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Petrov, Vladimir Mikhailovich
Born July 10 (22), 1896, in St. Petersburg; died Jan. 7, 1966, in Moscow. Soviet film director and screenwriter. People’s Artist of the USSR (1950).
Petrov studied at a university law faculty; at the same time, he attended a theatrical school in St. Petersburg, making his debut as an actor in 1917. In 1918 he worked in Great Britain with G. Craig. He attended the film courses given in Leningrad by V. K. Viskovskii. He began working at the Sevzapkino Studio (now Lenfil’m) in 1925, becoming a film director in 1928. Beginning in 1942 he worked at Mosfil’m. He produced the children’s films Golden Honey (1928), Lenin’s Address (1929), and Fritz Bauer (1930).
Petrov’s most important films were Peter the First, adapted from A. N. Tolstoy’s novel (1937-39), Kutuzov (1944), and The Battle of Stalingrad (1949; First Prize at the Fourth International Film Festival at Mariánské Láznĕ). He filmed well-known literary works, writing or coauthoring the screenplays for most of the films. Among them were The Thunderstorm (1934) and Guilty Though Guiltless (1945), both adapted from A. N. Ostrov-skii’s plays; The Inspector-General, adapted from N. V. Gogol’s play (1952); The Duel, adapted from A. I. Kuprin’s novel (1957); On the Eve, adapted from I. S. Turgenev’s novel (1959); and Russian Forest, adapted from L. M. Leonov’s novel (1964). Petrov was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1941, twice in 1946, and again in 1950. He received the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and several medals.