21 January 2008 | AndreiPavlov
Any American can be "MacDermott", as well as any other person on Earth
This "simple propaganda" film contains tons of disputable things and at least two twists at the end.
There is quite a bit of responsibility hanging over a reviewer, who is the first to comment an IMDb title. Quite possibly, it will make somebody watch or escape watching the film.
The film is outdated of course. The pompous speeches and a few scenes of Soviet propaganda, which meant to be serious, have become ironic with time.
It is exaggerated, too. The American GIs and high-rank officials are amusingly scornful. "Mrs. MacDermott" ha-ha-ha! The name itself talks volumes to a Russian viewer.
The American and German citizens speak fluent Russian without accent and with proper Russian intonation. Is it a drawback? I don't know.
At certain points the film gets berserk. I really enjoyed the wild drinking of everybody present. They consume vodka and whiskey, whiskey and vodka. The American soldier gets drunk with whiskey and then he tastes vodka and nearly dies, spitting it into the fire, which instantly goes flash! That's ridiculous. At the same time it is not absolutely "not of this world", because during the WWII the soldiers often drank before a battle. To run, fight, and get killed (being 100% sober) is only for really super-tough men (and I don't mean physical condition).
The soundtrack is bad. As far as I know, this movie was restored in the 1960s. The present sound has a lot of additional noises, which even made me check my audio equipment.
But there is also indisputable greatness in this movie.
There is one thing, which makes the movie good. It shows, how simply people are cheated by the government and how easily their hearts are sucked into suicidal behaviour (just booze and let your soul go down the toilet). Here the bat bashes the Americans. But it can be applied to any nationality.
Germany, Vietnam, Iraq, whatever. It is simply outstanding how this film captures the mood of a conqueror, who thinks that he is the king of the world with all his "endless" power and "long" money. The scene of the black man being beaten by the American soldiers and his wife (?) being raped (?) while the jolly jazzy music is on and the scene with a crowd of wretched German men and women, who are trying to get "Lucky Strike" and other cheap tripe from the USA (one old fellow is trying to bargain a pack of cigarettes for Beethoven!) remain most powerful. You would say: "It's Soviet propaganda and exaggeration!" Well, perhaps it is, but haven't you noticed anything similar in the recent history of the USA politics?
I am not going to further throw stones in anybody's direction. And don't consider it to be a purely anti-America propaganda. Look with an open mind, while it has deeper messages than the "Cold War" struggle between the two dinosaurs (and dinosaurs are a subject to extinction). It also reminded me of "Europa" (1991), though this one is very realistic and plain in direction and storytelling.
Mrs Lyubov Orlova delivers a very powerful and unpredictable performance. There is a strange twist in the end concerning her character. And as to Madam Faina Ranevskaya, she steals the show as soon as she is on the screen.
That's about all so far: 7 out of 10. Thank you for attention.