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Alive and kicking


Carnival in Moscow

Karnavalnaya Noch
1956 / 78m - Soviet Union
Comedy, Musical
Carnival in Moscow poster

Russians aren't really known to be joyous, happy people, so to see them do a jolly musical comedy is a bit jarring, regardless of the quality of the film. Once I got past that, I found that the film wasn't all that great either, but at least it's a curious little project that had me raise my eyebrows more than once.

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Ogurtsov is the new chief of the Cultural Bureau in Moscow. His first assignment is to organize a New Year's concert, and he takes his job very seriously. The problem is that the festivities are bound to be incredibly dull with him in charge, so a group of young entertainers tries to salvage what they can.

If you ever wondered what a plainer MGM musical in Russian would look like, look no further. There's novelty value in that for sure, but it doesn't really make for a pleasant or agreeable film, and the quality of the song and dance is pretty paltry. The short runtime is a blessing, but that's about it.