1931-1940DramaUSSRYakov Protazanov

Yakov Protazanov – Bespridannitsa AKA The bride without a dowry (1937)


From allmovie: Filmed in 1937 (in fact: 1936), the Russian film “Without Dowry” was released in America in 1946, one year after the death of its director, Yakov Protazanov. Produced on a far-less epic scale than most Protazanov films, this is a merciless satire of the Russian dowry system in particular and the Czarist regime in general. The heroine (Nina Alisova) is promised in marriage to a bureaucrat (Victor Balikhin), who is interested only in receiving the girl’s dowry. Maintaining a gently comic tone throughout most of the proceedings, the story dovetails almost imperceptibly into tragedy. The musical score is based upon Tchaikovsky’s 5th, with a few Russian folk songs woven in.

The film is by Jacob Protazanov of the play with the same title by Alexander N. Ostrovsky.

cast: Mikhail Klimov (Процесс о трех миллионах – The process of the three million 1926), Olga Pyzhova (Белеет парус одинокий – the long and winding road), Boris Tenin (Пржевальский – Przhevalski), Ernst Romanov (Без видимых причин – No apparent reason”)

The story of a poor Beauty – toys in the hands of the rich bridegroom, on the betrayal of sincere love for the despicable money. Chosen Larissa Ogudalovoy – Sergey Paraty – promenyal sincere feeling for the maiden in marriage a rich bride. A poor Larissa-bespridannitsa perishes from the hand of love with her Karandysheva.

Upon screening “the pearl of the Russian drama” Jacob Protazanov, who has been reproached for excessive histrionics, writes in the factory “Rot-film: “It is clear that in constructing “Bespridannitsy” as the movie, before all, must have been collapse theater backstage and the whole general form of the speech of theater. So much of the dialogue speech material applied to the plastic material. So not only were the new location, but also several new scenes, effects, parts, etc. The action remained in line with the general idea Ostrovsky, went new course – cinematic …”.

With a focus Protazanov began to form the film crew. As a collaborator on the script was made by an old friend and an experienced cinematographer Vladimir Shveytsep. The operator became Mark Magidson, a former provincial retoucher and photographer, inexperience you are more than recovered the talent and enthusiasm. He was a worthy partner of the celebrated master. Magidson suggested the unexpected artistic decisions and to insist on them – for example, to shoot entire scenes from a low angle, and this increase has already been built scenery for one and a half meters above the floor.

Protazanov with extraordinary closely monitor the atmosphere of confidence. Get up, not only artists, but “get up” and the steamer, and a garden, and the whole city. To do so, his assistant, Valentin Kadochnikov, diplomnik whoop, the favorite disciple of Eisenstein, spent a few months in museums and libraries, talked with the old, bringing to office a thick book of unique iconographic material.

Another young assistant, Alexander Rou, collected the ensemble cast. For various reasons, refused to shoot Ilyinsky I. and S. Martinson. However, the final choice was perfect Protazanova: A. Ktorov, M. Klimov, O. Pyzhova, B. Tenin, V. Balihin. But the main choices – Galatea, received his Pygmalion – hoot graduate Nina Alisova, charming and direct, girl-boy, which was already filmed in the movie master, not left on the screen.

To the actress put teachers on the way, dancing, singing. But the number has always been very Protazanov, literally followed her every step, demanding that Alisova all the time, was able to close the image. They did not shy from comparisons of the great predecessors Savino, and Yermolova Komissarzhevskaya. It has been a year. The audience learned a new Larisa Ogudalovu and fully accepted it.

Gold medal at the International Exhibition in Paris (1937)

Note: The film was restored by the Central Children’s and Youth Film Studio named after M. Gorky Film in 1970


When you look at Protazanov’s “Bespridannitsu” it is impossible not to remember Ryazanovsky’s “Cruel romance – Zhestokiy romans 1984”, and vice versa. No matter what opponents say the movie, but Ryazanovsky “cruel romance” I was ready to revise endlessly. And now, looking Protazanovskuyu, you know. how much Ryazanov took away from Prtazanovskogo reading. Image Knurova issued nearly identical, Paraty, almost like two drops like a protazanovskogo Paratova, Larissa, though losing the vitality and charm, but the image still the same, and even Robinson Ryazanov, made nearly identical protazanovskomu. Even the tone of some of the important, key replicas same. And even the image of pergolas over the Volga is taken away from prtazanovskogo movie. But I do not want to detract from the dignity ryazanovskogo movie, because he delivered his film from the excessive theatricality of sin movie Protazanova, leaving all the emphasis at the same location, he softened, closer to reality, deepened the psychological veracity. And much merit in this Alice Freindlikh, which in the film Ryazanova plays a key role in understanding the whole story, it is devoid of caricature inherent in the mother of Larissa in protazanovskom film. In “Father Sergius” in Protazanova we also see signs of theatricality, but if nemom film they are very relevant and only enrich the expressiveness paintings, the “Bespridannitse, on the contrary, far from reality, reduce the force of the impact of words Ostrovsky at the viewer. While the images selected Protazanovym are so accurate that even the followers to face Ryazanova did not dare to deviate in the treatment of “Bespridannitsy” namely protazanovskih images.




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