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Secret of the movie "Secret Fairway": Why it turned out better than the novel of the same name
Secret of the movie "Secret Fairway": Why it turned out better than the novel of the same name

The public is often unhappy with film adaptations of literary works, accusing the filmmakers of removing a lot of important things and adding something unnecessary of their own. It is a rare case in Russian cinema when a film is better than a book. One of these can be safely called the Soviet four-part feature film, based on the novel of the same name by Leonid Platov - "Secret fairway", released on the blue screens of the country exactly 32 years ago. And, curiously, according to the director of the film, Vadim Kostromenko, in these times he would never have been able to reliably film a literary original so reliably. And why? Read on - in the review.

Vadim Vasilyevich Kostromenko (1934-2017) - Soviet and Ukrainian cameraman, film director, screenwriter. Honored Artist of the Ukrainian SSR. / Leonid Dmitrievich Platov (real name - Lomakin) (1906 - 1979) - Russian Soviet writer and journalist

"The Secret Fairway" is one of the favorite military feature films of childhood for many spectators living in the vastness of the post-Soviet space. More than three decades ago, he appeared on television and immediately won the hearts of millions. The four-part film was directed by Vadim Kostromenko at the Odessa Film Studio, based on the novel by Leonid Platov, written in 1963. Filming took place in 1986-1987.

Anatoly Kotenyov starring in the movie "Secret Fairway"

- recalled the director Vadim Kostromenko, -

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

The director also said with bitterness that his picture, in a certain sense, unfortunately, turned out to be prophetic. For in the last scene on the submarine, a German officer, not without pride, utters such a fatal phrase:

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

Pondering these words, the bitter realization comes to my mind that today, even here, fascism really raises its head again, intoxicating the minds of the younger generation. Therefore, I so want to believe that this film will make at least someone think about the future of their children and grandchildren …

A few words about the events reflected in the plot of the film

1944 … The year of a cardinal turning point in the Great Patriotic War. While carrying out a combat mission assigned by the command of the Baltic Fleet, the commander of a torpedo boat Boris Shubin, under tragic circumstances, discovers the secret fairway of a mysterious German submarine without identification marks.

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

An unforeseen event throws him on the Flying Dutchman. On board the ghost boat, Shubin manages to impersonate a downed Finnish pilot and soon find out that the mysterious boat serves for the secret purposes of the High Command of the Third Reich, as well as learn about the Nazis' plans to further wage the war. When the submarine emerges in the coastal zone, the Soviet sailor manages to escape and return to his base of torpedo boats. Years later, Shubin will continue hunting for a ghost boat in peacetime. According to the plot, this is 1952.

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

How the film "Secret Fairway" was filmed

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

It goes without saying that in the film, where the submarine is involved, it was impossible to do without scenes under water. At the beginning of filming, the creators of the tape assumed that the submersion and ascent of the submarine would be filmed in the famous pool of the Odessa Film Studio. This pool was built specifically for filming sea battle scenes. Water was poured into it, as they say, over the edge. Models of ships of different eras were launched into an artificial reservoir, depending on the plots of films, and with the help of various devices they were set in motion.In the background, a real panorama of the Black Sea opened up, thanks to this, the illusion of a sea distance with a horizon line was created.

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

The masters of editing and combined filming managed to reproduce quite plausible sea voyages and battles … And even so, today, revising these pictures, it is difficult to believe that in these scenes not real warships and ships were actually involved, but their small according to the size of the mock-ups.

It should be noted that such a model of the submarine was originally prepared for the "Secret Fairway", however, when the director saw with his own eyes the immersion of a real submarine, he literally wanted to shoot this scene with a real submarine.

Submarine dive

- argued his decision Kostromenko. And he got his way. And all because the filmmakers at that time were treated with great respect. Upon learning that a film was being filmed about the heroism of Soviet sailors, the naval command issued literally everything that was required for the film crew without further ado and free of charge. (By the way, under the current conditions, such shooting would cost the film studio more than one million dollars). By the way, despite the fact that the plot of the film took place in the Baltic, the underwater scenes were filmed in the Crimea, in Balaklava, near Sevastopol.

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

However, as it turned out later, it took some time to shoot the episode with the real boat. The captain of the submarine, which was sent by the command of the fleet to shoot, having learned what risk the operator would be exposed to, flatly refused to cooperate with the director, categorically declaring:. At these words, he gave the command to turn the boat 180 degrees … and left.

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

The director again went to Sevastopol to the commander of the fleet with a request for help. This time they sent another submarine, with another captain, who had a unique name and patronymic - Afrikanovich Afrikanovich by the name of Popov. The risky dashing commander of the submarine brilliantly fulfilled the task assigned to him, and the episode was successfully filmed.

