Monday, November 9, 2009

Soviet westerns available on You Tube

At Home Among Strangers and The White Sun of the Desert

I never liked westerns. They were all about illiterates dressed in ugly clothes, in ugly buildings on an ugly landscape. Their only recreational activity was hanging around in bars and their greatest aspiration was to own a ranch. They had a lot of violence, which should have been appealing, but the fights generally consist of nothing but two men punching each other in the face. The gun fights weren't much better. Everyone had the same gun. Either a Colt revolver or a Winchester rifle. There was no variation. They could at least throw in a Derringer.

But I did kind of like the Osterns I've seen so far----Soviet movies inspired by American westerns, set in Soviet Asia in the 1920s.

In the Soviet film At Home Among Strangers, it was refreshing to see members of the Cheka as heroes. Made in 1974, in color with a few scenes in black & white.

There is a famine in the USSR. The government needs gold to import food. Cheka men transport the gold by train. When the train is robbed by bandits on horseback, a Cheka agent goes undercover to get the gold back.

They wear much more attractive clothes, they have a variety of weapons, although they go heavy on Nagant revolvers, and the architecture is more appealing.

And the whole thing is available on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiAlFkw1EOU

And here is The White Sun of the Desert on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDEpRLPbSGM

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