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A Man from the Boulevard des Capucines

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Title: A Man from the Boulevard des Capucines  
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Language: English
Subject: Ostern, Mosfilm films, Soviet films, 1987 films, Russian-language films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

A Man from the Boulevard des Capucines

A Man from the Boulevard des Capucines
Original film poster
Directed by Alla Surikova
Written by Eduard Akopov
Starring Andrei Mironov
Aleksandra Yakovleva
Music by Gennadi Gladkov
Cinematography Grigori Belenky
Edited by Inessa Brozhovskaya
Distributed by Sovexportfilm
  • 23 June 1987 (1987-06-23)
99 min.
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

A Man from the Boulevard des Capucines (Russian: Человек с бульвара Капуцинов, translit. Chelovek s bulvara Kaputsinov) is a Red Western comedy film of 1987 (Mosfilm production), with nods to silent film and the transforming power of celluloid.

It is particularly unusual in Soviet cinema for two reasons: first, it was directed by one of the few female Soviet directors of any stature, Alla Surikova, and second it was a rare post-modernist outing.

The film was the leader of Soviet distribution in 1987 and had 60 million viewers.


The plot involves the arrival of Mr Johnny First in a sleepy "Wild West" town. After Mr First starts showing the residents Chaplinesque silent films on his cinematograph, the town's wild inhabitants are tamed by the images on the silver screen, trading saloons and brawls for glasses of milk and moving pictures.

Beautiful dancer Diane falls for First, and so he ends up making a few enemies, including Diane's many other admirers and the barman who is threatened by the new competition for "entertainment".

The film is a comedy critique of the wild west myth. Just as Buffalo Bill mythologized his exploits and later Hollywood elaborated the image, a Soviet film (i.e. the other side of the Cold War) deconstructs and satirizes it, both through the film and the film within film that Johnny First shows. It is a self-reflexive fable documenting its own evolution.


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