Screen: Adventure Story:’ Journey Beyond Three Seas’ at the Cameo
HOWARD THOMPSON. April 11, 1960
A GREAT deal of time and trouble obviously have gone into “Journey Beyond Three Seas,” a color co-production by Russian and Indian film makers that opened on Saturday at the Cameo Theatre. With a cast and locales about equally divided between the two countries, this Artkino presentation with English titles is extremely eye-filling in its photography, settings, costumes and atmosphere. It also happens to be ponderous, erractically performed, slowly-paced and even confusing in its continual flashbacks and what seems to be choppy editing.This is a fifteenth-century adventure-pageant, full of old-fashioned melodrama and guaranteed to offend nobody, least of all the two countries involved. The scenario (another joint effort) is based on a reportedly true odyssey of a young Russian who traveled all the way to India even before Vasco da Gama, liked what he saw and spread the glad tidings back home.An ideal springboard, assuredly, for a goodwill movie, with a valiant young hero braving pirates, thieves and near-starvation in his two-year trek to a palmy paradise, where he briefly courts a lovely Indian maiden. As co-directed by Vasili Pronin and K. A. Abbas (for Mosfilm and Naya Sansar International), the film unfolds a stunning, often spectacular canvas, with neither country taking a back seat to the other—at least, not pictorially.Fittingly, two top performers play the leads—the handsome Oleg Strizhenov and a charming, almond-eyed girl named Nargis. Both of them can act.Unfortunately, the first (Russian) half lumbers along like an elephant, as Mr. Strizhenov restlessly leaves home and tackles various dangers head-on. This portion is clogged with a lot of bearded raving and ranting (not his) and some dreadful ensemble acting. Meanwhile, sliding past are some striking outdoor panoramas of the Volga country, various deserts and seaports.But the picture is more persuasive, and relaxed, when the hero arrives at his destination and visits Nargis’ peasant family during a monsoon. The backgrounds of this pleasant, rather idyllic interlude are beautifully tinted and the mood is happy and serene. And, as we say, Nargis, who leads a chorus in one delightful native song, is a doll. Why the hero leaps on his horse and bolts for home mystifies us. Anyway, the Russians, not the Indians, have the last word.
The Cast JOURNEY BEYOND THREE SEAS, scenario by Maria Smirnova and K. A. Abbas; co-directed by Vasili Pronin and Mr. Abbas; co-produced by Mosfilm and Naya Sansar International and presented by Artkino.
At the Cameo Theatre, Eighth Avenue and Forty-fourth Street 9 April 1960 (New York City, New York). Running time: 97 minutes.
Afanasi Nikitin . . . . . Oleg Strizhenov
Champa . . . . . Nargis
Sakaram . . . . . B. Sakhni
Mahmud Gavan . . . . . Prithviraj Kapur
Lakshmi . . . . . Padmini
Премьера в Индии 6 декабря 1957 года. Выпущен в советский прокат 25 января 1958 года. Премьера в США 9 апреля 1960 года.
5 октября 1958 года в 21.00 1 и 2 серии фильм демонстрировались по первой программе Центрального телевидения СССР.
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