After WWII is over, a young officer Volodya Sharapov returns to Moscow to work in MUR - Moskovskiy Ugolovny Rozysk (Moscow Criminal Police). There he meets Gleb Zheglov who is a chief of a ...
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After WWII is over, a young officer Volodya Sharapov returns to Moscow to work in MUR - Moskovskiy Ugolovny Rozysk (Moscow Criminal Police). There he meets Gleb Zheglov who is a chief of a squad which fights organized crime. Their main task is to track down a gang "Chernaya Koshka" (Black Cat) which terrorizes the city. Also, they have to find out who murdered Larisa Gruzdeva. Zheglov believes it was her husband Ivan Gruzdev, but Sharapov has his doubts about it...Written by
Boris Shafir <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A classic detective story, a classic Russian film and a classic bit of nostalgia.
The movie is an almost word by word adaptation of the Vayner brothers classic novel "Era of Mercy" - one of the few good book adaptations I ever saw... and also a good reason why word by word adaptions don't work --> The novel being 350 pages long, the movie turned out at just over 5 hours, broken into 5 series... the original theatrical debut took 3 daily shows... the streets of Russia were empty during the screenings and zero crimes were recorded throughout the country - all the criminals were busy watching the movie. The movie is still shown approx twice a year on Russian TV channels...
So, why do so many people like it? Or, to be more exact, what makes it such a great film?
The "core of the film" - the detective story is excellent, unpredictable, yet logical. The attention to the details of the late 1940's criminal and civil environment is incredible... Sharapov's personal life, and love interest, rather then being just filler between the investigation scenes, do a lot to show us what Volodya is fighting for and what he stands to lose. The film is chalk full of quotes that remain popular even to this day. And, of course, Visotzky...
Every time I see this movie I feel a sharp sense of loss, due to his untimely death... I feel that I should have seen him perform on stage, I film I should have heard what kind of songs he would write when he reached 50, what kind of movies he would enchance with his presence...
Vysotzky isn't the natural casting choice for the the novel's Jeglov. If the film was filmed in the US, a Brian Dennehy type of actor would probably be cast for the role... But Vystozky takes the role of Jeglov, and makes it thoroughly impossible to imagine anyone else in that role...and, as his second to last role, Jeglov defines him...
While the novel ultimately condemns Jeglov's methods and personality, the movie Jeglov remains sympathetic even after we have seen the uglier side of him... not because Vysotzky downplays it, but due to his sheer charisma and force of personality...
Great movie overall, one worth watching time and time again.
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