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“Mikhail Pugovkin also has a gangster mug!”: how an outstanding Soviet actor lived and played

Date: April 21, 2024 Time: 01:58:44

He could also make dramas, but the public did not understand him (portrait, 1970).


Mikhail Pugovkin was born on July 13 and has always considered 13 his lucky number. Much in life was connected with him. For example, until he was 13 years old, he lived in his native village of Rameshki, Chukhloma district, Kostroma province. Children there regularly put on performances, put on such plays as “The Miracle in the Swamp”, and Pugovkin performed them with pleasure.

“When threshing was going on in the village, I would come to the barn, joke with the women, and they would always tell me: “Mishka, you will be an artist!” she said in an interview with film critic Sergei Kapkov. And it became her dream. When he moved to Moscow (his mother needed an operation, and it could only be done in the capital), he became an apprentice electrician at the Kaganovich Brake Plant, but was much more interested in performances in the circle. dramatic club Kalyaev. There he played his first serious role – the merchant Bolshov in Ostrovsky’s play “Our people, we will settle.” At 16!

In general, the path lay in the Moscow Drama Theater, where he was donating money (at the factory he received 450 rubles a month, at the theater – exactly six times less). His father and his brothers dissuaded him. But his mother said: “Go, what the soul asks for. Right, with a face like that, do they take it as an artist?

The first appearance in the cinema is in the film “The Artamonov Case” based on Gorky. The episode with Pugovkin was filmed on June 22, 1941. In two weeks he will go to the front as a volunteer. Photo: Still from the film.

“I was sure that I would not die in the war”

And then there was a war, to which Pugovkin volunteered. Alexander Pankratov-Cherny said that Pugovkin confessed to him: “I was one hundred percent confident that he would not die. And I treated the war almost like an actor. Whoops, explosion! Everyone goes to bed, and I, on the contrary, got up and looked. It was interesting to me. I was looking for a show. Therefore, they wounded me, I jumped at the wrong moment and received a bullet … ”I was wounded in the leg, gangrene began, and the leg miraculously was not amputated. But the actor was disabled for life.

And then there was admission to the Moscow Art Theater School. Maybe they didn’t take him, because he had no secondary education: only three classes in a rural school. But the head of the studio, the great actor Ivan Moskvin, liked Pugovkin so much that he was deceived by him. He “had to go to the High School administration himself and say that he had lost my certificate of studies at the front. With this holy lie, Ivan Mikhailovich helped me a lot.

But Pugovkin’s vocation was not the theater, but the cinema.

“Operation” Y “and other adventures of Shurik” (1965) – the famous dance of the foreman, the actor famously gave, in one breath. And between takes, he winced in pain: a combat wound, from which he almost lost his leg, had made itself felt throughout his life. film frame

Hated by Pyryev

Leonid Gaidai made him a real star. He was going to approve him for the role of Verzila in “Operation” Y “, but the head of Mosfilm, Ivan Pyryev, strongly opposed it: he said that Pugovkin had “also a gangster mug.” Then Gaidai managed to drag Pugovkin into the role of foreman. To drag him, because Pyryev Pugovkin, for inexplicable reasons, could not stand it. Then Pugovkin appeared at Gaidai’s in “12 chairs”, “Ivan Vasilyevich”, “It can’t be!”, “Sportloto-82” Not everything worked out. well on the set: the story was retold many times about how on the set of “12 chairs” he cut chairs for six hours in a piercing sea wind and earned unbearable sciatica.And on the set of Sportloto-82, he became he spilled a liter of boiling water on him, and he had to spend about a month in the hospital.

However, he himself preferred to tell funnier stories about Sportloto-82. For example: “My partner was Mikhail Kokshenov, he played Styopa. And there was a scene where we are racing a motorcycle at a speed of 90 km. When I sit down, I feel something soft under my feet. I look – and there is not even plywood, but cardboard. You know how it happens in our movies: they take an old wrecked motorcycle, paint it up, and it’s like new. And when the cameraman said: “Mikhail Ivanovich, let’s shoot one more time,” I say: this is already without me, go yourself. I think in the second leg it will fail – hello, bye, Sportloto. The second story was with Kokshenov himself, when in the film, on my behalf, he sells oranges in the market, and I start to feed him. It so happened that at that time there were no oranges in Yalta. And all the box we had was fake. Only one orange was real. And I fed him this one orange, and he seems to eat half the box…”

And after Pugovkin broke up with Gaidai. He said: “Leonid Iovich, I am already at an age that I do not want to jump, jump, so that something falls on me …” In fact, it seems that he began to understand that there was a crisis. initiated into the director’s work.

But there were much more roles (in total, as he said, there were exactly a hundred of them). Alas, in the 90s it was almost never filmed – the crisis began in all post-Soviet cinema, especially in Ukrainian (and Pugovkin lived in Yalta, where all the dogs adored him). What he was up to, he considered doubtful. “Recently, a director called me and said: “Mikhal Ivanovich, I am starting to shoot an action movie. I know you’re in good shape now. You just need to mount the whole image on a motorcycle with a weapon at the ready. And we also have a big scene of violence that you’re leading.” I’ve never done this before…”

The playful director Yakin in the comedy “Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession” (1973). Photo: Still from the film.

And it would be interesting to see him in that role. Actually, he didn’t do much. For example, he has few dramatic roles: the directors didn’t see him in them, and the audience wouldn’t accept him. At the same time, he himself dreamed of playing Othello in the theater (realizing that this would never happen) or at least a gravedigger in Hamlet. And he could play a lot of things besides comedy: he remembers the thieves’ toolmaker in A Visit to the Minotaur. But oh…

With the end of the USSR, only a few roles occurred in the passage tapes: who remembers the pictures “Lovers Die”, “Gentlemen Artists” or “Diamonds for Juliet”? But it went down in history forever.

Mikhail Ivanovich died in Moscow, where Yuri Luzhkov gave him an apartment, from an exacerbation of diabetes in July 2008, a few days after his 85th birthday.

8 of his best films

“Soldier Ivan Brovkin” (1955)

“Girls” (1961)

“Operation” Y “and other adventures of Shurik” (1965)

“Wedding in Malinovka” (1967)

“Fire, Water and… Copper Pipes” (1967)

“Barbara-beauty, long braid” (1969)

“Ivan Vasilievich changes his profession” (1973)

“Sportloto-82” (1982)

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

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