Afonya (Russian: Афоня) is a Soviet comedy film produced by Mosfilm and first released in 1975. The film became the Soviet box office leader of 1975 with a total of 62.2 million ticket sales. The film was shot on location in Yaroslavl.[1][2]

Film poster
Directed byGeorgiy Daneliya
Produced byMosfilm
Written byAlexander Borodyanski
StarringLeonid Kuravlyov
Yevgeny Leonov
Yevgeniya Simonova
Music byMieczysław Weinberg
CinematographySergei Vronsky
Release date
October 13, 1975
Running time
92 min.
CountrySoviet Union
Box office$21.3 million

Plot summary

Unlucky plumber – Afanasy Borshchov (Afonya) (Leonid Kuravlev) and his friend Fedulov (Borislav Brondukov) spend all day and night avoiding work and finding opportunities to drink. Afonya takes "kickbacks" from clients and is often in trouble with the local committee for his behaviour. Afonya also often uses foreign or old-fashioned names to introduce himself to strangers to seem more interesting.

Afonya meets plasterer Kolya (Yevgeny Leonov) in a pub, gets drunk and comes home. When his girlfriend sees the state he's in, she leaves him. The next morning he can't even remember yesterday's drinking companion.

Things continue to go downhill for Afonya. When student interns from the vocational school are allocated to the plumbers, master ZHEK Vostryakovo (Valentina Talyzina) doesn't allocate any to him, fearing that he will not teach them well. Afonya begs for trainees and gets two. Having worked with him for one day and having seen his attitude and working methods, the trainees refuse to work with him anymore. When Afonya returns home, Kolya arrives to live at his place for a while, having been thrown out of his house by his wife.

At a dance Afonya meets young nurse Katya Snegireva (Yevgeniya Simonova), who knows about him through her brother, who used to play in Afonya's volleyball team. Afonya doesn't pay her much attention, because he's more interested in older women and already has his eye on one at the dance. However, a romantic walk with the older woman after the dance is over before it begins – Afonya is challenged to a fight by a hooligan, who he'd quarreled with at the dance. The hooligan's friends join in, and finish the unequal fight. Katya worries for Afonya's safety, and calls the police- which will only bring Afonya to the committee's attention again.

At a regular work call Borshchov meets Helen (Nina Maslova) and falls in love at first sight. He starts finding any excuse to work in her flat - even fooling a tenant, astronomer (Gotlib Roninson), by swapping his new Finnish sink for an old one, so he can install the Finnish sink in Helen's home as a gift. In his dreams Afonya sees a family idyll with his wife Helen and their perfect children.

Katya Snegireva, head over heels for Afonya, keeps engineering new meetings with him, and stops at nothing to attract his attention: "Afonya! someone called, I thought it was you...".[1] Afonya is completely oblivious to her feelings.

Meanwhile Afonya's run in with the police catches up with him and, for persistent drunkenness, truancy and fighting Afonya is threatened with being sacked at a meeting of the local committee. In addition, if he doesn't restore the Finnish sink he's definitely going to be fired. Afonya takes a porcelain sink with flowers to Helen to swap with the Finnish sink, but meets Helen coming home with company. She makes her feelings quite clear: she has her own life among fashionable and wealthy men, and Afonya is just a plumber.

Afonya, depressed, goes to a restaurant with Fedulov and tries to escape into drunkenness, but it doesn't help. In his drunken state he goes to Katya Snegireva's home and proposes marriage, and wakes up next to her in the morning. Katya tells him she's due to move to Africa with work and wonders if she should cancel for Afonya.

Afonya then decides to go back to his village, to his aunt Frosya (Raisa Kurkina), a simple and modest woman who had brought him up. In the village, he meets his childhood friend Fidget (Savely Kramarov) and, in a joyous moment sends the city a telegram resigning from his job and giving up his apartment. Only then does he learn that Aunt Frosya died two years ago. The village people had sent him a telegram, which he hadn't received because he had moved house and didn't tell them his new address. From his neighbor, Uncle Yegor (Nikolai Grinko) Afonya learns that Frosya deeply missed him and even wrote letters to herself from his name, posting them in a nearby village, then receiving them and reading them to neighbors, who understood that she really wrote the letters herself, but didn't betray it so as not to hurt Frosya's feelings. Frosya had died sitting in front of the window, waiting for Afonya.

Afonya's depression deepens – he has lost everything and has nowhere to go. He goes to the post office and tries to call Katya Snegireva on her memorable phone number 50-50-2, or as he says himself, "rug-rug or two." The answer comes back - Katya has left. Finally frustrated, he goes to the airport. He does not care where he's going or what will happen to him. Things have gotten so bad that a local policeman has to be convinced Afonya is the man in his passport photograph, so grim has he gotten since it was taken. Finally, just when Afonya is heading to the AN-2 aircraft, a familiar girlish voice calls out. It's Katya, suitcase in hand: "Afonya!, someone called, I thought it was you... "[1]


  • Leonid Kuravlev - Afanasy Borshchov (Afonya)[1]
  • Yevgeniya Simonova - Katya Snegireva[3]
  • Yevgeny Leonov - Kolya
  • Savely Kramarov - Razor
  • Nina Maslova - Elena (Elena, Helene), Beauty of the 139th flats
  • Borislav Brondukov - Fedulov
  • Igor Bogolyubov - old Peregar
  • Valentina Talyzina - Vostryakova
  • Vladimir Basov - Vladimir Ivanovich
  • Nikolai Parfenov - Fomin, Boris Petrovich
  • Gotlib Roninson - astronomer ("Archimedes")
  • Raisa Kurkina - Aunt Frosya
  • Nina Ruslanova - Tamara
  • Nikolai Grabbe - the chief of housing offices
  • Nikolai Grinko - Uncle Yegor
  • Gennady Yalovich - the director in the theater
  • Radner Muratov - Marat Rakhimov
  • Tamara Sovchi - cashierdining
  • Yusup Daniyalcashier dining companion
  • Mikhail Vaskov - the policeman at the airport
  • Peter Lyubeshkin - Uncle Pavel Shevchenko
  • Renee Hobuanot featured in the film, although there is in the credits
  • Alexei Vanin - Ivan Orlov, Elena's husband
  • Capitolina Ilienko - a participant in the meeting 'of housing the office'
  • Aleksandr Potapov - employee of housing offices
  • Mikhail Svetin - the driver Voronkov[1]
  • Tatiana Rasputina - a dance partner Afonyia
  • Alexander Novikov - a bully with a beard


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