March 1, 2023 marks the 85th anniversary of the Soviet artist’s birth.
Photo: frame of the film.
“THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO HERE, DRUNKEN SWAMP!”
Borislav Brondukov’s debut took place in the film, which at the filming stage was called “Nobody loved like that.” He went down in history for a monstrous tragedy: the director demanded that the actress Inna Burduchenko, who was in her third month of pregnancy, run into a burning building, because her heroine had to save the banner from there. The actress’s heel dug into the ground, and the house began to collapse… Two weeks later, she died in the hospital from burns, and the director went to prison. The future classic Sergei Parajanov finished the picture and gave it the name “Flower on a stone.”
Despite such a grisly beginning, Brondukov’s career was excellent – he played dozens of movie roles. At first, they were mostly soldiers, policemen, border guards, sailors, partisans, policemen … But in the film “The Kotsiubinsky Family” it is now impossible to believe! – played Nicholas II.
And in 1975, Georgy Danelia shot “Afonya” – one of the most popular films in the history of Soviet distribution. Initially, it was assumed that Brondukov would play the main role, and the Ukrainian director Leonid Osyka would shoot. But, when the project passed from the studio to them. Dovzhenko in Mosfilm to Danelia, chose Leonid Kuravlev. And Brondukov, who was saddened, was given an unforgettable supporting role. The actor turned out to be unusually convincing in the image of the sorcerer Fedul: once they did not let him into the restaurant where the shooting was taking place, they tried to push him with the words “There is nothing you can do here.” You are a swamp drunk! (According to legend, Fedula Danelia took off her scarecrow clothes in her garden, and after seeing Brondukov play, she expanded the role by adding several episodes that weren’t in the script.)
It was great, the actor was forever remembered by the face of the whole country. But did he bring her much joy? Firstly, now all casual acquaintances called him for a drink, and Brondukov, a modest, very polite and kind person, was afraid to offend them by refusing. No, this did not make him a drunken alcoholic, like many colleagues, but his already weak health had a very negative effect. And secondly, he was now associated with the image of the drunk among the film authorities. It was the alcoholics who were most often offered to play. And because of this, Brondukov almost lost one of his few main roles – in the film “Citizen Nikanorova is waiting for you”: it seemed absurd to call Fedul for the role of a serious and positive veterinarian with whom this very citizen falls in love. . Fortunately, he played it and proved to the entire USSR that his acting range was not limited to the images of lumpen and soldiers.
FOUR-STROKES AND A DRUNKEN DRIVER
Everyone who knew Borislav Nikolaevich noted his inhuman ability to work. He seemed to take it all on. He has a lot of flashes in his filmography, but also a lot of hits. “The camp goes to heaven”, “One hundred grams for courage”, “Garage”, “Sportloto-82”, “We are from jazz”, “Battalions ask for fire”, “Green van”, “Say a word about the poor hussar”, “The adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson…
Director Igor Maslennikov said that Brondukov flatly refused to approve the role of Inspector Lestrade. Again, due to the unfortunate Fedul (“how can an alcoholic play a Briton?”), Maslennikov hardly convinced the authorities. In general, about the idea of inviting an actor to Sherlock Holmes, he wrote: “It turned out that finding an“ Englishman ”is quite a problem. Typologically, it seems that it is nothing, but as soon as they start playing, something that is not in English immediately comes out. And the Ukrainian actor Brondukov, with his thick vulgar accent, was both a comic character and, it seemed to me, international. Before, he would never have thought that he could be counted among the representatives of Scotland Yard. And in the first meeting he said: “What kind of English am I? I have a hohlyatsky accent! “We can resonate,” I objected. Borya himself called me a person who later voiced it: “Well, let it be Igor Efimov” …
Alas, several years passed, and Brondukov generally stopped speaking in the cinema with his voice. The reason was a stroke that he suffered before the filming of “Cruel Romance”. Borislav Nikolaevich recovered for a long time, he learned to walk and talk again, only this speech was suitable for life, and not for the cinema. It doesn’t matter, he was voiced again in more than twenty movies…
Although what really happened, of course, was a disaster. Moreover, the first hit in 1993 was followed by a second, caused, it seems, by a glass of vodka drunk in the company of talented admirers. The blow was strong, I had to spend a month in the hospital. At the same time, there was no money in the house even for food. They say that at some point she ate the sweets of random people … But then she found the strength to star in Yuri Kara’s “The Master and Margarita” in the role of Varenukha.
And soon something terrible happened: he was hit by a car, a drunk and frightened driver dragged the actor’s body to the front door and drove off … Brondukov was found much later, no help was immediately provided. A bruise has formed on the brain. But even after that, he came back to life and starred in several movies. And then there was a third blow…
At the end of his life, unfortunately, he was completely helpless. He couldn’t even walk. But in a documentary, his wife said: once TV journalists offered to shoot a program about him, they paid money, and when they turned on the camera, his eyes shone, he was able to get up, walk, sit in a chair … It seemed completely healthy. And his wife asked: “Borenka, can you tell us something?” He tried, failed and began to cry … And in 2004 there was a fourth stroke, which the seemingly weak, but internally very powerful person could no longer bear.