A Russian "Right Stuff"?


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16 January 2008
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Everybody knows about the film "The Right Stuff" and it's story of the early US space program. But is there an equal counterpart in Russia? A movie or TV miniseries, perhaps? Has a production like this ever been done or even just talked about?

From all I've read about Russia's space program, I think its many personalities, rivalries, and pure drama would sure make for a good movie. Surely there's a good movie to be made from Russia's space history. Sputnik, Gagarin, Leonov's space walk, the N-1. I could go on and on. I would think Russia's story has just much drama as my own country's space porgram. If not more.

Of course some events would have to be be dramatized. As most good dramas would be, of course. But look how "The Right Stuff" came out.
Actually, still no...no Right Stuff, no From The Earth To The Moon still - our nation didn't produce such a movie.

You could hardly await honest and true story of first cosmonauts team from Soviet writers and directors...under certain circumstances.

1972s 2,5 hours saga named The Taming Of The Fire can be considered a Soviet classic dedicated to space pioneer Korolyov (shown under name Bashkirtzev). Glushko=Ognev, Ustinov=Loginov, Nedelin=Vladimirov. In terms of historical and technical accuracy it deserves much more, anyway it's the *movie* that made many to think of their future career. Bashkirtzev/Ognev relations are much warmer in the movie tnan they were in the last SP years in real life - in movie he dies at crying Ognev's hands after heart attack (scene I was crying sometimes, I must admit).

1984s 'Return From The Orbit' shows mishap at the space station with crew chief wounded during meteor attack, and a rescue operation headed by long-time backup crew headю A usual psychology drama.

2005 UK-Russia-Germany series The Space Race chew its budget nicely, ending with product I could never expect - instead of FTETM-level series, it's full of bears-vodka-dumb-Khrushchev style. One scene with Glushko working with drawings in a noisy factory shop, makes an example of this bullshit that was in writer's heads.

Yuri Kara's Korolyov (2007) tells - quite close to reality - story of SP arrest and GULAG years.

New Alexey German, Jr. movie Paper Soldier (2008, now it's on premiere at Cannes Film Festival) is a story of first cosmonauts crew medic. Haven't seen this yet, but it's mostly historical drama then first cosmonauts biopic.


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Thank you, Gregory. I will definitely have to keep an eye out for some of these movies.
I must admit I enjoyed "The Space Race". Just having read the biography of Korolev, I found the story reasonably accurate, even if somewhat over-dramatised at times (and repetitious). Caught rather nicely I thought the rivalry between von Braun and Korolev.

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