Soviet Russia and The Entertainment

The Queen of Spades (1960) was a Russian film that was adapted (the transfer of written work into a film) from the opera “The Queen of Spades and the short story written by Aleksandr Pushkin. ”

PLOT: The film, set in the 1820s, follows a man named Hermann, who returns from army service to Moscow and is looking for a new experience. Soon, he learns about a woman named Liza and a Countess she lives with. He resolves to court Liza, but has another plan in mind: trying to learn from the Countess the secrets of gambling with playing cards. ‘One who draws the Queen of Spades inherits bad luck‘.”


queen of spades

“It Was I Who Drew the Little Man” was the most popular animated film in Soviet Russia in the 1960s.’


On the first of September, Fedya Zaytsev is the very first kid who comes to school. In his joy at realizing this, he draws a little man with an umbrella on the wall of his classroom with a piece of charcoal, realizing too late that this is against the rules. In class, the teacher notices the drawing and asks everyone to raise their hands. Fedya rubs out his hands so that they are clean, but his friend, with whom he had shaken hands earlier, has dirty hands and is blamed. Fedya goes home without saying anything, but the little man whom he drew follows him, and he teams up with all of Fedya’s toys and the heroes of his favorite books to teach him a lesson. At the end of the film, Fedya admits to his mistake.”



During this new cultural movement, Russian films and operas were very unique during the 1960’s over any other period of time. A new theater was built in the 1960’s in order to pull in more revenue and extract more entertainment for the public. The theater/studio called the “Mosfilm” has one of the highest attendance rates per capita at movie theaters in the world at this time. The style and type of films changed and impacted the public more than ever before because the films being created were receiving  awards and nominations from people internationally, not just within Russia.

3 thoughts on “Soviet Russia and The Entertainment

  1. I didn’t actually know that this cultural advancement in the form of media. The plots of the movies are interesting and I wonder how they were received by the people viewing them. Were the movies translated into other languages and produced in other nations too?


  2. Very good post. Reading about the entertainment in the Soviet Union is very interesting. Russians definitely were fascinated with movie theaters, causing the popularity of the Mosfilm theater. I wonder how specifically these films impacted and changed Russian lives during this period.


  3. These two films are excellent examples of changing cultural norms in the 1960s, as they combine classical inspiration (a Pushkin story) with contemporary inspiration. The school setting would have been familiar to most Soviet citizens, as it was a primary location for imposing a notion of collective responsibility on individuals.


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