Russia Cinema At Home Among Strangers (1974)

At Home Among Strangers (1974)

Adventure film

Mosfilm, 1974

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov

Screenplay: Eduard Volodarsky, Nikita Mikhalkov

Cinematography: Pavel Lebeshev

Composer: Eduard Artemiev

Song lyrics: Natalia Konchalovskaya

Cast: Yury Bogatyrev, Anatoly Solonitsyn, Sergei Shakurov, Alexander Porokhovschikov, Nikolai Pastukhov, Alexander Kaidanovsky, Nikita Mikhalkov, Alexander Kalyagin, Konstantin Raikin, Alexander Adabashian

Box-office: 23.7 million viewers

Psychological thriller based on Eduard Volodarsky and Nikita Mikhalkov’s story Red Gold.

This film is not intended to be a revolutionary blockbuster. The heroism of the civil war is shown through the fates of the main characters – former revolutionaries now attempting to restore peace and order in a small provincial town.

The cannons are silent and Russia needs to buy bread from abroad. The regional committee sends expropriated gold to Moscow, guarded by a close-knit group of Communists, who have come through the civil war together. The guards are killed and the gold is stolen, raising the spectre that they have been betrayed by an insider. The suspicion falls on the surviving member of the group, who sets out to find the stolen gold on his own. In order to do so, he must infiltrate the enemy camp, becoming “at home among strangers and a stranger among friends.”

The exciting clash of contrasting and disparate personalities is full of cliff-hangers and unexpected events. This was Yury Bogatyrev’s first role in a full-length feature film.

Nikita Mikhalkov shoots this film as a classical thriller. The dynamic action on the screen grips the viewer’s attention from start to finish, with gunfights, chases and other exciting twists and turns. In the 1970s, Soviet critics may well have condemned the audacity of a young upstart director, ignoring the established template of a revolutionary tale, which serves merely as the background for the main events of the movie. The charm of the film and its characters, however, does not lie in the pathos of the revolutionary struggle, but in the strong action sequences, the nail-biting cliff-hangers and the daring, bravery and camaraderie of the main heroes.

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