Behind the scenes "Nine days of one year": Why were the atomic lobbyists afraid of the premiere, and Batalov was not approved for the role
Behind the scenes "Nine days of one year": Why were the atomic lobbyists afraid of the premiere, and Batalov was not approved for the role
Anonim

49 years ago, on November 1, 1971, the famous Soviet film director and screenwriter Mikhail Romm passed away. One of the most famous and discussed of his film works was "Nine Days of One Year" - a film that was later called the artistic manifesto of the sixties. The plot centered on the bold experiments of nuclear physicists, and the leadership of the USSR atomic industry was seriously afraid of the resonance this topic would cause in society. The film could not go unnoticed for one more reason - Alexei Batalov starred in the lead role. True, the director doubted him for a long time …

Film director and screenwriter Mikhail Romm

By the time this film was filmed, director Mikhail Romm was already one of the recognized classics of Soviet cinema, laureate of five Stalin Prizes, People's Artist of the USSR, author of films about Lenin and anti-fascist films. After Khrushchev's rise to power and the debunking of Stalin's personality cult, the director largely rethought his own views and, admitting to himself that he “had to lie in art,” took a five-year break, during which he was only engaged in teaching at VGIK.

Director with actors on the set of the film

The result of these long reflections and the search for new ways in cinema was for Mikhail Romm the film "Nine Days of One Year", which was truly innovative not only in the work of the director himself, but in all Soviet cinema. The first title of the film was symbolic - "I am going into the unknown." For Romm, this film became a new stage in his work and a triumphant return to the profession.

Still from the film Nine days of one year, 1961

In this film, Mikhail Romm brought out a new type of Soviet cinema hero - an intellectual scientist. In the era of the first manned space flights, technological progress and scientific discoveries, the chosen topic sounded acutely modern. Breakthrough in the space and nuclear industry of the USSR in the 1960s. sparked a surge of interest in science. This time was called the dialogue of "physicists" and "lyricists", the achievements of Soviet scientists were discussed by the whole country, and the most heated discussions were held around the topic of "peaceful atom". It was impossible not to think about the consequences of the development of atomic physics for the future of mankind. In the center of the plot are two young nuclear scientists: the obsessed experimental practitioner Gusev and the pragmatic theoretical physicist Kulikov. After the death of his teacher, who received a lethal dose of radiation during the experiments, Gusev continued his work, realizing all the risks. Of course, a girl named Lelia, in whom both men are in love, chooses Gusev.

Still from the film Nine days of one year, 1961

Mikhail Romm and Daniil Khrabrovitsky worked on the script for two whole years, constantly supplementing and reworking it. At the same time, the filming process took only 6 months. Famous physicists Igor Tamm and Lev Landau became consultants for the film. Discussions began even before the premiere of the film, when it was shown to commissions from the nuclear industry. The controversy raised several questions: is such a film even necessary, or will it scare young scientists away from this industry? Are the filmmakers exaggerating the picture by showing so many bald scientists in the film - perhaps they are hinting that they are all irradiated? Scientists stood up for the film, although they also had many complaints - for example, the fact that several incongruous experiments were mixed there, which made it unclear what exactly Gusev was working on. Several of the darkest moments had to be cut out of the film, which Batalov called key and peak: when the irradiated professor, Gusev's teacher was seen off on his last journey, and when Gusev himself went blind as a result of his experiments.

Still from the film Nine days of one year, 1961 Innokenty Smoktunovsky and Alexey Batalov in the film Nine Days of One Year, 1961

In the image of Gusev, Romm saw Oleg Efremov, but Alexei Batalov managed to convince him - he himself really wanted to play "a man of today, deeply intelligent, a man of the new Soviet formation." True, the director doubted his candidacy for a long time, because he did not have the necessary expression, emotionality and ardor. In addition, the actor did not share the beliefs of his hero and directly told the director that he did not believe in the role of physics in saving mankind. But there was something else in him - a sense of the doom of a man fanatically devoted to his work.

Still from the film Nine days of one year, 1961 Alexey Batalov in the film Nine days of one year, 1961

Although the director initially doubted the candidacy of Alexei Batalov, later, for the sake of his participation, he even created special conditions on the set that the actor needed. The fact is that due to eye disease, Batalov could not be in the brightly lit pavilion, and it was impossible to shoot scenes in the laboratory in the dark. And then Romm got out a rare experimental film with high light sensitivity, which did not require strong light sources. These efforts turned out to be justified - the role of a nuclear physicist became one of the best in the actor's filmography. Later Romm said: "". The theme of doom has become a tuning fork not only of cinema about nuclear experiments, but of the entire technocratic twentieth century, with its boundless belief in the power of science and moral dilemmas as a result of the consequences of these experiments.

Alexey Batalov and Innokenty Smoktunovsky in the film Nine days of one year, 1961 Alexey Batalov in the film Nine days of one year, 1961

The role of Gusev's rival was played by Innokenty Smoktunovsky. The director saw in this image Yuri Yakovlev, but he fell ill before filming and refused the role. And for Smoktunovsky, who at that time was known primarily as a theatrical actor, "Nine Days of One Year" became one of the first big successes in cinema. To the surprise of the director, many viewers liked the character of Smoktunovsky more than the hero of Batalov - he seemed to them more realistic and sober.

Alexey Batalov and Innokenty Smoktunovsky in the film Nine days of one year, 1961 Alexey Batalov in the film Nine days of one year, 1961

Nine Days in One Year became one of the most resonant films of the 1960s. - it was hotly discussed both in cinematographic and in scientific circles. In 1962, it was watched by almost 24 million viewers, and Alexei Batalov was named the best actor of the year according to the results of a poll among readers of the magazine "Soviet Screen". Later, Mikhail Romm's film was called one of the most significant Soviet films of the 1960s, and Karen Shakhnazarov spoke of it as “the most sixties film”. At the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary "Nine Days …" received the "Crystal Globe", at the film festivals in San Francisco and Melbourne - honorary diplomas. Mikhail Romm and Alexei Batalov were awarded the State Prize of the RSFSR. Even the leadership of the nuclear industry had to apologize to the director and admit that their fears were in vain: after the release of the film, the interest of young people in this topic increased, many, impressed by what they saw, decided to connect their lives with physics.

Still from the film Nine days of one year, 1961 Still from the film Nine days of one year, 1961

The main female role was played by the young actress Tatyana Lavrova, for whom this film became a hallmark. When asked why the director chose her, young and inexperienced, Romm replied: "". Lavrova said: "".

Still from the film Nine days of one year, 1961 Tatyana Lavrova in the film Nine Days of One Year, 1961

Unfortunately, this role remained the only pinnacle in the actress's film career: Unfinished romance with the cinema of Tatyana Lavrova.

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