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 Ivan Pyryev


Born:   On November 17 1901
Deceased:   On February 7 1968

Soviet film director

      

Ivan Aleksandrovich Pyryev was born on November 17, 1901 in the Kamen Village of the Altai Territory. In 1916-1920 he served in the field army. In 1923 he graduated from the actors’ and directors’ department of the State Experimental Theatrical Studio. Ivan Pyryev started his career as an actor of the 1st Workers’ Proletkult Theatre and Meyerhold Theatre. From 1925 Pyryev revealed his talents as screenwriter, director’s assistant, and then a film director in a number of film studios. 

From 1939 and till the end of his life he worked at the Mosfilm Studio. His lyrical musical comedy Rich Bride (1937) about collective-farm life was met with great enthusiasm and determined Pyryev’s choice of the genre and subject for years ahead. He directed musical comedies Tractor Operators (1938) and Pig-tender and Shepherd (1941) about battles for the harvest, about cheerful and tireless working leaders. Soviet viewers came to love those enchanting stories, which had little to do with real life. This was to a great extent thanks to the charming female leads played by the director’s wife Marina Ladynina. During the war Ivan Pyryev released the film Secretary of a District Committee (1942) in which he proved true to the genre cinema, having shown guerrilla war in the spirit of an adventure with detective elements. Then the director shot the musical melodrama At Six pm After War (1944) replete with preperception of the future Victory. Legend of Siberian Land (1948) represents an interesting mixture of genres: musical, melodrama and oratorio. Kuban Cossacks (1950) became the summit of Ivan Pyryev’s achievement in the field of musical comedy film. A lyrical plot, Isaak Dunayevsky's remarkable songs, which became popular with the entire country at once, and happy collective-farm life at least on screen – all these things gained national love of the people tired of the horrors of endured war and post-war hardships. The films received a number of awards both in the country, and abroad. In the 1950-1960s Ivan Pyryev headed the country’s central Mosfilm Studio. In the same period he turned to Dostoevsky's works and screened his novels The Idiot (1958), and White Nights (1960). He failed to finish The Karamazov Brothers because of his death on February 7, 1968. The third series of the film was completed by Kirill Lavrov and Mikhail Ulyanov


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