Few people know that in the "Secret Fairway" for the first time in the world cinema the passage of a real submarine under water was also filmed. By the way, even American filmmakers, with all their technical equipment, only after five years took the risk of filming a real submarine dive. So the laurels of the discoverers remained with Soviet filmmakers.

Curiosities of cinematic everyday life

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

There were some curiosities on the set. So, when filming especially dangerous episodes in cinema, there is an unwritten rule: the director's personal presence on the set is mandatory. So during the underwater filming of "The Secret Fairway" director Vadim Kostromenko had to take a scuba diving course at an accelerated pace and even make an attempt to test dive.

But, here happened, as they say, an anecdotal situation. As soon as he began to dive, his mask immediately filled with water. Experts explained to the director that it was not the mask at all, but his mustache - they needed to be shaved off. To which he categorically stated: - and continued smiling, that when once in his youth he performed such a procedure, he felt as if he was left without pants. It was a laugh …

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

And then the leading actor Anatoly Kotenev came to the rescue of Kostromenko, who persuaded the director to stay on the shore and not dive under the water with the film crew. The director succumbed to persuasion and stayed on the shore.

Quickly filming the episode under water, the actors with the cameraman swam away from the director's eyes and calmly began to sunbathe, anticipating how Vadim Vasilyevich was "foaming". At this time, Kostromenko really rushed along the shore in indescribable horror, assuming that the worst thing happened to one of the actors, and cursing himself for regretting his gorgeous mustache. Of course, when the pranksters returned to the filming camp, they received a good thrashing.

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

And such funny episodes during the filming of the film happened more than a dozen times.So, filming episodes in the Baltic, the technical group literally had to follow the script, where it was written in black and white:. Of course, to achieve this effect, the pyrotechnics sailed in a small boat and across the bay and threw explosives. The water really boiled and the effect was amazing. But then no one thought about its consequences. However, a stunned fish soon began to float to the surface of the water. By the end of filming, she was already numbered in thousands of corpses. And then, as if it were a sin, the inspector of the fishery inspection appeared with a demand to pay a fine on an especially large scale.

Still from the movie "Secret Fairway"

Of course, such an article did not exist in the budget for the film - there was nothing to pay with. The director had to show all his talent, conducting a conversation with the inspector about what an incredible film he was shooting, what actors were playing in it, and much more … a huge cauldron. Of course, which the inspector could not refuse in any way …

The actors of the film "Secret Fairway" 32 years ago and, years later

Actors who starred in the movie "Secret Fairway"

The four-part film "Secret Fairway" has brought popularity to many artists, including the leading actor Anatoly Kotenyov. By the way, now he is one of the leading artists in Russia and Belarus, has starred in more than 100 films and TV series and was elected vice-president of the Belarusian Guild of Film Actors.

You can learn more about the personal life of a famous actor from the review:Reliable rear of the actor Anatoly Kotenev: 30 years on the roads of life with his beloved woman.

Anatoly Kotenyov in the title role of the torpedo boat flight commander as Boris Shubin

Anatoly Kotenyov starred in the role of Boris Shubin, who, according to the plot, opened the veil of the strictest secrets of the Third Reich. It should be noted that the actor had to jump with a parachute, swim under water and stay afloat for a long time in the open sea. But in especially dangerous episodes, his understudy was involved. Many, looking at the athletic physique and military bearing, believed that he served in the navy. However, Anatoly served in the artillery, moreover, he spent most of the service on stage, since from a young age he participated in theatrical performances and had little experience.

Larisa Guzeeva as Victoria Mezentseva, Meteorological Specialist Vyacheslav Bogatyrev as cabin boy Shurka Lastikov Sergei Bystritsky as Shurka Lastikov in the post-war years Leonid Trutnev as the boatswain of the Faddeichev torpedo boat Vladimir Naumtsev as the chief of intelligence at the Selivanov base Ivan Matskevich as the commander of the Donchenko submarine Uldis Dumpis as the commander of the Flying Dutchman Gerhard von Zwischen Pyotr Sherekin as a scuba diver

Summing up the above, I would like to note that this film cannot be called a masterpiece of world cinema, it is just an honest, solid work, which has been looking with great interest for a third of a century. In one word - "child of war". The war, which with pain and tears went through the fate of almost every Soviet family. To this day, this modest film is regularly shown on various television channels, and a new generation of viewers is already following the adventures of the commander of the Soviet torpedo boat Boris Shubin. And if we talk about the secret of the longevity of this film, then first of all it is necessary to name its believability and sincerity, which is so lacking in modern cinema today.

Continuing the theme of heroic deeds, immortalized by cinema, read: Truth and fiction in the acclaimed Russian film "Battalion", which received more than 30 international awards.

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