Mikhail Kalatozov

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Mikhail Kalatozov
Mikhail Konstantinovich Kalatozov
BirthplaceTiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia
Film director

Kalatozov, Mikhail Konstantinovich


Born Dec. 15 (28), 1903, in Tbilisi. Soviet film director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1969); member of the CPSU since 1939.

Kalatozov began working in the Georgian cinema in 1923 and became a director in 1928. His films tended to emphasize space and dimension and made effective use of acute foreshortening and lighting. These features are particularly noticeable in his film Salt of Svanetia (1930), for which he was both director and one of the cameramen. In 1933, Kalatozov enrolled in postgraduate study at the Leningrad Academy of Art. Later he became head of the Tbilisi Film Studio. He returned to directing with his film Courage (1939). Valerii Chkalov, made in 1941, was among his most important films. The breadth of Kalatozov’s artistic range and his ability to utilize diverse means of expression are apparent in his film comedy True Friends (1954).

The Cranes Are Flying, made in 1957, is Kalatozov’s best-known film; it won both him and his cameraman, S. P. Urusev-skii, worldwide recognition and a number of international prizes (including the Golden Palm at the 11th International Film Festival in Cannes). The acting of T. E. Samoilova and A. V. Batalov, the inspired montage of the crowd scenes, and the unusual mobility of the camera combine to give the film a subtle lyric beauty and a tragic force. In 1970, Kalatozov made a film based on U. Nobile’s expedition to the north pole (The Red Tent; a joint Soviet-Italian production). The cast of major actors from various countries and the impressive nature footage made the film an important event. Kalatozov received the State Prize of the USSR in 1951. He has been awarded three orders and various medals.


Litso Gollivuda. [Moscow] 1949.


Kremlev, G. Mikhail Kalatozov. Moscow, 1965.


References in periodicals archive ?
Film: The Cranes Are Flying Director: Mikhail Kalatozov Cast: Tatyana Samoylova, Aleksey Batalov, Vasiliy Merkurev, Aleksandr Shvorin and Svetlana Kharitonova Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes Synopsis: Veronika is devastated when the love of her life, Boris, is sent to the front lines of the Second World War.
Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov, the film won the Golden Palm Award at Cannes Film Festival.
The film had been two years in the making, and its director and cinematographer were among the most celebrated figures of contemporary Soviet cinema: Mikhail Kalatozov and Sergei Urusevsky, who had also worked together on the war melodrama The Cranes Are Flying, winner of the 1958 Palm D'Or at Cannes.