Grigorii Vasilevich Aleksandrov
Aleksandrov, Grigorii Vasil’evich
(pseudonym of G. V. Mormonenko). Born Jan. 10 (23), 1903, in Ekaterinburg (now Sverdlovsk). Soviet film director; People’s Artist of the USSR (1948). Member of the CPSU since 1954. Hero of Socialist Labor (1973).
In 1921, Aleksandrov became an actor in Proletkult’s first workers’ theater in Moscow. He took part in plays staged by S. M. Eisenstein. He began working in the film industry in 1924. In the films Battleship Potemkin (1925), October (1927), and The Old and the New (1929), directed by Eisenstein, Aleksandrov worked as both an actor and a codirector; in the latter two he was also a coauthor of the screenplays.
In 1934 he directed the film Jolly Boys, a musical comedy in which he employed eccentric stunts, circus devices, and techniques from the music hall, operetta, and musical sideshow. In further works he continued to develop the genre of eccentric musical comedy: he made the comedy films The Circus (1936), Volga-Volga (1938), The Blazing Path (1940), and Spring (1947). These films are filled with buoyant music composed by I. O. Dunaevskii, and they express an optimistic tone. The actors’ performances are of a high level (L. P. Orlova, I. V. Il’inskii, and V. S. Volodin). Aleksandrov filmed Meeting on the Elbe (1949), which was about the events of the first days after the conclusion of the Great Patriotic War, the biographical film The Composer Glinka (1952), and the experimental films Man to Man . . . (1958) and Russian Souvenir (1960). He wrote a number of film scripts.
Aleksandrov has taught in the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography. He twice received the State Prize of the USSR (1941 and 1950). He has been awarded two Orders of Lenin as well as other orders and medals.