Tag Archives: Alisa Freyndlikh

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 »