The New York Times о фильме “Женитьбы Бальзаминова” (1964)

Вечерняя Москва, 26.03.1965, стр. 4. “Женитьбы Бальзаминова” (1964)

The Screen: ‘Marriage of Balzaminov’:Russian Movie Opens at the Regency
By A.h. Weiler June 11, 1966
PROOF that James Thurber and Danny Kaye, who first exposed Thurber’s visionary Milquetoast, Walter Mitty, to moviegoers, do not hold exclusive film rights to daydreaming is presented in a garishly colored Russian picture package, “The Marriage of Balzaminov,” which was dropped off yesterday at the Regency Theater. But the film is also a vivid demonstration that a period piece powerfully peppered with quaintness, archness and a seeming lack of dialectics or propaganda does not necessarily make a truly funny farce.Mosfilm’s producers are not implying that villagers in Old Russia were simply a doltish, myth-ridden lot who could have used the enlightenment of the new order. Except for an occasional beggar, the citizenry here appear to be as carefree as the peasantry in Graustark. But it is a feeble fable too obviously coy and labored that they are projecting. “The Marriage of Balzaminov” is harmless fiction, and it has little impact on the heart or the mind.A theatergoer may be vaguely reminded of “Fiddler on the Roof” during the course of this film since we are here involved with Balzaminov, a lowly clerk who is constantly being directed by a termagant of a match-maker. Seems that our hero finds mental surcease in dreaming great dreams of being a general or being married to a rich woman. He doesn’t like his mean estate but, an introspective, timorous chump, he is a slave to his mother and the aforementioned matchmaker.Suffice it to say that our cloddish climber doesn’t make it with a prospective heiress, or a kittenish, well-heeled rural type or any other candidate. They can’t be blamed since he’s hardly a bargain. But fantasies can come true, and they do for our boy when he manages to team up climactically with a monumental rich widow.The plotting, even with adequate English subtitles, is often confusing, but Konstantin Voinov, who adapted and directed the story, has kept his cast moving at a crisp tempo. His sets bring alive, with a Chagall-like flair, the droshky-filled streets of a Czarist town of a century ago. And the tinkly, melodic piano score in a fitting musical background to his tongue-in-cheek tall tale.While his principals are as energetic as kazatzka dancers, they give their roles the broadest of interpretations, readings that are more fitting to the stage than the screen. Georgi Vitsin, as the oafish Balzaminov, may be properly foolish and scared, but his portrayal is too blatantly exaggerated. Lydia Smirnova, as the vodka-bibbing, talkative matchmaker; Lyudmila Shagalova, as his anxious mother; Zhanna Prokhorenko, as their outspoken maid; Roland Bykov, as a designing officer who uses our hapless hero; Nonna Mordyukova, as the bored but desirous widow, and Nadezhda Rumantseva, as a flirt who kids him, are among those chipping in with equally uninhibited characterizations.Balzaminov may be charming and far removed from the lower depths when he sighs, “I’m the most unhappy creature on earth.” Unfortunately, neither he nor his free-wheeling caperers are ever charming enough.
The Cast THE MARRIAGE OF BALZAMINOV; screenplay and directed by Konstantin Voinov; based on the play by Alexander Ostrovsky; a Mosfilm production released by Artkino.

At the Regency Theater, Broadway and 67th Street 10 June 1966 (New York City, New York) 10 June 1966 (New York City, New York). Running time: 90 minutes.

Balzaminov . . . . . Georgi Vitsin
His Mother . . . . . Lyudmila Shagalova
Matchmaker . . . . . Lydia Smirnova
Kapochka . . . . . Zhanna Prokhorenko
Ustinka . . . . . Lyudmila Gurchenko
Nichkina . . . . . Tamara Nosova
Chebakov . . . . . Roland Bykov
Anfissa . . . . . Inna Makarova
Raissa . . . . . Nadezhda Rumantseva
Khimka . . . . . Tatyana Konyukhova
Belotelova . . . . . Nonna Mordyukova

Выпуск цветного варианта в 28 московских кинотеатрах 29 марта 1965 года. Премьера в кинотеатре “Художественный” 26 марта 1965 года


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