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Because of what Leonid Bykov considered himself useless Romeo, and why the hit movie with his participation was smashed to smithereens
Because of what Leonid Bykov considered himself useless Romeo, and why the hit movie with his participation was smashed to smithereens

The famous actor, screenwriter and director Leonid Bykov has been dead for 42 years. He left too early, at 50, and did not have time to do very much. His film works could have been much more, but his talent was not recognized for a long time, and he often became the object of merciless criticism. So it happened with one of his best roles in the film "Aleshkina Love". Despite the great success with the audience, critics smashed this film to smithereens, but he himself was the strictest judge. At first, the actor categorically refused the role, because he considered himself an ugly duckling, and not a romantic hero.

The Ugly Duckling of Soviet Cinema

Actor in his youth

He had plenty of reasons for self-doubt and self-doubt. Leonid Bykov dreamed of becoming a pilot, but this dream was not destined to come true. At the simpler acting, he was also initially expected by some disappointments. In Kiev, he was not accepted into a theater university, but luck smiled at him at the Kharkov Theater Institute. After graduation, he performed on the stage of the local drama theater. In 1952, he began acting in films, and 2 years later he had his first success after the role of Petit Mokin in the film "Tiger Tamer".

Leonid Bykov in the film Tiger Tamer, 1954

In this film, he played a character who is unrequitedly in love with the main character. She preferred another to him - the handsome motorcycle racer Ermolaev performed by Pavel Kadochnikov. At that time, the State Film Agency was not yet there, and the samples were approved by the Ministry of Culture. When the minister saw the photographs of Leonid Bykov, he was indignant: "" "Kind people" conveyed these words to Bykov, and he reacted to them very painfully. So much so that later he did not agree to the role of lyrical heroes.

Pavel Kadochnikov and Leonid Bykov in the film Tiger Tamer, 1954

So it was that time when he was offered the lead role in the film "Alyoshka's Love", where his hero was supposed to win the heart of an unapproachable beauty. For a long time, the actor denied: “” He remembered that phrase about the “ugly duckling” too well and doubted that he would be convincing enough in the image of a romantic hero. In addition, according to the script, his hero was only 20 years old, and at that time he himself was already 31 years old. However, his doubts were in vain.

Timid romeo

Leonid Bykov in the film Aleshkin's love, 1960

Pavel Kadochnikov, who was one of the first to draw attention to the extraordinary talent of Leonid Bykov and convinced the director to give him the role of Pavel Mokin in Tiger Tamer, said that this film would never have taken place. Even in his comic characters, there was always something lyrical that made the audience not only laugh, but also sincerely empathize with them. Clara Luchko said about him: "".

Leonid Bykov and Alexandra Zavyalova in the film Aleshkin's love, 1960

In the film "Aleshkin's Love" he seemed to play himself - insecure, modest, kind, timid, touching and incredibly charming. This role seemed to be specially written for Bykov, although in fact his candidacy was not immediately approved - he was twenty-seventh on the samples, Leonid Kuravlev and Leonid Kharitonov became his competitors, but they did not impress the artistic council. Debutant directors Semyon Tumanov and Georgy Shchukin turned out to be surprisingly perspicacious, giving this role to Bykov.Enlisting the support of their mentor Mikhail Romm, the directors confidently told the actor: “” And this became the key to the future success of the film - this was the rare case when the personality of the actor and the image of the hero merged, making the story look very authentic and convincing.

Leonid Bykov in the film Aleshkin's love, 1960

Not possessing a bright appearance, Bykov fascinated the audience with inner beauty and depth, and by the end of the film, together with the main character, they came to the conclusion: the love of such Alyoshka cannot remain unrequited. Therefore, no one was surprised that the beautiful Zinka performed by Alexandra Zavyalova preferred the shy, naive and dreamy romantic gentleman to her other boyfriends.

Shot from the film Aleshkina love, 1960

Alexandra Zavyalova believed that she succeeded in her role thanks to her partner, about whom she said: "".

Sacred "Aleshkina love"

Leonid Bykov in the film Aleshkin's love, 1960

In 1961, 23.7 million viewers watched Aleshkin's Love. And although the film did not become the leader of the box office, this touching story found a response in many hearts. Once Bykov said that he had reasons to be proud of this film work - at one of the creative meetings with the audience, a woman in the hall told him: "". "", - the actor admitted.

Shot from the film Aleshkina love, 1960

Unfortunately, the public's enthusiasm was not shared by colleagues, officials, or critics. At "Mosfilm" the directors were told: "". Work on the film was completed in December 1960, and it was released on screens 2 months later. And then a new flurry of criticism fell upon him. The Minister of Culture, whose post at that time was occupied by Ekaterina Furtseva, received angry letters from high-ranking party officials about the ideological shortcomings of the film: from the "true appearance of our working youth", with a "boorish-disdainful attitude towards women", the authors of the film were accused of not showing "the greatness and significance of the hard work of geologists."

Leonid Bykov in the film Aleshkin's love, 1960

In the magazine "Art Cinema" the film was called a surrogate, divorced from reality, the collective of "Mosfilm" called "". Fortunately, after watching the film, Ekaterina Furtseva did not find anything seditious in it, and when she was shown bags of thanks and admiring letters from viewers, including geologists, all doubts were finally dispelled.

Leonid Bykov in the film Aleshkin's love, 1960

After the early departure of the actor, there were many rumors: The mystery of the death of Leonid Bykov.

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