Best Movies Made in the Soviet Union (1922-1991)

The Top Ten
1 Solaris (1972)
2 The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
3 The Needle (1988)
4 Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future (1973)
5 The Battleship Potemkin (1925)
6 Alexander Nevsky (1938)
7 Operation 'Y' & Other Shurik's Adventures (1965)
8 Strike (1924)
9 Ivan the Terrible (1944)
10 October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1927)
The Contenders
11 The Diamond Arm (1969)

Another brilliant Gaidai comedy with the stunning Yuri Nikulin in the title role.

12 Stalker (1979)

This 1979 Soviet movie by Andrei Tarkovsky is loosely based on the Strugatsky Brothers' 1972 novel "Roadside Picnic."

13 Gentlemen of Fortune (1971)

One of the best Soviet comedies, not inferior to the best films of Leonid Gaidai. The leading roles are played by the best Soviet actors: Yevgeny Leonov, Georgy Vitsin, and Savely Kramarov.

14 The Dawns Here are Quiet (1972)

One of the best WWII movies I've seen. A group of anti-aircraft gunner girls must confront German troops that have landed in the rear. They have nowhere to wait for help and must rely only on their own strength.

15 Only Old Men are Going to Battle (1973)

A timeless classic and one of the most popular films in Russia. The action takes place in an air squadron during the Second World War.

The film combines both comedic and dramatic moments. It is one of those war films that makes you want to live and never see war again. "Old Men" here means "the most experienced ones."

16 They Fought for Their Country (1975)

Another WWII movie. In July 1942, during the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red Army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating Soviet troops cross the bridge. As they move back to Russian territory through the countryside, the soldiers display their companionship, sentiments, fears, and heroism in defending their motherland.

17 Kin-Dza-Dza! (1986)

This iconic 1986 Soviet sci-fi anti-utopia may seem somewhat weird, but in reality, it is a talented satire on modern reality. Despite being filmed in a completely different time and in a country that no longer exists, this film has not lost its relevance today.

18 Chapaev (1934)

This iconic 1934 Soviet movie is about a hero of the Russian Civil War.

19 The Golden Calf (1968)

This 1968 Soviet comedy is an adaptation of the 1931 novel by Ilf and Petrov. The film describes the further adventures of one of the most popular characters in Russian and Soviet literature and cinema, Ostap Bender, following the events of "The Twelve Chairs," a previous book published in 1927.

Adaptations of Ilf and Petrov's works in the USSR generally turned out especially successful (Gaidai's 1971 "The Twelve Chairs" and Zakharov's 1975 "The Twelve Chairs" were very good). Of all these adaptations, I like this film the most.

20 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1981)

From 1979 to 1986, several film adaptations of Sherlock Holmes' works were released in the USSR, featuring the same actors and crew. These films gained unprecedented popularity and became a significant cultural phenomenon in Soviet and Russian cinema. For many, there is no better Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson than those portrayed by Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin in these films.

The 1981 adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles is probably my favorite of these films.

21 The Twelve Chairs (1976)

There are two film adaptations of the legendary novel "The Twelve Chairs" by Ilf and Petrov, released in the 70s in the Soviet Union: a 1971 film by Leonid Gaidai and a 1976 film by Mark Zakharov. Both turned out to be very successful, each bearing the imprint of the director's vision.

I like both, although perhaps I like Ostap Bender performed by the magnificent Andrei Mironov in the 1976 film more.

22 The Wind (1959)
23 Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

This 1959 Soviet WWII movie is easily among the most emotional WWII movies I've seen. Charlie Chaplin cried while watching this movie. Marlene Dietrich watched it at least eight times.

24 White Sun of the Desert (1970)

This Ostern movie (Ostern is a genre culturally inspired by classic Westerns but set in the southern and southeastern territories of the USSR, usually during the Revolution or Civil War, in the steppes of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, or the Caucasus mountains) gained unprecedented popularity. It became a real treasure trove of quotes and aphorisms, as well as popular scenes and situations.

25 Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1979)
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