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Five Evenings (1979)

Pyat vecherov (original title)
Tamara and Sasha were separated during the war. Now (1957) Sasha is visiting Moscow for five days and by chance recognizes the house where Tamara used to live. She is still living there with her nephew Slava.


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Credited cast:
Tamara Vasilyevna
Aleksandr Petrovich Ilijn
Valentina Telichkina ...
Larisa Kuznetsova ...
Igor Nefyodov ...
Nina Ter-Osipyan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lyudmila Gajlikovskaya ...
(as L. Gajlinovskaya)
N. Kanarsky
S. Lobakov
Olga Nikolaeva ...
(as O. Nikolayeva)


Tamara and Sasha were separated during the war. Now (1957) Sasha is visiting Moscow for five days and by chance recognizes the house where Tamara used to live. She is still living there with her nephew Slava.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

November 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Five Evenings  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Sovcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Prozhektorperiskhilton: Nikita Mikhalkov (2010) See more »


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User Reviews

A bruising path to love
5 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not many films by Nikita Mikhalkov have made it to U.S. screens, and most of those that have leave no lasting impression – leisurely paced costume dramas muffled up in pretty scenery, pretty people; the kind of movies you can watch with your eyes closed, as the music cues you to remember other similar movies, and the too-familiar sequence of emotions. But that's less than half of Mikhalkov's output, the export quarter. Who knows but there may be treasures to find in the unseen territory of Mikhalkov's oeuvre? There's at least one treasure, and if it stands alone, it stands as a solitary masterpiece.

"Five Evenings" takes place in Moscow in 1958, during the Khruschev "thaw," when (some) Russians were able to experience a version of the Western-style delights of pop-culture and pop consumer goods – little sweeteners of the daily grind, "fleeting" pleasures because ultimately worthless, but sweet nonetheless; for once they were able to enjoy these without (too much) soviet moralizing about Western decadence. (It eventually turned out that the soviet moralizers hadn't vanished, they were only drawing breath – and learning new tricks.) The historical interval of the thaw is only casually related to the action of "Five Evenings," but the joyous touches that sketch in the period help to give the film an extra depth of interest and charm.

The central character, Sasha – Aleksandr Petrovich Iliyin – is a non-conformist, which implies nothing zany or counter-cultural as it might in a Hollywood story. Staying true to himself hasn't given him a free hand and a wide scope for activity; on the contrary, every free choice he has made has narrowed the way open ahead of him, and his stubborn pride at going on must be his satisfaction. His eyes, when they aren't hooded, are watchful and full of humor. He brings Russian soul music into the movie when he decides to stir the ashes of an old love, to see if there's still a spark left in there.

His former lover, Tamara, as curator of the ashes, has grown severe; a mask of disappointment seems to have taken over her personality. But she isn't stupid, and if she's a killjoy she doesn't want to be. After she crushes the spontaneity of a moment, the awareness of her blunder strikes her right away; she tries to fix things by being deliberately spontaneous, and the impossibility of getting any traction that way is both funny and painfully recognizable.

Iliyin carries his myth and mystery with him, along with a hint of danger. For that and other reasons, "Five Evenings" can claim kin with "Choose Me." If you liked Alan Rudolph's film, this dark-bordered Valentine may be just for you.

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