Eldar Ryazanov

Eldar Ryazanov – Zhestokiy romans AKA A Cruel Romance (1984)

A lavish two-part costume tragedy based on the classic The Dowerless Girl by the nineteenth-century playwright Alexander Ostrovsky, A Cruel Romance (also known as Ruthless Romance) was the biggest Soviet box-office hit of 1984, though it seems to have had little international exposure until now.

It marked a change of direction for the veteran Eldar Ryazanov, who up to then had tended to specialise in contemporary comedy, though it seems to have done his career little harm: he was made a People’s Artist of the Soviet Union that year – and no wonder, quite apart from the film’s commercial success, its mostly wart-ridden portrait of the venal, money-grubbing bourgeoisie of the then-discredited Tsarist era must have gone down a storm with the Soviet authorities. Read More »

Eldar Ryazanov – Sluzhebnyy roman AKA Office Romance (1977)

Anatoli Yefremovich Novoseltsev works in a statistics institution, whose director is an unattractive and bossy woman. An old friend of his, Yuri Grigorievich Samokhvalov, who gets appointed assistant director of the institution, wants to make Novoseltsev the head of the department but encounters objections from Ludmila Prokopievna Kalugina, the director. Samokhvalov then advises Novoseltsev to lightly hit on the boss. Ironically, Novoseltsev and Kalugina fall in love with each other… Read More »

Eldar Ryazanov – Vokzal dlya dvoikh AKA Railway Station For Two (1983)

Summary:
Platon Ryabinin, a pianist, is traveling by train to a distant town of Griboedov to visit his father. He gets off to have lunch during a twenty minute stop at Zastupinsk railway station. He meets Vera, a waitress, after he refuses to pay her for the disgusting food he doesn’t even touch and misses his train due to police investigation of the incident. His passport is then accidentally taken away from him by Andrei, Vera’s fiancé, and his money is stolen as he waits for the next train to Griboedov. Vera learns that Platon is about to get sentenced and sent to prison in the Far East for a car accident he isn’t guilty for. During the few days that Platon has to spend in Zastupinsk he and Vera develop feelings for each other…
– Written by Denis Chebikin Read More »