The film was released in 1977 and became a benefit performance for Leonid Kuravlev, who played two roles at once.
Photo: frame of the film.
Mosfilm specialists carried out a digital restoration (cleaned the soundtrack of extraneous noise, removed defects caused by mechanical action on the film, such as scratches) of the Soviet comedy film You for me, I for you .
The Alexander Sery-directed film was released in 1977 and became a benefit performance for Leonid Kuravlev, who played two roles at once, twin brothers, long before director Vladimir Menshov introduced the idea of twins in his Shirley- Myrli.
The satirical plot was composed by Grigory Gorin. The protagonist Ivan Sergeevich Kashkin works as a bath attendant in the most prestigious bathhouse in Moscow. The elite come to take a steam bath: diplomats, artists, famous athletes and high officials… Kashkin has connections and a “hairy paw” everywhere. In a country of total scarcity (the film was shot at the height of Brezhnev’s stagnation), he has everything: from black caviar and foreign appliances to tickets to the conservatory. But suddenly the well-fed life was disturbed by the twin brother of our hero: Sergey fell ill and asked Ivan to replace him at work – to be an inspector of Rybnadzor … In character and outlook on life, the brothers they are antipodes: Sergey is an honest man and Ivan is a thief.
The film was supposed to be released with the title “Today there will be no caviar!”. However, the phrase sounded ambiguous and they chose a more neutral “You – me, I – you”. The satirical plot about all kinds of dodgers was ideal for the film magazine Wick. But the director Alexander Sery wanted to shoot a full meter. And that’s why.
The path to the profession of Alexander Sery was difficult. His fate, unlike the fate of the heroes of his comedies, was grim. Even in his youth, while he was studying for a director, a love drama happened in which he played the leading role. Gray had a girlfriend, Marina. He adored her. He once came to the house of his imaginary rival-architect, whom Marina had previously visited, and in a fit of jealousy gave her an ax to chop cabbage on her head.
Later it turned out that the architect’s crown was broken. As an adult and a young man, he became an invalid. Gray was sent to prison. He turned four years old. Marina waited for him and married him.
But at Mosfilm, Gray was passed over. They didn’t let me shoot…
And then Georgy Danelia went to worry about him. They studied together in the Higher Courses for Directors and were friends. Danelia went to the director of Mosfilm Sizov and asked for a production for a friend: “Under my responsibility. I swear on my head”… Daneliya had to be responsible for each stage, from start to finish. This meant: the script he wrote with Victoria Tokareva, directing, editing, everything is under Danelia’s control.
And although Sery was the director and producer of “Gentlemen of Fortune”, popular rumor explained the success of the film with the participation of Georgy Danelia, who acted as co-author of the script and artistic director on the set.
In 1972, “Gentlemen of Fortune” became the box office leader (the film was watched by 65.2 million viewers). And it remains one of the most popular Soviet movie hits.
When Alexander Sery in 1976 began filming the comedy “You – for me, I – for you”, many people decided that he wanted to prove that he could make an excellent comedy on his own, without helping friends.
For the main role, in addition to Leonid Kuravlev, actors Vyacheslav Innocent and Mikhail Kokshenov auditioned. It was necessary to play twin brothers with different characters and world views: a cheater and an honest worker. Kuravlev samples were the best. The girlfriend of the main character was played by Svetlana Svetlichnaya. The picture brought together a whole ensemble of magnificent supporting actors – from Ilya Rutberg to Tatyana Peltzer. The roles of poachers were played by: Yuri Medvedev, Valery Nosik and Roman Tkachuk.
The comedy “You – for me, I – for you” was a success, but not as deafening as “Knights of Fortune.” The press mainly noted the successful acting work, first of all, the acting abilities of Leonid Kuravlev.
This ended the story with the filming of the film. But not the Alexander Gray drama. The writer Victoria Tokareva described her in detail in her book “Stop, a moment …”.
It seems that after two successful films, Gray opened all the roads, all the roads to the cinema. But his victim, a young architect, did not leave Gray alone. He called him on the phone and threatened him violently.
The architect became an invalid, he felt worse and worse, and Gray’s affairs went uphill. He got out of prison, married Marina, makes movies, has achieved success. It turns out that one – everything, and the other – nothing. Where is justice?
The architect bought a harpoon, went up to Gray and rang the bell. Gray asked, “Who’s there?” They replied: “A telegram for you.” Gray opened the door and an arrow flew into his face. It was supposed to go through his head, but the arrow passed the length of the scythe through his cheek and exited behind his ear missing major organs.
Gray survived, but hate-filled phone calls kept him on constant tension. Gray developed blood cancer due to stress.
He lived with this diagnosis for a long time. Remissions alternated with exacerbation, and it all ended with the suicide of Alexander Sery. This is such a movie. Life is much more dramatic.