Soviet films that Brezhnev saved
When preparing material on various films of the USSR era, I often come across the phrase “The film saved Brezhnev”. That was the idea of this post - the films that Brezhnev saved. I remembered only some of the famous films that were included in the golden fund of the Soviet cinema, about which the creators of these films said in memories that their picture had been saved from the regiment by the secretary general.
As is known from history, Leonid Ilyich was very fond of cinema, and he was often brought to the country house by new items of world and domestic cinema. And very often among these paintings were those that officials from Goskino were going to put "on the shelf." But they liked the secretary general so much that their rolling fate was reversed. Here's what the filmmakers look like.
Vasily Shukshin foresaw that the big artistic council of Mosfilm would accept the picture "with bayonets." Therefore, the crew was in a hurry to finish the work, while Mosfilm masters Raizman, Yutkevich, Ozerov, Saltykov were on summer vacations. Otherwise, halfway through, they would have been tortured with the demands of alterations, and then they would be completely closed.And all the shooting took place in 2 months and 22 days instead of the four and a half months set in accordance with the plan.
Alexander Alexandrovich Sizov supported “Kalina Red” unconditionally, but he understood that it would be difficult to break through on the screens.
And indeed, the picture immediately appeared a lot of enemies. Goskino officials demanded such “corrections” that could be made only by making a film again. Sizov warned Shukshin to be ready to give a speech before the leadership. But this was not necessary. Together with other "novelties" "Kalina Krasnaya" got "to the dacha". Brezhnev looked at her and wept. And the fate of the picture was decided.
"The Caucasian Captive, or the New Adventures of Shurik"
In Goskino USSR, they categorically did not want to take the film. They didn’t like jokes, didn’t like the songs of composer Alexander Zatsepin, one of which, “If I were a sultan,” was declared immoral. One of the officials said to the authors that this anti-Soviet would come out on the screen only through his dead body. But Brezhnev "Captive" liked so much that he ordered to give light to the project.
One Friday evening, the studio received a call from Brezhnev’s office and asked to send “something new and funny” to the general secretary.Nothing suitable was found, except for the rejected comedy by Gaidai. Brezhnev was delighted. Leonid Ilyich brought the picture he liked to show his colleagues in the government. Brezhnev knew the movie almost by heart. He even prevented our leaders from watching, all the time prompting: “But now he will say that in the next village the groom stole a party member”. And, to the surprise of those present, Nikulin said this phrase. Brezhnev laughed louder and louder. Therefore, the “high” audience took the film superbly. Brezhnev called Goskino and expressed not only his own opinion, but also members of the Politburo, congratulating “on another victory of the Soviet cinema”. At the government cottages for the weekend picture chased seven times.
As one of the authors of the script, Yakov Kostyukovsky, recalled, at the next meeting, “the big boss swallows me with his arms and sculpts a kiss so masculine with a hickey. Officials quickly orient themselves and shout:“ What a meeting there! Let's have the highest category! "We are shocked. But what shocked me the most was the biggest boss who proclaims:" Well, what did I tell you? "
"White Sun of the Desert"
On watching the film, the commission indicated to the director that the picture was too tragic.It needed a serious revision. In order to meet the requirements, it was necessary to re-shoot several key scenes, including completely changing the ending. So, for example, in the original version, Nastasya (Vereshchagin’s spouse) goes mad with grief. Mortally wounded, Abdullah falls, and his wives tear their hair out, mourning the death of her husband. Quite a different look was the final battle between Abdullah and Sukhov. All these scenes were not included in the final version or were completely reworked. The final questioned the principle of socialist internationalism, the right to interfere with the weapon in the life of another people. I had to throw out and shoot out the episodes, but still we hung another 27 amendments.
Since the director categorically refused to cut the film, a “shelf” was prepared for him. The White Sun, as a prison bullpen prisoner, lay motionless in the movie storage of the 1st Division of the Goskino subordinate to the KGB. It was a storehouse of ideologically unseasoned films and those Western products that did not fall on our screens, films with erotica, scenes of violence, anti-Sovietism, etc. Only members of the Politburo and ministers had the opportunity to watch them at their dachas.
And here the case intervened.
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, was very fond of cinema. Especially American Westerns like The Wild Gang with William Holden, or The Runaways with James Stewart and Dean Martin.
Most often, the Secretary General watched the tapes in the cinema hall at the dacha in Zavidovo, where they were brought to the reels.
In 1969, just before the next anniversary of the October Revolution, several American novelties were to be brought to Zavidovo. But films as if they were late for the sin. In a hurry, they found the Soviet answer to the westerns there - the film “White Sun of the Desert”, where instead of the sheriffs the Red Army men were, and instead of the cowboys - the Central Asian Basmachi, and waited
end this adventure.
