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The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin (1965)

Giperboloid inzhenera Garina (original title)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Evgeniy Evstigneev ...
Petr Petrovich Garin
Vsevolod Safonov ...
Vasily Shelga
Mikhail Astangov ...
Mr. Rolling
Natalya Klimova ...
Zoya Montrose
Vladimir Druzhnikov ...
Arthur Levy / Volshin
Mikhail Kuznetsov ...
Hlynov
Yuriy Sarantsev ...
Tarashkin
Nikolai Bubnov ...
Nikolai Mantsev
Viktor Chekmaryov
Pavel Shpringfeld ...
Gaston 'Duck Nose'
Bruno O'Ya ...
Captain Yansen
Aleksei Ushakov ...
Vanya Gusev (as Alyosha Ushakov)
Artyom Karapetyan
Anatoliy Romashin
Stepan Krylov
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based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

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Details

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Release Date:

1965 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Spoofed in Gitler kaput! (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not deadly
15 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I didn't exactly know what a hyperboloid was before I watched this movie, and afterwards I admit I still don't. It seems to be a very deadly heat ray of some kind, but we don't spend a lot of time dwelling on seeing it in action, and that help illustrate the focus of this film.

There's a a science fiction premise -- a basic one that deals with the invention of a new super-weapon. But after an effective initial scene of a suspicious abandoned house being investigated, we are thrust headlong into a film more about the international intrigues to discover, control, and exploit the new weapon than about the weapon itself. And that's by and large a wise move; the intrigues are tense and the film is atmospheric. The 1920s time period and largely French setting definitely contributes to an often, smoky, secretive atmosphere.

There's a moral here about the peril of allowing moneymaking interests to control a dangerous weapon. That's well in tune with Soviet governmental ideology, but in this case it's a point well made and as no dead horses are beaten, it's not unwelcome moralizing.

The main flaw is that we jump so quickly into the plot and the hunt for the invention, that we don't get much of a chance to see the characters involved in it built up or developed. That makes things dryer than they need to be and reduces the audience investment in events. I haven't read that book that it's based on (very proudly -- it's in the design of the title card), and maybe that's a less of a problem there.


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