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 kindergarten director Troshkin is a dead ringer for a criminal nicknamed "Docent" who stole the priceless headpiece of Alexander the Great during an archaeological expedition. But after ... See full summary »
The February of 2009, Toei Animation announces that as honor to 20 years of Dragon Ball Z will begin the production of a renewed DragonBall Z, named DragonBall Kai. This new anime ... See full summary »
The adventures of Earth's martial arts defender Son Goku continue with a new family and the revelation of his alien origin. Now Goku and his allies must defend the planet from an onslaught of new extraterrestrial enemies.
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 »
The movie consists of 3 short movies, each about Shurik - a nerdy student.. 1. "Naparnik" ("Partner"). Shurik has a fight in a bus with a bully named Fedya because Fedya didn't want to ... See full summary »
Anatoli Yefremovich Novoseltsev works in a statistics institution, whose director is an unattractive and bossy woman. An old friend of his, Yuri Grigorievich Samokhvalov, who gets appointed... See full summary »
In Italy, a dying woman tells her granddaughter that she hid her treasure many years ago in Russia, in the city of Leningrad. Other people (who were around when she died) also learn about ... 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
The person responsible for extras casting was Jewish and was casting a lot of his friends and relatives in tiny parts. As a result, when the military consultant (from the KGB) saw the chosen actors, he said that most of the guards at Nazi headquarters looked like soldiers of Israeli army, not elite SS soldiers, and demanded that they change them to more appropriate looking actors. As a result, the roles of SS guards were played by military cadets of the frontier-guards schools from Tallinn (Estonia) and Riga (Latvia), who, being tall, blonde and blue-eyed looked more like real SS soldiers. See more »
[dictating a letter to Vatican to a cleric scribe]
... And Pastor Schlag or his angelic image...
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!
59 of 61 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?