A few hours later in the apartment of the Chairman of the State Committee on Cinematography, Alexei Romanov, a bell rang around the turntable.
Having picked up the phone of the apparatus with the emblem of the USSR, the minister heard the familiar voice of dear Leonid Ilyich. The Secretary General called to thank the country's chief cinematographer for the shock work. Brezhnev's delight knew no bounds. He especially liked the scene of a morale fight and the song of Vereshchagin’s customs officer about “Madam Good Luck”. Although, of course, I was somewhat puzzled that luck was “lady” and not a comrade.But the spread on this occasion did not arrange.
“You make a good movie! Wiped the nose to the Americans, well done. And why is the film not at the box office? The Soviet people should see him, ”ordered Brezhnev.
Having not really understood what film was in question, Romanov came to work the next morning and first requested a new film. “Romanov was sitting in a viewing room, for the first time, it seems, without fear of overlooking anything,” recalled Vladimir Motyl. - He could watch the picture as an ordinary viewer. On the same day, the minister signed an instruction on three amendments. Otherwise, what kind of a minister is he if he does not make his contribution? ”
Romanov ordered to soften the scene of drunkenness of Vereshchagin - she allegedly defamed the bright image of the Soviet customs officer. Secondly, it was necessary to remove the inscription "Karl Marx" on the cover of the book, which is held in the hands of one of the wives of Abdullah. Thirdly, “eliminate pornography” - naked above the laid foot of the beloved of the Red Army Sukhov Katerina Matveyevna when crossing the stream.
Motyl agreed with all the comments of Romanov. It was a trifle, because the Goskino Commission, which took the film a few months ago, demanded 27 corrections to be made, not three.A permit to hire a long-suffering picture was received.
Due to the low score of the admissions committee, the picture received the 2nd category, which, according to the creators, reduced the rolling performance
"Pirates of the twentieth century"
Karate, which almost played a fatal role in the fate of the "Pirates": this sport was considered ideologically harmful in the USSR, the karate sections led a semi-underground existence. But on the set, the trainer was quite legal - the famous karate player Tadeush Kasyanov (he also played the boatswain Matveich). The film, as soon as it was completed in 1979, was shown to the authorities from the Central Committee of the Komsomol and immediately banned, although in the highest instance in cinema - Goskino - it slipped. And the Komsomol leaders were frightened: the film "not ours"! The “Pirates” were sent to the regiment and almost forgotten about them, until the tape got to home viewing at the dacha of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU L.I. Brezhnev. The leader was delighted with the romping action movie where "ours" beat theirs "." And “Pirates” were released in 1980, instantly becoming a hit
The censors were not allowed to see the picture on a wide screen, believing that the Moscow police was not represented in the film in the best light. The director's group has achieved viewing the tape with the participation of members of the Politburo and Brezhnev personally.The song composed for the film by Bulat Okudzhava touched Brezhnev to the point that he just cried while watching, after which, of course, Belorussky Station was immediately allowed to be rolled, and the song about the landing battalion almost always included in the repertoire of concerts, on which Brezhnev had been
"Gentlemen of Fortune"
..The cinema clerk took the comedy without much enthusiasm. Especially the management was embarrassed by the abundance of criminal vocabulary on the screen. But for the luck of the authors of the film, the comedy caught the eye of Brezhnev. According to the legend, his son-in-law Churbanov brought a picture of the General Secretary to the dacha. Leonid Ilyich liked the story about the adventures of crooks, and the comedy was given the "green light"
"The Diamond Arm"
If Brezhnev had not watched The Diamond Hand, it is not known how the fate of the film and the songs would have been. He asked for a new comedy for the weekend, to look at the cottage. He liked the movie so much that he watched it twice. Then he called the Main Directorate of Cinematography: "Immediately release the film on the screen."
His new work, the satirical comedy Garage, Eldar Ryazanov presented in the House of Cinema in March 1980 and there the film was received with a bang. Ryazanov expected that soon the whole country would plunge into the “garage” passions on the screen.But it turned out that the picture was released in very small circulation, it was not shown at all in the capital, it was possible to see the film only in the Moscow region. And after the first shows, the circulation of the tape was going to be completely destroyed. But even here Leonid Ilyich contributed his bit to the salvation of the film. At that time, the plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU was held, in which Brezhnev emphasized in his report that it was necessary to ruthlessly reveal and criticize shortcomings in public life. And it turned out that the "Garage" at the right time was the prompt response of Soviet cinematographers to the demand of the time, to the call of the party
Most likely, I remembered not all the films about which the creators say that Leonid Ilyich saved them. If you have more information - add
Recycled repost of my post of October 30, 2015 - Films that saved Brezhnev
Brezhnev on vacation
and not only. Part 1
Brezhnev on vacation
and not only. Part 2
Brezhnev on vacation
and not only. Part 3
Brezhnev and the Beatles.