×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

One Night

While German troops set up headquarters in a bombed-out Russian school, a frightened young girl takes food and medicine to some wounded flyers hidden in the attic. Shot in 1944 amid razed buildings and war rubble, "One Night" mixes these frightfully real settings that inevitably call to mind Italian neo-realist films of the same period, with indoor studio sets, stock characters and theat-rical acting. Resulting melange is less successful than in some of Boris Barnet's other works, like "A Good Lad," but still tells a satisfyingly dramatic story. Though not banned at the time, film disappeared from screens very quickly.

With:
With: Irina Radchenko, Boris Andreyev, I. Kuznetsov, B. Leonov, A. Judin, V. Viazemsky, Boris Barnet.

While German troops set up headquarters in a bombed-out Russian school, a frightened young girl takes food and medicine to some wounded flyers hidden in the attic. Shot in 1944 amid razed buildings and war rubble, “One Night” mixes these frightfully real settings that inevitably call to mind Italian neo-realist films of the same period, with indoor studio sets, stock characters and theat-rical acting. Resulting melange is less successful than in some of Boris Barnet’s other works, like “A Good Lad,” but still tells a satisfyingly dramatic story. Though not banned at the time, film disappeared from screens very quickly.

Blonde waif Varia (Irina Radchenko) has lost her family and huddles in the ruins of her former school with an old couple, who are soon dis-patched by the Germans. With nowhere to go, she stays on and becomes a servant to the invaders, lead by icy commandant Balz (played by Barnet with one finger on the trigger). Her only friends are three severely wounded airmen she secretly feeds and helps to escape.

Pic exalts her quiet heroism, as well as the open defiance of the town’s citizens. In one remarkable scene, Balz calls a town meeting in a deserted circus, forcing two old-timers to harangue the villagers from the ring. Instead they incite the townsfolk to rebel, and the Germans shoot the whole audience.

One of the pleasures of Barnet’s films today is the way he wipes out the gray tones and pushes his dramas to the max, to the brink of melo-drama. With full orchestral music underlining a girl’s “artless” song, and Red Army cannons blazing away at the enemy, pic doesn’t pull its punches. Such theatricality, juxtaposed with thousands of real bricks strewn around devastated urban streets, can be quite thrilling.

As the heroine, the very beautiful, expressively tearful Radchenko seems directed in a dated salute to Lillian Gish. Tyro actress was never cast in another major role.

One Night

Soviet Union - 1945

Production: A Yerevan Studios (Armenia) production. Directed by Boris Barnet. Screenplay, Fyodr Knorr, from his story and play.

Crew: Camera (B&W), Stepan Gevorkian; art directors, S. Safarian, J. Erzinkian, S. Aruchian; sound, I. Grigorian. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Soviet retro), Aug. 6, 2000. Running time: 81 MIN.

With: With: Irina Radchenko, Boris Andreyev, I. Kuznetsov, B. Leonov, A. Judin, V. Viazemsky, Boris Barnet.

More Film

  • Red Carpet Guide to the Bowtie

    Five Tips to a Perfect Bow Tie on Oscar Night

    Warren Alfie Baker is always on the hunt for just the right bow tie. He’s a Hollywood stylist who helps keep such clients as Lucas Hedges, Norman Reedus and Harry Shum Jr. looking sharp. “It seems like the easiest thing to sort out, but so many mistakes can be made,” Baker tells Variety. And the [...]

  • Francois Ozon's 'The Grace Of God'

    Francois Ozon's 'By The Grace Of God' Delivers Strong B.O. Opening in France

    Rolling off its triumph at the Berlin Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear, François Ozon’s Catholic church sexual abuse drama By “The Grace Of God” had a strong theatrical bow in France where it sold nearly 50,000 tickets on 290 screens on Feb. 20, its first day out One of the best opening [...]

  • David Oyelowo Peter Rabbit 2

    David Oyelowo Joins the Cast of Sony's 'Peter Rabbit' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

    Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo is set to join the cast of Sony Pictures’ “Peter Rabbit 2,” the live-action hybrid sequel to the 2018 family hit, sources tell Variety. He joins Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson, who are returning from the first film, as is James Corden in the voice of the mischievous Peter Rabbit. [...]

  • Luke Wilson Zombieland 2

    Luke Wilson Joins 'Zombieland' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

    Luke Wilson is set to join the ensemble of the upcoming “Zombieland” sequel, sources tell Variety. Wilson will star alongside Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin in “Zombieland 2.” As previously reported, Zoey Deutch, Thomas Middleditch, and Rosario Dawson are also boarding the cast. In the sequel, the zombie slayers must face [...]

  • Awards Season Mens Fashion Harry Shum

    Men's Fashion Is Changing Things Up This Awards Season

    The standard black tuxedo men donned to awards shows for decades is quickly becoming an outmoded uniform. From bold colors, to striking textures, to novel silhouettes, men’s awards show looks are now just as fashion-forward as women’s. “It was a slow evolution and then a really quick evolution,” says Ilaria Urbinati, who styles Rami Malek, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content