An ordinary Soviet building manager, living in the 20th century, is extremely similar to a Tsar of All Rus' - Ivan IV the Terrible (1530-1584). He would never learn about it, but one day his neighbor created a time machine.
A young student Shurik comes to a remote mountainous region in search of ancient legends and traditions. Fooled by the corrupt local governor, he helps him to kidnap a beautiful young girl, but soon realizes what he's done.
It so happens that peaceful kindergarten teacher is incredibly similar to the terrible villain who stole the helmet of Alexander the Great. And villain's accomplices are unexpectedly similar to children - they also need love and care.
Injured on the job Vasily Kuzyakin gets a ticket to the resort. There he meets femme fatale Raisa Zakharovna, and once under the charm, moves to live with her. Unfortunately, a new life is not all that sweet as dreamed hapless Vasily.
Shurik Timofeev builds a working model of a time machine. By accident, Ivan Bunsha, an apartment complex manager, and George Miloslavsky, a petty burglar, are transferred to the 16th century Moscow, while Tsar Ivan the Terrible goes into the year 1973.Written by
Dmitry Zharkov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the scene where Bunsha meets with the Swedish ambassador, the first thing he says is "Hitler kaput!" It's one of the most recognizable phrases in German for many Russians. However, the original script had him say "Peace - friendship!", but the Soviet censors thought it inappropriate. The resulting change ended up being more humorous. See more »
Dressing up into the czar clothes usually takes a lot of time and requires additional assistance. However Miloslavski and Bunsha gets dressed up very quickly and without further help in the movie. See more »
An adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's story based on a grotesque collision of different historical periods. Some visual humor involved. A couple of awkward chases and a lot of awesome jokes. One of the best Russian comedies, second to none except 'Brilliantovaya ruka' by the same film director.
It is interesting that the film spans not only the time of Ivan the Terrible and the 70's but also the 20's when Bulgakov's original was written. Although the influence of the 20's is mainly atmospheric, it is nevertheless visible in the fact that most of the character's names sound funny in the way usual for the satirical literature of that period.
Contrary to what may seem to a foreign audience, the chase sequences in the movie serve only as a rather ineffectual background for the main comical action, which is almost entirely verbal and basically relies on the combination of contemporary language with its archaic counterpart of the 16th century - a detonating mixture that is guaranteed to kill the native-speaking audience.
Considering the fact that the movie is featuring some of the most popular Soviet actors, it is not surprising that this low-budget and obviously slap-dash production has managed to gain the nationwide reputation of a classic, with most of its memorable quotes nearly approaching the status of catch-phrases.
The film can be tentatively recommended to advanced learners of Russian and certainly to all those who specialize in the study of this language.
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