Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Director of Soviet ‘Rambo’ Dies at 75

Russian film director Mikhail Tumanishvili, who was behind one of the biggest Soviet-era blockbusters, died in Moscow on Thursday. He was 75.

News agencies did not report a cause of death, but the director was hospitalized with lung problems earlier this year, the Infox.ru news agency reported.

Tumanishvili, a Muscovite, began his career as a theater actor but switched to filmmaking with his debut in 1981.

His first big hit was the thriller “Solo Voyage” (1985), which features Soviet marines preventing a group of U.S. right-wing military officers from starting World War III by launching a rocket attack on the Soviet Union. The action-packed movie took the Soviet box office by storm and boasted an audience of some 40 million.

Two years later, The New York Times likened the film to Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo” and noted that it reveled in the same sort of Cold War stereotypes. The U.S. military is depicted as cold-blooded killers, but in a touch of the blossoming perestroika policy, “Solo Voyage” also features American tourists helping the Soviets uncover the plot.
Tumanishvili’s other notable work includes the drama “Crash, a Cop’s Daughter” (1989) and the hit crime series “Turetsky’s March” (2000). He directed a total of 16 feature-length films and three television series.
St. Petersburg Times

Mikhail Tumanishvili was born in Moscow in 1935. He was trained as a theater and film actor in the Shchukin School of Theater where he graduated in 1957. He acted on stage in the Pushkin Theater in Moscow and in films such as Leningradskaya Simfoniya (1957), Zhizn Snachala (1961) and Armageddon (1962). Since 1964 he worked as an assistant director for Mosfilm until his directorial debut with Otvetnii Khod in 1981. He has made 11 films to date.
1981 Countermove (Otvetnii Khod)
1982 Incident at Map-Grid 36-80 (Sluchai v Kvadrate 36-80)
1984 Line of Resistance (Polosa Prepyatstvii)
1985 Solo Journey (Odinochnoe Plavanie)
1987 Free Fall (Svobodnoe Padenie)
1989 Avariya – Cop's Daughter (Avariya – Doch Menta)
1991 Wolfhound (Volkodav)
1993 Stalin's Testament (Zaveshchanie Stalina)
1995 Crusader (Krestonosets) (co-directed with Aleksandr Inshakov)
1998 Yukka (Yukka)
2000 Turetskii's March (Marsh Turetskovo)

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