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Titles and names in bold print contain more complete information
Leonid BYKOV
Леонид БЫКОВ
Leonid BYKOV
USSR, 1973, 96 mn 
Black and white, fiction

Only Old Men are going to Battle

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

В бой идут одни 'старики'


 Seuls les anciens vont au combat

 V boy idut odni 'stariki'

Directed by : Leonid BYKOV (Леонид БЫКОВ)
Writing credits : Leonid BYKOV (Леонид БЫКОВ), Yevgeni ONOPRIENKO (Евгений ОНОПРИЕНКО), Aleksandr SATSKY (Александр САЦКИЙ)
Leonid BYKOV (Леонид БЫКОВ) ...Titarenko / Maestro
Grigori GLADY (Григорий ГЛАДИЙ) ...Ivolguine
Sergey_4 IVANOV (Сергей_4 ИВАНОВ) ..."Kouznetchik"
Yevgeniya SIMONOVA (Евгения СИМОНОВА) ...Macha Popova
Aleksey SMIRNOV (Алексей СМИРНОВ)
Vladimir TALASHKO (Владимир ТАЛАШКО)
Cinematography : Vladimir VOYTENKO (Владимир ВОЙТЕНКО)
Production design : Georgi PROKOPETS (Георгий ПРОКОПЕЦ)
Music : Viktor SHEVCHENKO (Виктор ШЕВЧЕНКО)
Production : Studio Dovzhenko
Release date in Russia : 01/09/1974

Awards :
Prix du meilleur rôle masculin à Leonid Bykov, 1974
Prix au Festival de Karlovy Vary, 1974
Premier prix au Festival "Liberté" Sopot (Bulgarie, 1974,
Prix national de l'Ukraine, Chevtchenko, 1977

DVD with subtitles
Editeur : Ruscico. 2000.
Langues : RU FR
Sous-titres : RU EN FR DE ES IT
Bonus :
- Interview de V. Talachko
- Video - sujets: «Testament de L. Bykov», «Deux destins»
- reportage du tournage

Plot synopsis
One of the best Russian films about the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. The “old men” in this squadron were no older than twenty, but those “wet behind the ears”, a reinforcement fresh from flying schools with accelerated training, were not allowed to go to battle for quite a while… They were yet to experience everything – the heat of the battle, the joy of the first victory over the enemy, the grandeur of a brotherhood strengthened with blood, the first love, and the bitterness of a loss…And there came the day when, on hearing the command “only ‘old men’ are going to battle”, it was them who rushed to their planes…Only during its first year at the theatres, the film was seen by 44.3 million viewers – a record in the history of world cinema. When this war musical was released (1973), audiences thronged at the theatres, asking for a “spare” ticket, and the old, long-forgotten “Darkie” song became very popular again. Incidentally, the character nicknamed Darkie had a real-life prototype – Leonid Bykov’s childhood friend, Victor Shcheglov.
Source :

Commentaries and bibliography
RUSSIA BEYOND : Les dix meilleurs films de guerre russes, Boris EGOROV, Article, RUSSIA BEYOND, 2020
RUSSIA BEYOND: Les dix meileurs films russes sur la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Ekaterina SINELCHTCHIKOVA, Article, RUSSIA BEYOND, 2020
RUSSIA BEYOND: Loin des clichés: douze films criants de vérité sur le front de l’Est durant la guerre, Boris EGOROV, Article, RUSSIA BEYOND, 2020

Selected in the following festivals :
- Strasbourg two weeks of Russian cinema, Strasbourg (France), 2015
- Festival de cinéma russe au Centre Wallonie Bruxelles de Kinshasa, Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 2012
- Semaine des films russes à Bacongo, Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo), 2012
- Festival "Vivat Kino Rossii", St Petersburg (Russia), 2004

Photos and videos

Léonide Bykov dans le rôle du capitaine Tytarenko


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