Screen: Sound of Rimsky:’Tsar’s Bride,’ Soviet Film, at Regency
March 12, 1966
“THE TSAR’S BRIDE” would have been a pip of an operatic movie—not an easy trick — if only it had color and motion. The sound track is simply wonderful, one of the best yet recorded for the screen—from Russia, obviously with love.But even though this Soviet feature sags from stiff, old-fashioned staging, the blend of Rimsky-Korsakov music, some good acting and the exotic décor all yield a respectable film version of an opera rarely performed outside the Soviet Union. It adds up to a pretty good movie experience and not merely for opera buffs. Artkino unveiled the film yesterday at the uptown Regency Theater with okay English titles, lyric for lyric.As for drama, if there ever was an old blood-and-thunder, warhorse of an opera this is it. The bone of milling contention is a beautiful maid of noble birth who is engaged to a stalwart lad but catches the eye of Ivan the Terrible, who is passing through. The hero is a madly infatuated bodyguard who slips the maid a love potion. But his jealous mistress substitutes poison, which kills the czar’s intended.Unfortunately, Vladimir Gorikker, who directed and produced, tends to plod the camera into the arias for closeups, hanging on for dear life, and methodically stacking the crowd scenes. If only the arresting décor and costumes had been vivified with color, as in the film version of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Sadko.” What an opportunity — a torchlit procession on a river bank, the Byzantine murals of the squatty palaces and, especially, one deep vista of two women in a flower-dotted field outside an onion-domed city. Here, Mr. Gorikker’s camera and a long, exquisite aria create a model sequence of its kind.Foortunately, however, the movie has three performers who can act, even while they mouth the singing of the Bolshoi Opera Company. As the hapless heroine, a dovelike brunette named Raissa Nedashkovskaya is lustrously poignant and well worth the bearded commotion. Otar Koberidze, as the handsome, agonized bodyguard, and Natalya Rudnaya, as his treacherous paramour, are equally sure-footed and convincing.From start to finish, what must be one of the most lyrical of all Rimsky-Korsakov scores surges and soars, magnificently voiced by the grand old Bolshoi.
The Cast THE TSAR’S BRIDE, screenplay by A. Donatov and Vladimir Gorikker; directed and produced by Mr. Gorikker; presented by Artkino Pictures.
At the Regency Theater, Broadway and 67th Street 11 March 1966 (New York City, New York). Running time: 95 minutes.
Martha . . . . . Raissa Nedashkovskaya sung by Galina Oleinichenko
Lyubasha . . . . . Natalya Rudnaya sung by L. Avdeyeva
Gryaznoi . . . . . Otar Koberidze sung by E. Kobkolv
Malyuta . . . . . G. Shevtsov sung by E. Geleva
Bomelius . . . . . V. Zeldin sung by P. Chekin
Sobakin . . . . . N. Timofeyev sung by A. Vedernikov
Выпуск в советский прокат в Риге в январе 1965 года, 12 июля 1965 (Москва)
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