Vladimir Menshov, Surprise Russian Oscar Winner, Dies at 81

by Msnbctv news staff

Vladimir Menshov, the prolific Soviet actor and director whose movie “Moscow Does Not Imagine in Tears” received the Academy Award in 1980 for greatest foreign-language movie however was panned by many American critics, died on July 5 in a hospital in Moscow. He was 81.

Mosfilm, the Russian movie studio and manufacturing firm, mentioned the trigger was issues of Covid-19.

“Moscow Does Not Imagine in Tears,” a soapy, melodramatic crowd-pleaser, attracted some 90 million moviegoers within the Soviet Union even after it had been broadcast on tv, not lengthy after it was launched theatrically in 1980. Its theme track, “Alexandra,” written by Sergey Nikitin and Tatyana Nikitina, grew to become one of many nation’s most beloved items of film music.

Even so, when “Moscow,” solely the second movie Mr. Menshov had directed, received the Oscar, it was a shock, given the competitors that yr. It edged out François Truffaut’s “The Final Metro” and Akira Kurosawa’s “The Shadow Warrior,” in addition to the Spanish director Jaime de Armiñán’s “The Nest” and the Hungarian director Istvan Szabo’s “Confidence.”

“There was extra condescending good will than aesthetic discrimination behind the Oscar voted to ‘Moscow,’” Gary Arnold of The Washington Put up wrote when he reviewed the movie, which was launched in the US after its Oscar victory.

The movie follows three women quartered at a Moscow lodge for younger ladies within the late Fifties as they hunt for male companionship, after which revisits them 20 years later. It starred Vera Alentova, the director’s spouse and the mom of their daughter, Yuliya Menshova. They each survive him.

Mr. Arnold famous that Mr. Menshov’s film “revives a style Hollywood has did not maintain, dependable as it might appear: the chronicle of provincial women, often a trio, in pursuit of careers and/or mates within the massive metropolis” — a style that ranged chronologically, on the time, from “Stage Door” (1938) to “Valley of the Dolls” (1967).

Vincent Canby of The New York Instances conceded that the movie was “decently acted” however mentioned that at two and a half hours, it “appears infinite.”

There are recommendations of social satire every so often,” Mr. Canby wrote, “however they’re so delicate they might shock and curiosity solely an especially prudish, unreconstructed Stalinist.”

Whereas he thought of it comprehensible that “Moscow” was one of many Soviet Union’s most profitable movies, Mr. Canby concluded, “One may consider that portion of Mr. Menshov’s biography (contained in this system) that reviews he failed his first three years on the Cinema Institute in Moscow and wasn’t far more profitable as an performing scholar with the Moscow Artwork Theater.

“I assume we’re advised this stuff,” he added tartly, “to underscore the dearth of which means in these early failures, which, nevertheless, seem like summed up in his Oscar winner.”

Vladimir Valentinovich Menshov was born on Sept. 17, 1939, to a Russian household in Baku (now in Azerbaijan). His father, Valentin, was an officer with the key police. His mom, Antonina Aleksandrovna (Dubovskaya) Menshov, was a homemaker.

As a young person, Vladimir held blue-collar jobs as a machinist, a miner and a sailor earlier than being admitted to the Moscow Artwork Theater Faculty. After graduating from the college in 1965 and from the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in 1970, he labored for the Mosfilm, Lenfilm and Odessa Movie studios.

He had greater than 100 credit as an actor and was additionally a screenwriter. He made his debut as a director in 1976 with the movie “Sensible Joke.”

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