Vertical (1967 film)

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Vertical (1967 film).jpg
Directed byStanislav Govorukhin
Boris Durov
Written bySergei Tarasov
Nikolai Rasheyev
StarringVladimir Vysotsky
Gennadi Voropayev
Larisa Luzhina
Bukhuti Zakariadze
CinematographyAlbert Osipov
Edited byValeria Belova
Music bySofia Gubaidulina
Vladimir Vysotsky[1]
Release date
Running time
73 min
CountrySoviet Union

Vertical (Russian: Вертикаль) is a 1967 Soviet sports drama film directed by Stanislav Govorukhin and Boris Durov. With 32.8 million viewers it became one of the 1967 Soviet box office leaders (10th place among the Soviet-produced movies and 13th place it total).[2][3] The film was a directorial debut for both Govorukhin and Durov. It was also the first movie where Vladimir Vysotsky worked as a composer and songwriter.[4] His songs became extremely popular, they were immediately released on the extended play and gave a start to his musical career.[5][6]


The group of climbers led by an experienced Vitali Leonov went to Svaneti to conquer Mount Hor-Tau (fictional peak). Four go to the top and the bottom, in the camp, are radio operator Vladimir and physician Larisa. Volodya receives a message regarding an incoming storm and passes it to the group, but one of the climbers hides this important information from his comrades. The climbers reach the top, but on the way back down they are caught in a snow storm. The conquerors face a difficult way back to base camp.


  • Vladimir Vysotsky - Volodya
  • Larisa Luzhina - Larissa
  • Georgiy Kulbush - Vitaly Lomov, expedition leader
  • Gennady Voropayev - Gennady
  • Margarita Kosheleva - Rita
  • Alexander Fadeev - Sasha Nikitin
  • Bukhuti Zakariadze - Vissarion
  • M. Anuchrinov
  • L. Gliseyev
  • L. Kakhilin
  • Sh. Mareklin


The script

According to the memoirs of Sergei Tarasov, the script was based on the story of his brother-in-law Vladimir Kopalin, who climbed Lenin Peak in 1965: "I had a story not about people climbing mountains, but about an unknown soldier, so to speak, who did the most difficult work in the mountains to prove that he was not to blame in the tragedy that happened on the last ascent." Tarasov was not inspired by the footage, but after meeting Vysotsky, the screenwriter decided that with his ballads, "both meaning and clarity" would appear in the film.[7] The working title of the script was "Possessed".


The film was shot in the Elbrus region in July–December, 1966 in black and white. In order for the actors to be able to play climbers qualitatively, special training was conducted for them: they mastered the ice axe, lived in tents, learned to walk as a rope team, climbed to a height of 3000 meters and passed all climbing standards. After the filming was completed, the actors received badges "Climber of the USSR".[7]

Vladimir Vysotsky was invited to play a radio operator after Yuri Vizbor refused to shoot. Vysotsky was bribed by the opportunity to become a singer-songwriter for the film.

When you ask climbers why do they storm the peaks, no one can explain. Eliseev, Honored Master of Sports in Mountaineering, replied to my question, why he once climbed the mountains for the first time and why he still does it: "First, to check what kind of person I am. And now I'm just curious, what kind of people are around?" You know, in the mountains you can't rely on an ambulance and the police, only your friend, his hand, yourself and a fortune can help there. When we were making the film, we tried to answer the question: "Why do people actually go to the mountains? What attracts them there?" And while the film group was trying to answer this question, I wrote several climbing songs for myself and my friends. The climbers, having heard the songs, asked to insert them into the film.


  1. ^ Журнальный зал | НЛО, 2008 N94 | А. В. СКОБЕЛЕВ - Нет, ребята, всё не так!
  2. ^ Vertical at KinoPoisk
  3. ^ List of the Soviet box office leaders (1962-1969) by Sergey Kudryavtsev (in Russian)
  4. ^ Vladimir Vysotsky. Monologue at the official State Archive of TV and Radio Programs channel, 1980 (in Russian)
  5. ^ Vladimir Vysotsky's discography at the website dedicated to Vladimir Vysotsky
  6. ^ Vladimir Sergeev. People took notebooks to Vertical to write down Vladimir Vysotsky's songs article at Komsomolskaya Pravda, 24 January 2013 (in Russian)
  7. ^ a b c "На "Вертикаль" ходили с блокнотами, чтобы записать песни Владимира Высоцкого". Archived from the original on 2020-09-30. Retrieved 2020-02-10.. In Russian

External links