Leonid Gaidai was born on January 30, 1923. Although he died in 1993, in his life-long career he produced many a wonderful Soviet comedy, from rom-coms (Adbuction in the Caucasus) to sharp satirical features (The Diamond Arm, Bootleggers, Operation “Co-operation”). He also adapted to screen Mikhail Bulgakov’s play, Ivan Vassilyevich, about the Soviet man and the Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible who accidentally swapped places in time.
I wrote about The Diamond Arm awhile ago, so today we’ll turn to something different. Below is an extract from Ivan Vassilyevich, a rather famous episode with some engaging dance and music, the song is performed by Valery Zolotukhin, currently the leading actor and the artistic director of Taganka Theatre, following the scandalous exit of Yury Lyubimov. This is followed by Gaidai’s 10-min. short film, Dog Barbos and Supercross, filmed in 1961, that has earmarked Gaidai as the rising comedy-maker in the Soviet conscience, and propelled the trio of characters to the heights of popularity.