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Bed And Sofa (1927) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
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Bed And Sofa (1927) aka Tretya meshchanskaya
A married couple have a small apartment in Moscow. When an old friend of the husband\'s arrives in the city, he is unable to find lodgings. Kolia, the husband, invites his friend to move in with them. While Kolia is away on business, sensual Liuda and attractive Volodia fall in love and have an affair. After his initial outrage, the husband calms down. Kolia winds up on the sofa, and the three settle into a menage-a-trois until the wife finds herself pregnant. The two men are trying to decide what to do, but Liuda is strong enough to make her own decisions. Considered a landmark film because of humor, naturalism, and its sympathetic portrayal of the woman.
Nikolai Batalov ... Kolia, the husband
Lyudmila Semyonova ... Liuda, the wife
Leonid Yurenyov ... The Porter
Vladimir Fogel ... Volodia, the friend
Yelena Sokolova ... The Nurse
\"Tretya meshchanskaya\" (called \"Bed and Sofa\" in English) is what I would consider the Soviet Union\'s version of \"Some Like It Hot\": what it portrays was no doubt really mind-blowing when it was first released, even if it doesn\'t seem so much nowadays.
The movie portrays Kolya (Nikolay Batalov) and Lyuda (Lyudmila Semyonova) living in a Moscow apartment. Kolya is a mild goof-ball whose proudest feature seems to be his hairy chest, while Lyuda is clearly unfulfilled in life and looks stern all the time. One day, Kolya\'s war buddy Volodya (Vladimir Fogel) arrives and asks if he can live with them. They agree, but then Volodya does more than eat up his welcome mat! One interesting scene is early in the movie when Volodya kicks a rock into the river. When the rock hits the water, it naturally creates ripples. This may mean that everything\'s about to get upset. All in all, worth seeing.
This is a silent film made relatively early in the history of the Soviet Union. A construction worker allows his unemployed friend to stay at home with his young beautiful wife and whoops! This is actually a pretty good movie, although like many silent Soviet films, the score, while nice, is way too dramatic.
I was surprised that a previous reviewer has compared this movie to \'Some Like It Hot\'. (I assume he means the Billy Wilder comedy, not the Bob Hope musical.) If \'Tretya meschanskaya\' resembles any Billy Wilder movie, it would have to be \'The Apartment\'.
Volodia is a young man from the Russian provinces who has come to Moscow seeking work, since he\'s unable to find any employment back home. He discovers to his regret that jobs are pretty thin on the ground in Moscow, and so are apartments. Purely as a temporary measure (ha, ha), he knocks up his former army squadmate Kolia, who lives in a Muscovite walk-up flat with his pretty wife Liuda. Kolia reluctantly agrees to let Volodia kip on the sofa until something better turns up. Kolia and his wife will maintain their privacy in the small bedroom.
SPOILERS COMING. While Kolia is away on business, Liuda and Volodia become attracted to each other. (I guess those army buddies share everything.) Kolia comes home unexpectedly and discovers what\'s been going on. Now Kolia wants to move out and abandon his wife to Volodia, but he discovers that the same housing shortage which brought Volodia to his doorstep is still in place: Kolia has nowhere else to go. The uneasy menage continues, only now it\'s Volodia who\'s in the bedroom with Liuda, and it\'s Kolia who\'s on the couch in his own apartment. How long can this go on, comrade?
I was faintly surprised that the Soviets would make \'Tretya meschanskaya\' at all, much less approve it for exhibition. Central to this film\'s premise are several factors that reflect unfavourably on the Soviet regime: rampant unemployment in the provinces, urban unemployment, severe housing shortages, and the fact that the government can mandate apartment tenants to take in a roomer. In communist Russia, most apartment rentals were subsidised by the government, therefore the government could force tenants to share their small residential units with a total stranger. The fact that Moscow rents were significantly cheaper than rents in London, Paris or New York is allegedly proof of the benefits of collectivism ... until one realises that workers in Moscow made far less money than their blue-collar equivalents in those other cities.
I was also surprised for one other reason. This movie stresses that privacy is important to everyone, and is a basic human right. I never expected to encounter such sentiments in a communist film.
While this film resists easy comparisons to any American film, if I had to compare it to a specific Hollywood movie my choice would be neither \'The Apartment\' nor \'Some Like It Hot\' but rather another movie that also starred Jack Lemmon: \'The Odd Couple\'. Despite the rivalry between the flatmates Kolia and Volodia, we sense their underlying friendship ... not unlike the relationship between Felix and Oscar. I agree with the IMDb reviewer who compared this movie to \'Jules et Jim\'.
Refreshingly, much of the humour in \'Tretya meschanskaya\' is universal, and has more to do with the menage-a-trois situation than with the politics. I laughed several times while watching this comedy, and I\'ll rate it 7 out of 10.