7.5/10
1,260
12 user 7 critic

Taksi-Blyuz (1990)

Ivan is old Russia: thick, dour, hard-working, often brutish; he misses Communism. He drives a taxi and one night meets Alexi, a new Russian, a musician, an alcoholic, irresponsible. Alexi ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lyosha
Pyotr Zaychenko ...
Shlykov
Vladimir Kashpur ...
Old Nechiporenko
Natalya Kolyakanova ...
Christina
Hal Singer ...
Himself
Elena Safonova ...
Nina, Liocha's Wife
...
Administrator
Evgeniy Gerchakov ...
Bald Musician in the Taxi
Dmitri Prigov ...
Writer Typing in the Train
Igor Zolotovitskiy ...
Petyunchik
Valeri Khlevinsky ...
Fat Kolya
Elena Stepanova ...
Smart Young Girl
Vladimir Sterzhakov ...
Musician in the Taxi
Konstantin Afonsky ...
Long-Haired Mechanic
Aleksandr Buyanov ...
Passenger with Newspaper

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Storyline

Ivan is old Russia: thick, dour, hard-working, often brutish; he misses Communism. He drives a taxi and one night meets Alexi, a new Russian, a musician, an alcoholic, irresponsible. Alexi stiffs Ivan for the fare, so Ivan tracks him down and a love-hate relationship ensues. When Alexi lets the bath water run over in Ivan's flat and Ivan must pay 500 rubles for repairs, he tries to force Alexi into day labor to repay him. It's hopeless. Then, suddenly, Alexi is discovered, goes on a jazz tour of America, becomes a celebrity, and returns in triumph. Ivan longs to renew the friendship, and it looks as if he may get what he wants. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

18 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Taxi Blues  »

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Box Office

Gross:

$169,410 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Soviet Union for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 63th Academy Awards in 1991. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence, the guy with the blue palm tree shirt waves his hands hypnotist style in front of a woman. Her position in the seat changes between shots. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A patriotic cabbie tries to change a lazy alcoholic Jew.
7 April 2002 | by (Texas, USA) – See all my reviews

This film shows the conflict and forming of a friendship between two opposites: Shlykov, the hard-working patriotic cab driver built like a tank, and Lyosha, the thin, panhandling urban Jew.

A taxi driver in Moscow named Shlykov gets stiffed of his fare by the Jewish saxophone player named Lyosha who calls himself a genius who "speaks to God". Shlykov tracks down Lyosha and takes his saxophone and that is when the fun begins.

Lyosha fails to make money fast enough to pay Shlykov back but Shlykov decides to give him back his saxophone anyways. Lyosha, sensing Shlykov's soft heart, tries to further take advantage of him by begging him for money. After Shlykov lets Lyosha in his apartment, and after Lyosha causes him great trouble costing him even more money, Shlykov takes Lyosha to jail.

After a violent outburst by Shlykov he decides to go back to the police station to drop the charges against Lyosha. He has decided that sending Lyosha to jail would accomplish nothing. He wants to show Lyosha what life is like for honest hard-working people. Shlykov makes Lyosha come to work with him. The "intellectual" breaks down when forced to do what millions of other people in the country have to do everyday of their lives. Both characters show impulsive and unpredictable behaviour, but for different reason. Lyosha is simply a drunk. Shlykov is a patriotic ex-athlete full of proletariat angst and senses his nation is dying because of the "rotten" westernized hooligans he sees everywhere in the streets who lack any work ethic.

I will not reveal the ending to you but I will tell you this story is not a fairy tale.

I think this film goes much deeper than just showing what life was like in the USSR; the two characters can be found in almost every culture in the world today.

Excellent performances by both Zajchenko and Mamonov.


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