ... See full summary »
A soldier of the Red Army named Sukhov has been fighting in the Russian Civil War in Russian Asia for many years. Just as he is about to return home to his wife, Sukhov is chosen to guard ... See full summary »
In this comic but dated story, nerdy Shurik travels to the Caucasus in search of native legends and folklore. But what he finds is a beautiful girl whom, due to intoxication and deceit of ... See full summary »
Stunning WWII flying sequences as the Soviet Air Force battles the Luftwaffe. Veteran Russian pilots teach their new recruits about life, death & love. When the older men fly into battle, ... See full summary »
When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in his country house, Dr James Mortimer asks Sherlock Holmes for help to save Sir Henry Baskerville, the only known heir, from the curse that haunts Baskerville family.
The hero of the film is an insurance agent who is also a car thief. He steals cars only from various crooks and never from the good people. Then he sells those stolen cars and gives all the... See full summary »
The members of a Soviet cooperative have pooled their money to have a badly needed parking garage built. But it turns out that the garage will have four fewer spaces than planned. In brutal... See full summary »
Stories from the lives of the tennants of the Moscow's communal apatment: Kostik, who is a college student, lives with his aunt while studying; Arkady Velyurov who is a performing artist; ... See full summary »
Based on the eponymous book by Boris Vasilyev, the film is set in Karelia (North-West of Russia, near Finland) in 1941 during WWII. In a beautiful and quiet wilderness far from the ... See full summary »
The series, based on a popular novel of the same name, depicts the exploits of a Russian spy Isaev, working undercover as Standartenfuhrer Stierlitz, in Nazi Germany during 17 days in very end of WWII. Stierlitz has worked his way to the very top of the RSHA, main Nazi security and intelligence agency, without being caught. However, his "colleagues", top Hitler's officers Bormann, Mueller, Schellenberg are beginning to suspect him. Stierlitz is constantly walking on the edge between his two identities, sending information to Russia, while skillfully maintaining the appearance of loyalty to Nazi regime. Written by
When the crew was about to shoot one of the scenes where Stirlitz talks to Pastor Schlag, it turned out Vyacheslav Tikhonov did not know his lines, so the crew gave them to him on paper and he read them up. The scene was shot in four takes although Tikhonov kept glancing at the sheet. See more »
One of the little-recognized deficiencies of spy movies is that 'action'--chases, shootings, explosions, etc.--is dominant content. Of course, the trend caters to modern audiences that are addicted to sound and special effects. However, action-driven spy movies (e.g., James Bond) suffer from 3 major defects: 1)They are not believable 2)They contain little or no acting performances to speak of 3)As such, they are easily forgettable. This is not the case with "17 moments of spring" (hereafter SMOS)
The 12 episodes of the series have been specifically shot in Black and White, in fairly simple studio sets, with no special visual effects. What makes SMOS the favorite of audiences, is a gamut of absolutely incredible acting. Each role, even a minor one, casts an "all-star" Soviet actor, and they deliver deep psychological performances. Tikhonov is an obvious star as Stierlitz, but consider Leonid Bronevoy as Mueller, the friendly, always suspicious and incredibly cruel inside Gestapo chief. Or Oleg Tabakov, as cheerful Schellenberg of the German intelligence. Or Plyatt as very vulnerable and very human Pastor Schlag who nevertheless embodies the power of the Church.
So essentially SMOS is not a spy movie, but a tight psychological drama. But we must not forget the subject, and it is an important one, based on a major real life event: in early 1945, trying to finish off the Nazi Germany, the Russians found out that SS-gruppenfuehrer Karl Wolff (essentially a representative of the odious Himmler) attempted to negotiate a separate piece with the Americans in Italy. The talks were top-secret (OSS star Allen Dulles was the US negotiator) and essentially meant a betrayal of Russia by its anti-Nazi allies. SMOS is about how the Russians discovered the secret and forced the end to negotiations.
In short, this is one of the greatest all-time spy thrillers. Just as "Rosemary's Baby" is arguably the best horror movie because of its acting and directing, so does SMOS shine through the mediocrity we are fed today. I wish it were shown to the wide Western audiences, so that they can see for themselves!
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