Movie The Czar Wants to Sleep (1934) download free

Movie The Czar Wants to Sleep download free! Book Title: The Czar Wants to Sleep
Directors: Aleksandr Faintsimmer
IMDb Rating: 6.9
Country: Soviet Union
Language: Russian
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Release Date: 1934-12-09
Runtime: 87 min
Stars: Mikhail Yanshin,Boris Gorin-Goryainov,Nina Shaternikova

Full movie description "The Czar Wants to Sleep":

A sarcastic comedy about the Imperial Russian bureaucracy, based on the eponymous novella by Yuri Tynyanov. Set in the reign of Emperor Paul I. A copying error by a military scribe turns the Russian words for "the lieutenants, however" into what looks like "lieutenant Kizhe". The Tsar reads the error, and wants to meet this (non-existent) Lieutenant Kizhe. His courtiers are at first too frightened to contradict the Tsar, but then the fiction turns out to be all too convenient for them. So Lieutenant Kizhe gets himself exiled to Siberia, recalled from exile, promoted, and married. He dies and receives a state funeral. In many ways, he is the most charming and lovable character in the film, even though he remains throughout the film a "confidential person, without a shape".

Movie The Czar Wants to Sleep download free

Reviews of the The Czar Wants to Sleep

I went to see this film out of curiosity, and to settle an argument. The film is now best known from the suite of music Sergei Prokofiev extracted from his incidental music to the film, the Troika movement even turning up in pop arrangements. The general outline of the plot is well known from the sleeve notes on various recordings. A clerk accidentally generates a non-existent Lieutenant Kizhe in a list to be presented to the tsar. The tsar is interested in this person, and rather than tell him he doesn't exist, the courtiers and officers maintain the pretence that he is real. Kizhe is exiled to Siberia, recalled, promoted, married, promoted again, dies, is given a state funeral, revealed as an embezzler and posthumously demoted to the ranks.

I had heard conflicting stories about how the clerk invented Kizhe, involving ink blots and sneezes, but I'd heard the film was lost, so there was no way to find out what happens. Then the film turned up at the Barbican in London as part of their Prokofiev festival. For the record, it turned out that all that happens is that the clerk confuses two words whilst writing an order and turns Kuzhe into Kizhe. As the tsar is in a hurry to see the order, there's no time to correct the mistake.

Having gone expecting an historical curiosity, I was pleasantly surprised. The film is very funny, and the audience, myself included, laughed continuously. Although most of it is filmed straight, set mostly in the palace, there are a few "trick" shots where multiple images appear on the screen. For instance, the tsar's army is represented by a small group, repeated across the screen. Four identical guards perform perfect drill in perfect unison. Two identical servants scrub the floor.

One slight drawback was it was very difficult to work out who everyone was. There were two women who might have been the tsar's daughters, or a daughter and a servant or something else. And very few people were named. But all in all, an enjoyable film and I'm surprised it's not seen more often.

Movie The Czar Wants to Sleep download free

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