January 7, 2021

Birthday of Love and Doves

On January 7, 1985, according to official sources, the premiere in the Soviet Union of the Vladimir Menshov's comedy film "Love and Doves" took place. Although our friend claims that he saw this film in the Moscow cinema "Mir" literally on the eve of his wedding, which took place on October 13, 1984.

A lot of materials have been published about the history of this film, and indeed about everything related to this film. Very often, 44.5 million moviegoers are mentioned in publications about this film. That is how many moviegoers watched this film in the first year of its demonstration in the Soviet Union. But what are these 44.5 million? Or about 16% of the country's population?

As you know, everything is known in comparison. In 1985, the movie "Rocky IV" showed comparable results at the US box office: 35.4 million moviegoers, or nearly 15% of the US population. So, these 35.4 million moviegoers financially turned into a box office of almost 128 million dollars. And besides that, Rocky-4 gathered more than $ 172 million outside the United States.

Of course, we are well aware that due to different levels of solvency of the Soviet and American population in 1985, the difference in ticket prices was very significant. But if we take this factor into account, we must also take into account the difference in the cost of producing the compared films. So, the budget of "Rocky IV" amounted to 31 million dollars. Unfortunately, we do not have data on either the budget or the box office of Love and Doves (it was not customary to publish such data in the Soviet Union). But something tells us that the budget of the film by Vladimir Menshov was ... to put it mildly ... an infinitely small amount compared to the budget of the creation of S. Stallone. So, the profit brought by these two films could well be comparable. True, this applies only to "domestic" fees.

It has already been noted above that an American film outside the United States has collected a box office even more than domestically. And Love and Doves, judging by the data of Kinopoisk, except for the USSR, was shown only in 3 countries: Finland, Hungary and, oddly enough, in Argentina. In the USA, judging by the lack of professional reviews by American film critics and the minimum number of ratings from American residents on the IMDB website, this film was not shown.

The first reaction to the minimal representation of the film by Vladimir Menshov outside the borders of the USSR - what bad foreign film distributors did not let our movie masterpiece on the screens of movie theaters of their countries. But on the other hand, how was the film evaluated by colleagues and those in power in our own country? The film, which due to the huge popularity among the people, judging by indirect data, brought a large income to the state budget?

Nohow. No awards, no festival prizes. (Rocky IV, by the way, was awarded 9 film awards, though not the most prestigious, but still. And this, despite the fact that the rating of this film on the IMDB website does not even reach 7.) And all because the communist leadership considered the film harmful, because, on the leadership, drinking alcohol in the film was shown too broad and too pretty. And this is in the midst of Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign. By the way, several scenes were cut out of the film, which originally consisted of 2 episodes, as a result of which the footage of the film was reduced to one episode. That is, almost half of the film was cut and immediately destroyed. What kind of complaints can there be towards foreign distributors?! This is the first.

And secondly, imagine that the film was watched, for example, by Americans. What would they understand? For example, how would an ordinary American moviegoer understand uncle Mitya's phrase: "Bastille Day was wasted"? I, for one, have no idea. And with us, this phrase invariably causes a burst of laughter. And the film is literally filled with such moments, absolutely incomprehensible to foreign, at least non-Slavic, viewers.

And we've been watching this movie for years, and every time it brings us constant fun.

According to FilmGourmand, the film Love and Doves has a rating of 8,263 and is ranked 431st in the Golden Thousand.