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Maschenka (1987)

A story about true love, set in the Berlin of the 1920s. In a shabby lodging-house inhabited by a number of faintly ludicrous characters, the young Russian exile Ganin is unexpectedly confronted with his past.

Director:

John Goldschmidt

Writers:

John Mortimer, Vladimir Nabokov (novel)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Irina Brook ... Maschenka
Cary Elwes ... Ganin
Sunnyi Melles ... Lilli
Jonathan Coy ... Alferov
Freddie Jones ... Podtyagin
Michael Gough ... Vater
Jean-Claude Brialy ... Kolin
Lena Stolze ... Klara
Eva Lissa Eva Lissa ... Frau Dorn
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Yasha
Constantine Gregory ... Pyotr
Richard Feiner Richard Feiner ... Alec (as Richard Thomas Feiner)
Anthony J. Messina Anthony J. Messina ... Tenor (as Antonio Messina)
Elisabeth Degen ... Ina
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Caroline Redl Caroline Redl ... Lida
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Storyline

A story about true love, set in the Berlin of the 1920s. In a shabby lodging-house inhabited by a number of faintly ludicrous characters, the young Russian exile Ganin is unexpectedly confronted with his past.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | UK | France | Finland

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1987 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Mashenka See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maschenka herself was based on writer Vladimir Nabokov's former love Lyussa, whom he would name 'Tamara' in the autobiography "Speak, Memory". Five of her love letters to Nabokov are quoted in his novel "Mashen'ka". See more »

Connections

Version of Nabokov, Mashenka (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Swan Lake
(uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nabokov would be proud!
6 February 2001 | by steven-112See all my reviews

A totally engaging screen adaptation of the Nabokov novel of the same name (subsequently re-named "Mary"), Maschenka is all about the beauty of memories.

Cary Elwes gives one of the best performances of his career (before he sold out to Hollywood) as the young Ganin, a Russian émigré coming to terms with his new life in Berlin.

Our young friend's drab existence is transformed when he learns that his first love is moving into his apartment block and sets him off on a trip down memory lane. But was it all as magical as he remembers, or is it his memory comforting him with images of better days of yore?

An outstanding cast also includes one of the greatest British character actors in the form of Freddie Jones as a washed up old poet desperate to join family in France. A colourful group of tenants in the building are played to perfection by a largely European cast.

A highly emotional film that tugs at the heart as much as it tickles the funny bone, Maschenka is truly faithful to its source material. Directed with skill and an understanding of the text, Maschenka features stunning a blend of stunning summer locations and grim industrial modernism. Accompanied by a soundtrack so effective that you wouldn't know it was there.

If you liked the recent adaptation of The Luzhin Defense, you'll LOVE Maschenka.


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