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News

Four Screen Versions of the Novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”

27.11.2015

In anticipation of the premiere of a new serial film after the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M.A.Sholokhov, which will take place on November, 29 (at 21.30), we remember the previous film adaptations and, certainly, involuntarily compare them.

The film by S.V.Ursulyak is the fourth screen version. By now, only fragments of the 14 series have been shown, which are difficult to judge upon about the whole work of the film-director. We suggest seeing fragments of other screen versions of the great Sholokhov’s epopee.

The first screen version was made in 1930, by the film-directors Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Ivan Pravov after the first two books of the novel. The film was silent (voiced in 1933) with Andrey Abrikosov and Emma Tsesarskaya starring. The film shooting took place in Dichensky Village the Kamensk District of the Rostov Region. The premiere of the silent film took place on May, 14, 1931, and its voiced version – on September, 14, 1933.

The second screen version of “The Quiet Don” was made by the film-director Sergei Gerasimov with Pyotr Glebov and Elina Bystritskaya starring. The film shooting began in 1956, in the pavilion of the Gorky film studio in Moscow, then the film crew moved to Dichensky Village (where the first screen version was made). The premiere took place on October, 26, 1957 (1–2 series) and on April, 30, 1958 (3–4 series). The film was awarded the big prize “Crystal Globe” for creation of a wide panorama of the people’s life (International film festival in Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia, 1958); the first prize, prizes for film direction, prizes for acting skills (to Pyotr Glebov) and for camera work (All-Union film festival in Moscow, 1958); awarded the Diploma of the International film festival in Mexico (Mexico, 1959); awarded the Honorary Diploma of Directors Guild of the USA as the best foreign film (1960).

The third screen version on the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” was filmed in the surroundings of Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya by the film-director Sergei Bondarchuk. The fate of the film is very complicated. For long years the film-director had been bearing his intention of making a more complete screen version on the novel, carefully prepared for the film shooting, but the film did not receive the state financing. Bondarchuk was offered cooperation from Italian producers, however under one of the main conditions being participation of foreign stars (Rupert Everett as Grigory Melekhov, Delfin Forest as Aksiniya and F.Murray Abrakham as Pantelei). The filming was completed in 1992. But the Italian company cut off funding due to lack of funds, and there began litigation between the cinema concerns of Russia and Italy. Bondarchuk desperately attempted to reach agreement but it was unsuccessful. The film-director died before “The Quiet Don” was released.

The film-director Ali Khamrayev, who saw the materials of the film including battle scenes, praised the work of the film-director: “Everything is done powerfully as only Bondarchuk could do. Nobody will ever film “The Quiet Don” like this.” After long talks, in 2005, the First Channel redeemed from the Italians 460 boxes with the film, but without postscoring. F.Bondarchuk, the son of the film-director, made up an 8-serial film of the “working material”. The serial premiere in Russia took place on November, 7, 2006.

The fourth screen version is made by Sergei Ursulyak. The filming took place in the surroundings of Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya in 2014–2015. Starring: Yevgeny Tkachuk and Polina Chernyshova. The premiere of the serial film (14 series) will be on in November–December of 2015. The first series begin on November, 29, at 21.30.