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A Friend of the Deceased (1997)

Priyatel pokoynika (original title)
R | | Comedy, Drama | 1 May 1998 (USA)
Tolla takes out a contract on himself and then changes his mind.


1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aleksandr Lazarev ...
Anzhelika Nevolina ...
Elena Korikova ...
Tetyana Kryvytska Stang Lund ...
Lena / Vika (as Tatyana Krivitskaya)
Evgeniy Pashin ...
Sergey Romanyuk ...
Ivan (as Serhiy Romaniuk)
Anatoliy Mateshko ...
Konstantin Kostyshin ...
Valentina Iliashenko ...
Rostislav Yankovskiy ...
Igor Lvovich
Aleksey Goncharenko ...
Vadim Semyonovich
Shubra Chakraborti
Elena Stefanska ...
Boris Zelenetski ...
Tamara Plashenko ...


Tolla is an unemployed translator whose wife is leaving him. Despondent and weak, he submits to the suggestion of an acquantance to have a contract placed on the man that his wife is seeing. Instead, however, he arranges for the hit to be placed on himself. Before the contract is executed, he develops a relationship with a prostitute, and then changes his mind. In order to survive he takes the obvious course of action, which turns out to have possibly been unnecessary, and then he must deal with the guilt. Written by Thomas Barber

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity and language | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Friend of the Deceased  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$145,443 (USA) (29 May 1998)

Company Credits

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User Reviews

One of my favorites
6 January 2003 | by (Sacramento, CA, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I watched this movie several times with a few of my friends (both Russian/Ukrainian and English-speaking), and almost everybody liked it. Every time I watch this film, it leaves a good (although, a bit sad) impression.

I think that the story is interesting. Maybe not very original, but not beaten to death either. When I watched it for the first time, I was mostly interested in what would happen to the characters, after which I concentrated more on details. I think that most actors were very good: it's like you watch people living, not acting. Dialogs were funny, although English translation did not do them justice (on the other hand, certain things you simply cannot translate: they only make sense in the cultural context).

While most characters in the movie are pretty much pathetic (and/or miserable), they are somehow likeable. Even Dima, who seems to never get bothered by any moral imperatives, shows a human side (e.g. when he lets a poor old lady not to pay the full price for whatever she was buying).

I also liked the sound, editing, just about everything that made this film. Unless you are a dedicated soap opera or professional wrestling fan, you may find it a treat, too. 9 out of 10.

P.S. It is surprising, but this movie is not well known in either Russia or Ukraine.

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