Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Russian: Москва слезам не верит, romanized: Moskva slezam ne verit) is a 1980 Soviet film made by Mosfilm. It was written by Valentin Chernykh and directed by Vladimir Menshov. The leading roles were played by Vera Alentova and by Aleksey Batalov. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1981.
|Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears|
Poster for USA promotion
|Directed by||Vladimir Menshov|
|Written by||Valentin Chernykh|
|Music by||Sergey Nikitin|
|Edited by||Yelena Mikhajlova|
|11 February 1980|
The film is set in Moscow in 1958 and 1979. The plot centers on three young women: Katerina, Lyudmila, and Antonina, who come to Moscow from smaller towns. They are placed together in a workers' dormitory room and eventually become friends. Antonina (Raisa Ryazanova) is seeing Nikolai, a reserved but kind young man whose parents have a dacha in the country. Katerina (Vera Alentova) is a serious, upstanding woman who strives to earn her chemistry degree while working at a factory. She is asked to house-sit an apartment for her well-to-do Moscow relatives (a famous professor's family) while they are away on a trip. Lyudmila (Irina Muravyova), a flirty go-getter looking for a well-to-do husband while working at a bakery, convinces her to throw a dinner party at the apartment, and pretend that they are the daughters of Katerina's professor uncle, as a ploy to meet successful Muscovite men. At the party, Lyudmila meets Sergei, a famous hockey player, who falls in love with her and marries her even after discovering the truth about her origin. Katerina meets Rodion (Yuri Vasilyev), a smooth talker who works as a cameraman for a television channel. They start dating. During Antonina and Nikolai's wedding, Lyudmila and Antonina find out that Katerina is pregnant. Upon discovering that Katerina deceived him and is not the daughter of a professor, Rodion refuses to marry her and believes that she is to have an abortion. Katerina is unable to get an abortion because her pregnancy is in a late stage and ends up giving birth.
The film shows Katerina, with tears in her eyes, setting her alarm clock in the dormitory room she shares with her daughter, Aleksandra (subsequently played as a grown young woman by Natalya Vavilova). The film then takes a 20-year leap forward in time to 1979. Katerina is shown waking up to the sound of an alarm clock in her own apartment. She is still single, but she has gone from being a down on her luck student to becoming the executive director of a large factory. She has a lover, an older married man named Vladimir (Oleg Tabakov), but she leaves him after he shows himself to be cowardly and disrespectful. Despite her successful career, Katerina is unfulfilled and weighed down by a deep sadness. She is still close friends with Lyudmila and Antonina. By this time Sergei has quit playing hockey and become an alcoholic, having divorced Lyudmila, who is working at a laundry. Antonina is happily married and has three children.
One evening, when Katerina is returning home from Antonina's dacha in the countryside on an elektrichka, she meets a man, Gosha (Aleksey Batalov), who starts a dialogue with her. She sees his shabby boots and dismisses him at first, but the dialogue continues. Soon afterward they start seeing each other. Gosha is an intelligent tool-and-die maker who believes that a woman must not make more money than her husband, so Katerina doesn't tell him about her position. As their romance begins, Rodion unexpectedly reenters Katerina's life when he is assigned to film an interview with her to do a report on her factory's success at exceeding its production quota. At first, he does not recognize Katerina, but when he does, he wants to meet his daughter. Katerina tells him that she does not want to see him again. Nonetheless, Rodion shows up uninvited at her apartment when Katerina is having dinner with Gosha and Aleksandra. Rodion tells Gosha and Aleksandra about the interview, and Gosha finds out that Katerina is a factory director. His pride is hurt not only because of Katerina's high position and large salary, but also because she has deceived and offended him before, and he leaves the apartment. Unable to stop him, Katerina is upset with Rodion. She reveals to Aleksandra that Rodion is, in fact, her father.
Gosha disappears from Katerina's life. She becomes frantic. Lyudmila, Antonina, and Nikolai come to her apartment to comfort her. Nikolai gathers what little information Katerina knows about Gosha and sets out to find him. Gosha has been binge-drinking at home for days, and Nikolai, during a "men's talk" over vodka, defends Katerina and convinces Gosha to return.
Sobered up Gosha brings drunk Nikolai to Katerina's flat and asks for a dinner. As he eats, Katerina watches him, saying "I have been looking for you for so long". Gosha replies that it's been only a few days, to which Katerina repeats, with tears in her eyes, "I have been looking for you for so long...".
- Vera Alentova – Katerina
- Irina Muravyova – Lyudmila
- Raisa Ryazanova – Antonina
- Aleksey Batalov – Gosha
- Aleksandr Fatyushin – Sergei Gurin
- Boris Smorchkov – Nikolai
- Viktor Uralsky – Nikolai's father
- Valentina Ushakova – Nikolai's mother
- Yuri Vasilyev – Rodion Rachkov
- Yevgeniya Khanayeva – Rodion's mother
- Liya Akhedzhakova – Olga Pavlovna, club's director
- Zoya Fyodorova – Hostel's security
- Natalya Vavilova – Aleksandra
- Oleg Tabakov – Vladimir, Katerina's lover
- Vladimir Basov – Anton Kruglov
- Cameo appearances:
Awards and recognition
- The film won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980, and was chosen to participate in the International Film Exchange.
- The film was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 30th Berlin International Film Festival (1980).
- Vera Alentova was named as the best Soviet actress according to a poll by magazine Soviet Screen (1980).
- In 1981 it was awarded the USSR State Prize.
- U.S. President Ronald Reagan watched the film several times before his meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in order to gain a better understanding of the "Russian soul".
- Valentin Chernykh admitted that he received a lot of proposals from Hollywood at that time, but he rejected all of them, since he thought that all the remakes of the movie would fail.
- Vitaly Solomin, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Oleg Efremov, Leonid Dyachkov auditioned for the part of Gosha. However, none of them could convince the director and he even wanted to play the main character himself, until he saw Aleksey Batalov in the film My Dear Man on television.
- It was also difficult to find someone for the part of Katerina. Many well known actresses such as Anastasiya Vertinskaya, Zhanna Bolotova, Irina Kupchenko, Natalya Sayko, Valentina Telichkina and Margarita Terekhova auditioned for the part. But most of them did not like the script, so the part eventually went to the director’s wife, Vera Alentova.
Songs from the film
- "The 53rd Academy Awards (1981) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
- English, Robert; Halperin, Jonathan J. (1 January 1987). The Other Side: How Soviets and Americans Perceive Each Other. Transaction Publishers. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-4128-3035-5.
- "IMDB.com: Awards for Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears". imdb.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- about movie on kinoros.ru (russian)
- Сиротоэкранное кино, Журнал «Власть» № 40 (643) от 10.10.2005.
- "Интервью с Верой Алентовой и Владимиром Меньшовым, "В Нью-Йорке с Виктором Топаллером", RTVi". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- "10 фактов о фильме "Москва слезам не верит"". maximonline.ru.
- "10 занятных фактов о фильме "Москва слезам не верит"".
- "Москва слезам не верит". www.vokrug.tv.