16 user 2 critic

Autumn Marathon (1979)

Osenniy marafon (original title)
School teacher is cheating on his wife and lies about it.


Georgiy Daneliya
4 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Oleg Basilashvili ... Andrey Buzykin
Natalya Gundareva ... Nina Buzykina
Marina Neyolova ... Alla Ermakova
Evgeniy Leonov ... Vasiliy Kharitonov
Norbert Kuchinke ... Bill Hansen
Nikolay Kryuchkov ... Uncle Kolya
Galina Volchek ... Varvara Nikitichna
Olga Bogdanova ... Elena Buzykina
Borislav Brondukov ... Accident Defender
Vladimir Grammatikov ... Evgeniy Ptashuk
Dmitri Matveyev Dmitri Matveyev ... Viktor
Vadim Medvedev ... Shershavnikov
Nikita Podgorny ... Georgiy Verigin
Vladimir Pozhidayev Vladimir Pozhidayev ... Accident Driver
L. Ivanova L. Ivanova


Andrey Pavlovich Buzykin, who makes a living by teaching at an institute and translating English literature, is cheating on his wife. Buzykin's main problem is that he's a kind man with a weak character. The lies he is telling his wife all the time are inconvincing, but he never has the courage to tell her the truth. His lover, Alla, is aware of his family life, but gets offended when, for example, he cannot meet her so that he doesn't come home late, or when he doesn't want to go home in a new jacket she gives him to avoid having to explain to his wife. Alla and Nina, Andrei's wife, both leave him, forgive him, and return to him at the same time, and Andrei continues with this kind of life, full of suffering and deceit. Finally, both women are so fed up with his lies that they don't believe him even when he is telling the truth... Written by Denis Chebikin <chebikin@mit.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


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Did You Know?


Official submission of Soviet Union for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 52nd Academy Awards in 1980. See more »


[first lines]
Andrey Pavlovich Buzykin: "For whom would nature exist with no one to behold her?" Question mark. "With no one to feel the swirling snow blowing ever colder?" Question mark. "No one to fear the thunder with its mighty roar?" Question mark. "No one to greet the wind blowing from afar?" Question mark. "No one to hear the waves lapping at the shore?" Question mark. "No one to scan the sky to spy the falling star?"
Alla Mikhaylovna Yermakova - Buzykin's Mistress: Question mark.
Andrey Pavlovich Buzykin: "For no one... for herself... for a lark." What? What is it?
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References The Leper (1976) See more »


Myla Marusenka belyye nogi
Russian folk song
Performed by Evgeniy Leonov (uncredited) and Norbert Kuchinke (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Russian director Georgi Danelia shows in his film that being good is just not enough when one is a liar.
20 October 2013 | by FilmCriticLalitRaoSee all my reviews

As a subjective concept 'goodness' is interpreted in various forms. However, it can be easily assessed if it is seen through the prism of 'actions' performed by people. Russian film Osenniy Marafon (Autumn Marathon) is a tragicomic tale wherein the concept of 'goodness' abounds through the portrayal of an English-Russian translator who would help anybody in need. His weakness is that he doesn't know how to refuse anybody who has come to seek help. However, there is more trouble in store for him due to his tendency to intentionally utter numerous false statements to both family members and colleagues. Russian director Georgi Danelia put himself in a creative quandary by making a film about a man who has too many negative qualities despite having a charming outer appearance. This is one reason why authorities who worked for the promotion of Russian cinema were reluctant to promote this film as it chose to depict a philandering liar who would cause immense grief to both his mistress as well as wife. Although the film's theme might appear a little outdated to contemporary viewers but it was an immense success during its release in late 1970s. This brings us to question why there was tremendous opposition to this film in official circles as adultery has always remained a recurring theme in Russian literature. It is not a secret that many duels were fought with loss of lives over extra marital affairs. Lastly Russian actors namely Oleg Bassilashvili, Natalya Gundareva and Marina Neyolova are credible in their respective roles as husband, wife and mistress who suffer immensely as a web of lies is woven around their erratic lives.

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Soviet Union



Release Date:

23 November 1979 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Autumn Marathon See more »

Filming Locations:

Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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