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The Flying Carpet (1957)

Starik Khottabych (original title)
A boy finds a special jug and releases an ancient genie. The powerful and kind wizard is ready to fulfill all desires, but he doesn't know anything about the reality of the 20th century.


Gennadiy Kazanskiy


Lazar Lagin (novel) (as L. Lagin), Lazar Lagin (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Nikolay Volkov ... Hassan Abdurrahman ibn Khottab, the genie
Aleksei Litvinov ... Volka, the boy (as Alyosha Litvinov)
Gennadi Khudyakov ... Zhenia, his friend (as Genya Khudyakov)
Lev Kovalchuk ... Gogha, the bully (as Lyova Kovalchuk)
Valentina Romanova ... Gogha's Mother (as V. Romanova)
Maya Blinova Maya Blinova ... Volka's mother (as M. Blinova)
Olga Cherkasova Olga Cherkasova ... Barbara Stepanovna, the teacher (as O. Cherkasova)
Yefim Kopelyan ... Emir Mukhammedov
Aleksandr Larikov Aleksandr Larikov ... Gogha's Doctor (as A. Larikov)
Evgeniy Vesnik
A. Galin A. Galin
Boris Kokovkin
Anatoly Korolkevich
Vsevolod Kuznetsov ... (as V. Kuznetsov)
M. Stepanov M. Stepanov


A boy named Volka discovers an ancient vessel on the bottom of a river. When he opens it, a genie emerges from there. He calls himself Hassan Abdurrahman ibn Khottab, or in Russian style Khottabych. Grateful Khottabych is ready to fulfill any of Volka's wishes. But it appears that Volka should use the powers of the genie carefully, for they can have undesirable results. Written by Boris Shafir <shafir@hsi.com>

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Plot Keywords:

russia | genie | boy | based on novel | See All (4) »


G | See all certifications »

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Version of Khottabych (2006) See more »

User Reviews

Li'l commies!
21 April 2004 | by Bobs-9See all my reviews

I've seen a few other Soviet era children's films before, but they were mostly of the fairy tale or folk tale genre and were set in distant times and/or places. "Old Hottabych" is set in contemporary (mid 1950s) Soviet Russia, which helped facilitate the strong dose of socialist propaganda in this film. A translation of the original book can be found online, and it seems that the propagandic nature of the story was there from the beginning. I suspect that the screenwriters were strongly encouraged to retain all the socialist talking points in the process of condensing the story for the screenplay, and this causes the propaganda elements to seem more dominant in the film then they might have seemed in the original book. This film is certainly a product of its time and place, and it may seem a bit weird or creepy to western audiences to see a 10 or 11 year old school kid berating a classmate for "hooligan" behavior in school, and threatening to take it up with the "Young Pioneer Council." I was never in the Boy Scouts when I was a kid, but I wonder if they ever cultivated that same kind of cultish fervor here in the west.

I do find it interesting to get a glimpse of what mid-50s Moscow and its citizens looked like, and the story is certainly colorful if you can look past the Soviet propaganda, which is admittedly difficult. The kids are appealing enough too when they're not acting like fanatical little commissars, but even that aspect is interesting to see. As a lifelong US citizen I look at this film as a remarkable artifact of a vanished culture, access to which was once strictly prohibited. Mr. Sidorov's comment below about Soviet fantasy being a unique and not often encountered thing is certainly true, and I'm glad of the opportunity to see it. The Russian Cinema Council (RUSCICO) just released a beautiful DVD of the film with optional subtitles or English language voiceover, which is probably the only way I could have managed to see it. For the adventurous film lover, this is an interesting detour.

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Soviet Union



Release Date:

27 February 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Flying Carpet See more »

Filming Locations:

Moscow, Russia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lenfilm Studio See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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