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Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

4.5 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (edging out such formidable competitors as Kurosawa's Kagemusha, Truffaut's The Last Metro and Szabo's Confidence), Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears is Vladimir Menshov's enchanting drama of three women struggling to establish themselves in Russia's huge and often impersonal capital city. Liudmilla, Katerina and Antonina seem to have little in common, but are bound by a deep friendship and the shared dream that in Moscow they will somehow find happiness. Moscow follows their resourceful pursuit of professional and domestic bliss in 1958, then skips foward twenty years to see just how many of their dreams have come true. On one level Moscow works as a free-spirited melodrama in the classic Hollywood tradition, yet at the same time it offers something more. Beneath its charming exterior, the film is a truthful, moving portrait of the plight of women in Russia, depicted over the span of two decades.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Vera Alentova, Irina Muravyova, Aleksey Batalov, Raisa Ryazanova, Aleksandr Fatyushin
  • Directors: Vladimir Menshov
  • Writers: Vladimir Menshov, Valentin Chernykh
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00019G4TQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,794 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 12, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This tender, and by turns funny and sad film never fails to make me laugh and cry. The 1981 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film, it follows the life of three women, starting from 1958 in their youth, where they share a room in a worker's dormitory, then skipping 20 years, to how they've dealt with their lot in life, and what has become of their dreams.
The acting is fabulous, and Vera Alentova as Katerina is magnificent. One can feel her exhaustion, her heartbreak, and her incredible inner strength.
Perhaps this could be labeled a "woman's movie", because I think there are scenes that many women will relate to, and think, "I've been there". It's a story that could take place anywhere in the world, but the Russian settings, and the music (I adore the picnic scene !) are wonderful.
There is one huge flaw: The white subtitles sometimes fade into the picture and become unreadable, but I'm not deducting any stars, because the acting is so brilliant, that you won't have to understand Russian to know what is being said.
Some might find the final scenes unrealistic and far-fetched, but I would disagree. Life is full of bizarre coincidences and fated events...I find this film strikes a chord of truth, as well as being quite magical.
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Format: DVD
I have watched this movie 20 times since it came out in 1980. This version is so good because the producers corrected the errors in the original subtitles. They were white letters on white tableclothes and white benches. It made it very difficut to read especially during some very critical scenes. That has been corrected in this DVD version. I highly recommend the subtitled version of this film over the English dubbed. The acting is so well done that the voice intonations are critical to the quality of the film. The dub-overs do not have those intonations that are so unique.
This is the tale of three Russian women who are very close friends and the paths they took in life. It spans over 20 years. The story could happen in almost any large city in the world, but it is an added touch that it takes place in Moscow during the Communist rule. One gets an interesting insight into life there at that time.
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Format: VHS Tape
When I think about what it means to be Russian (and I am not Russian), I think of two movies. One is "Wartime Romance" and the other is "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears." There are quite a number of such moments in both films, but in "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears," my favorite moment is when a Russian man finds out that his girlfriend makes more money than he does. He goes on a vodka binge and nobody knows where he is. A friend of the girlfriend goes out to find the man, but has never met him. He finally finds the man's apartment and enters the room, where "Gogi" is still drinking. There is a moment of hostility, since Gogi does not know this man, but Gogi suddenly shrugs his shoulders and offers the stranger a drink. This ability to relate even to strangers is a wonderful part of what it means to be Russian.
"Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears" is an upbeat movie, and in this way is not typical of Russian movies in general. It was made with an international audience in mind. Consequently, it is a great film for American audiences, but not depressing enough for a Russian domestic film.
"I am so sad to be happy, and so happy to be sad" goes an old song about Russians. But "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears" is a wonderful and happy film, where true love overcomes all problems. I recommend it highly.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a touching, funny film that has been cast perfectly. The three main female players are wonderful in their execution, and Alexei Batalov (The Cranes are Flying) develops into the the film's hero in fine style. There may be some predictability here and there, but that also fits into this story of a woman who was used by a [man], became pregnant, had a daughter, became successful at work, and STILL found the love of her life in the end (see, some of us men are worth more than a casual glance). This is a fun movie based on a real life situation. I think it was handled well, and I hope you get to see it.
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Format: DVD
This is one of the most captivating love stories I've ever seen on film. It starts with a young woman (Katya, played by Vera Alentova) reporting to her Worker's Dormitory friends that she has flunked by two points the exam to get into university. It ends with the most incredible sweetness of life.

It is like a French film done by a Russian company (which is what it is). The Moscow we see that does not believe in tears does believe in love, and it is not a Moscow of politics, although some people do call one another "comrade." This is a woman's point of view film (a "chick flick") that transcends any genre cage. It begins slowly, almost painfully dull in a way that will remind the viewer of all the cliches about Russia, the unstylish dress, the worker's paradise that isn't, the sharp contrast between Moscow and the peasants who live outside the city. Katya works in a factory. She works at a drill press. She is obviously underemployed. Lyudmila (Irina Muravyova) works in a bakery. She is probably gainfully employed for the time and place. They are friends, twentysomethings who are on the make for a man, but not a man from the sticks. They pretend to be university post docs or something close to that and they impress some people as they house-sit a beautiful Moscow apartment.

This is how their adult life begins in a sense. Lyudmila falls in love with an athlete; Katya becomes infatuated with a television cameraman. One thing leads to another and before we know it they are forty. Neither relationship worked out. The athlete becomes an alcoholic, the cameraman, in the sway of his mother, believes that Katya is beneath him (once he finds out that she works in a factory). How wrong he is, of course.

But no more of the plot. I won't spoil it.
Read more ›
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