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After the release of “We will live until Monday” people “married” Vyacheslav Tikhonov and Irina Pechernikova.

Date: June 19, 2024 Time: 19:09:44

We will live until Monday came out 55 years ago.

Photo: frame of the film.

The picture “We will live until Monday” hit the screens by a miracle. The script “Crane in the Sky”, on which the film was made, was written by the aspiring playwright Georgy Polonsky. It was his thesis in the Higher Script Courses. The director of the Gorky Film Studio, Grigory Britikov, liked the script. He asked director Stanislav Rostotsky to make a film based on this cinematic story. Britikov, at his own peril and risk, allowed to start filming without the approval of the State Film Agency. Although the script was about the theme of the school, about the relationship between high school students and teachers, the school is a fragment of society, it reflected the problems of the Soviet system as a whole. And it was clear that the image might not be allowed. Rostotsky shot it in record time, three and a half months, which saved the film. The shooting ban came when the film was ready. He was sent to the USSR Goskino, which was then led by Alexei Romanov. He gave his verdict: “You made a great movie,” he told Rostotsky. – But it is impossible to release it on the screens. It’s like a knife in the ribs.” And he made a lot of comments and corrections, which Rostotsky reluctantly introduced, however, but this didn’t help much. The film was shelved anyway.

Luckily for the director, at that time a congress of teachers was held, where they were supposed to show “We will live until Monday.” Rostotsky did not expect anything good from this. The screening was held at the Casa del Cine, where not only enthusiastic teachers attended, but also fellow filmmakers. Before the screening, Rostotsky brought people’s favorites Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Nina Menshikova and aspiring artists Olga Ostroumova, Irina Pechernikova, Igor Starygin to the stage … For Ostroumova it was a film debut.

When the show ended and the lights came up, the audience rose to their feet and began chanting, “Well done!” After such a reception, it was impossible to close the picture. The premieres toured the entire country.

With the choice of actors for the main roles, not everything was smooth. Stanislav Rostotsky had no doubts who would play the main character, the history teacher Ilya Semyonovich Melnikov. He was a friend of Vyacheslav Tikhonov. He acted in almost all his movies. In addition, they had a common hobby – fishing. But screenwriter Georgy Polonsky, who was only 28 years old at that time, categorically did not like Tikhonov in the role of Melnikov. He was upset by the “impressive suffering” and “sterile nobility” of the content Tikhonov. He flooded Rostotsky with letters and requests to remove the aestheticism of Melnikov-Tikhonov, which seemed to him too cold, beautiful, tiredly ironic and prosperous. In a word, not the way he saw the history teacher. And he saw him as a hero of Chekhov, unattractive in appearance, with a mental breakdown. On the other hand, Tikhonov did not want to fight either. I didn’t want to act like a school teacher. Especially after he played Andrei Bolkonsky in “War and Peace” with Sergei Bondarchuk. However, Rostotsky managed to negotiate with both Polonsky and Tikhonov. The director had his own opinion about what Melnikov should be. One of the prototypes was Vladimir Pugachev, a professor of history at Gorky University, whom Rostotsky read about in the essay “Professor of History”, published in the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in 1967.

Later, Tikhonov admitted that Stanislav Rostotsky was able to catch the similarity of the emotional experiences of the hero and the actor in that period of his life: “This is the director’s talent – to see in the actor something that, perhaps, he himself does not even suspect. Now I realize how lucky I am that I still played Melnikov. What a blessing that Rostotsky did not back down and force me to act, and this helped me regain faith in myself and return to the cinema…”.

The debuting actress Olga Ostroumova, 20 years old, according to the memoirs of Stanislav Rostotsky, from the first rehearsals brought an incredible atmosphere of freshness, purity and sincerity to the shooting. And she became everyone’s favorite, although outwardly she did not seem to fit the role of a high school student. Ostroumova was a GITIS student and looked older than her heroine Rita Cherkas. But as soon as she began to play, no one was left in any doubt that only she could be in this role.

There were several contenders for the role of English teacher Natalya Sergeevna. Rostotsky was in doubt who to choose and invited Vyacheslav Tikhonov to audition: “Let’s choose together.” Perhaps Tikhonov chose Pechernikova. And after the release of “We will live until Monday” on the screen, people married them. Despite the fact that Vyacheslav Vasilievich had a family, and Pechernikova shortly after filming left the Soviet Union for Poland, where her first husband, Polish jazz musician Zbigniew Bizon, lived, she remained “Tikhonov’s wife” for several years.

The school from “We will live until Monday” was filmed in the north of Medvedkovo, on Tikhomirov Street. Back then it was a neighborhood of new constructions from the typical impersonal box houses. The film begins with these shots. And that was also the intention of the director, they say, it is impossible to standardize society, as people are houses built according to a standard project. Many of the Khrushchev houses depicted in the film have already been demolished under the renovation program. In their place, modern high-rise buildings were built.

After the release of the film with the main musical theme of the film (the author of the music is the composer Kirill Molchanov), the screenwriter Georgy Polonsky wrote poetry. The “Song of the Crane” is often performed by children’s choirs. By the way, he began to write poetry while still at school and even showed it to the poet Mikhail Svetlov, but received a “cautious review” from him and did not publish it.

In 1969, the film We Will Live Until Monday won the Grand Prix at the Moscow International Film Festival. It was awarded the State Prize and named the best film of 1968 according to a poll by Soviet Screen magazine.


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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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