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Boule de suif (1934)

Pyshka (original title)
| Drama | 4 May 1958 (USA)
A company of French bourgeois travel through the territories occupied by Germans in a stagecoach accompanied by a woman of the oldest profession.


Mikhail Romm


Mikhail Romm, Guy de Maupassant (novel)


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Credited cast:
Galina Sergeyeva Galina Sergeyeva ... Mlle. Elizabeth Rousset (Boule-de-suif)
Andrey Fayt ... Prussian Officer
Faina Ranevskaya ... Mme. Loiseau
Pyotr Repnin ... Lamadon, miller
Tatyana Okunevskaya ... Mme Carre-Lamadon
M. Mikhin M. Mikhin ... Count de Breville
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anatoliy Goryunov ... Louiseau, wine merchant
Karl Gurnyak Karl Gurnyak ... German soldier
Valentina Kuznetsova Valentina Kuznetsova ... Maid
V. Lavrinovich V. Lavrinovich ... Cornudet
Sofya Levitina Sofya Levitina ... Elderly Nun (as S. Levitina)
Evgenia Mezentseva Evgenia Mezentseva ... Countess de Breville
N. Sukhotskaya N. Sukhotskaya ... Young Nun


A company of French bourgeois travel through the territories occupied by Germans in a stagecoach accompanied by a woman of the oldest profession.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »






Soviet Union



Release Date:

4 May 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boule de suif See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Kino pro kino (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

The film squeezes maximum sense and style out of the concept
11 February 2008 | by AndreiPavlovSee all my reviews

My comment concerns the restored version (with additional narrator's voice behind the screen and instrumental music). What can I say about this black-and-white feature? It shows human nature in all its unstable depth. Who is the heroic character in this trivial saga? According to the film it is Pyshka quite definitely. I believe it is simply impossible to take the side of any other character. I've never read the original book but I suppose the film is a very well made screening. The evil deeds of the characters surrounding Pyshka are underlined by the way they eat (devouring chicken, eggs, cucumbers, etc.), the way they cast their glances (narrow eyes, mischievous grimaces, scornful impressions), the way they generally behave (hysteria when they cannot reach their goal - i.e. cannot leave the damned hut; absolute selfishness during their long talks and gestures - they don't care about Pyshka and even about each other while everyone has his/her own fish to fry; cruelty at its usual humane worst - when they are saved, they spit onto their saviour; emptiness and lack of soul - aimless drinking and playing cards)...

What is the meaning of all this? Well, our world can be this small wagon. Everybody is fighting for oneself and humiliating a weaker person. It also reminds me of Maksim Gorkiy "Starukha Izergil" (hope, I don't mix up things here): there was a story about a young man who ripped out his own heart in order to lead people out of the woods and when he died while rescuing men and women, the people just walked away merrily while one of them even stepped upon the heart of the dead young man.

A very sombre and even tragic film it is. It should be black and white only. The music, though quite light, contributes to the whole dirty atmosphere. The close-ups of the faces are professionally done and are truly repulsive.

The film squeezes maximum sense and style out of the concept.

10 out of 10 for this masterwork. Thank you for attention.

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