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Solaris (1971)

Solyaris (original title)
A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.

Director:

Andrei Tarkovsky (as Andrey Tarkovskiy)

Writers:

Stanislaw Lem (novel) (as Stanislav Lem), Fridrikh Gorenshteyn (screenplay) (as F. Gorenshteyn) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,528 ( 142)

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Natalya Bondarchuk ... Khari
Donatas Banionis ... Kris Kelvin, psikholog
Jüri Järvet ... Doktor Snaut, kibernetik (as Yuri Yarvet)
Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy ... Anri Berton, pilot
Nikolay Grinko ... Nik Kelvin, otets Krisa Kelvina
Anatoliy Solonitsyn ... Doktor Sartorius, astrobiolog
Olga Barnet ... Mat Krisa Kelvina (as O. Barnet)
Vitalik Kerdimun Vitalik Kerdimun ... Syn Anri Bertona (as V. Kerdimun)
Olga Kizilova ... Gostya doktora Gribaryana (as O. Kizilova)
Tatyana Malykh Tatyana Malykh ... Plemyannitsa Krisa Kelvina (as T. Malykh)
Aleksandr Misharin Aleksandr Misharin ... Shanakhan, predsedatel komissii Anri Bertona (as A. Misharin)
Bagrat Oganesyan Bagrat Oganesyan ... Professor Tarkhe (as B. Oganesyan)
Tamara Ogorodnikova Tamara Ogorodnikova ... Anna, tetka Krisa Kelvina (as T. Ogorodnikova)
Sos Sargsyan ... Doktor Gribaryan, fiziolog (as S. Sarkisyan)
Yulian Semyonov Yulian Semyonov ... Predsedatel nauchnoy konferentsii (as Yu. Semyonov)
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Storyline

The Solaris mission has established a base on a planet that appears to host some kind of intelligence, but the details are hazy and very secret. After the mysterious demise of one of the three scientists on the base, the main character is sent out to replace him. He finds the station run-down and the two remaining scientists cold and secretive. When he also encounters his wife who has been dead for ten years, he begins to appreciate the baffling nature of the alien intelligence. Written by Dan Ellis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Let us take you with us to Solaris, planet of mystery, embodiment of man's latent conflict with the unknown. Man, face to face with his conscience, and with his past.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian | German

Release Date:

26 September 1972 (Czechoslovakia) See more »

Also Known As:

Solaris See more »

Filming Locations:

Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

RUR 1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unapproved cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (Eastman Double-X Negative Film)| Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are a number of references to Cervantes' "Don Quixote" in the film. In the library, Snaut quotes from the novel ("Never before, Sancho, have I heard you speak so elegantly as now.") At one point, Dr Snaut also refers to tilting at windmills, and during the weightless scene, an open copy of Don Quixote flies past, showing the knight errant on his steed Rosinante. See more »

Goofs

When Kris is standing in the rain near the beginning of the film the camera tilts down to the table to show a coffee cup and various other items. The cut to the next shot of Kris shows him to have moved (which seems reasonable as a small amount of time has elapsed) but all the items on the table are now in a different configuration. See more »

Quotes

Doktor Gribaryan, fiziolog: I am my own judge.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Film was cut by its US distributor to 132 mins and released at that length in 1976. In 1990, the director's cut was released in America by Kino International. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Moon (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II: Prelude and Fugue in F minor - BWV 881
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (as I. S. Bakh)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

All time favourite film
1 February 2000 | by Gary-161See all my reviews

This is my favourite film and possibly the best film ever made. It's impossible to put into words what I feel about this beautiful poem. Certainly it is uniquely brilliant artistically and seems to be different every time you view it, the dynamics and emotions of the characters shifting hypnotically. It has the feel of a painting in a gallery and the photography is almost expressionist. It really has to be viewed at the cinema only.

There was a very clever ad campaign to this film stating it was the Russian 2001. So us ten year olds went to see it thinking we were going to see a special effects extravaganza, and instead we saw, what seemed as a child, interminable shots of lilly's and weeds. It went over our heads but I never forgot the score and its haunting melancholia. Apparently Tarkovsky had a bad time making this film and fell out with his cinematographer. Stanislav Lem also disliked the way Tarkovsky changed the book's theme of optimism in exploring space to one of scepticism in the film. Tarkovsky felt that finally what mattered was the theme of love, that is, doing moral good in the universe, love of family or country, or the place of one's birth. The beginning of one's journey which one always returns to in one's mind which was evocatively shown in the film's climax by the lake, surely one of the great movie moments ever and terribly moving. His ultimate concern was the question of a man's soul which he is unable to deal with while striving for technological betterment. Ultimately he hoped man would reach a stage where he would solely be able to explore his spirituality.

I think with all this polemic Tarkovsky missed the fact that this film works as a beautiful love story. If you could turn the clock back there would be no moral life. But in giving Kelvin a second chance to find a greater truth, Tarkovsky also allows us a rare glimpse of love's majesty before it is sullied. The scenes where Kelvin begs Khari's forgiveness and levitates in her arms are the film's great triumphs. His use of Bach is also unforgettable. Unfairly accused of being po-faced, there is also a lot of wise humour in this film if you care to look for it.

This film inexplicably does not appear on many, if any, all time great lists. It does have some Sci-Fi nonsense of the day about bombarding the ocean with radiation, whatever that's supposed to do, but does not prevent this film being one of the great masterpieces of cinema. Recently Time Out or Sight and Sound did a survey of the all time top 20 directors and Tarkovsky did not appear but Woody Allen did! There ain't no justice.


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