Merry Fellows was the first Soviet musical comedy. Set in Odessa and Moscow in the 1930's. Shepherd Kostya Potekhin (Utyosov) is mistaken for an international concert star. He falls in love with Anyuta (Orlova) and plays the "star" for her. In a cascade of comic musical numbers he becomes the leader of a Jazz-Band and gives a hilarious show at the Odessa Music Hall. Now he is destined to perform at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
Did You Know?
The animated credits begin with the names and faces of Charles Chaplin
, Harold Lloyd
and Buster Keaton
, followed on the next title by the text "do not participate in this film". The letters are then mixed and reappear as "in this film participate", followed by the actual cast members. The credits also list "Marya Ivanovna" with a large question mark; the question mark turns into a cow, which then paints with her tail the title of the film (in the film, Marya Ivanovna happens to be the name of a lazy cow in the herd tended by the main character Kostya Potekhin). See more
In 1958, director Grigori Aleksandrov made a re-dubbed version, pretending that the original soundtrack had been damaged. Leonid Utyosov's lines and songs were dubbed by
and a few lines and scenes were deleted because of censorship. The animated title credits were remade with some changes: for example, the words "Jazz comedy" above the main title of the film were removed; the animated cow was no more spitting as in the 1934 original. See more