Vladimir Valutsky

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Vladimir Valutsky
Vladimir Ivanovich Valutsky

(1936-09-25)25 September 1936
Died14 April 2015(2015-04-14) (aged 78)
Occupation(s)Screenwriter, writer
Years active1964—2013
SpouseAlla Demidova

Vladimir Ivanovich Valutsky (Russian: Влади́мир Ива́нович Валу́цкий) (25 September 1936 — 14 April 2015) was a Soviet and Russian screenwriter. Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1987). Between 1964 and 2013 he wrote and co-wrote 60 screenplays.

Early years

Vladimir was born in Moscow, Russian SFSR into a mixed Russian-Polish family. His father Ivan Ivanovich (Yanovich) Valutsky moved from Poland to Moscow at the beginning of the World War I along with his own mother Maria Ivanovna Valutskaya and his brother Stefan. He studied engineering and built aerodromes during the Great Patriotic War, then worked in Gosplan and various ministries. Vladimir's mother Galina Vasilyevna Valutskaya (née Kolcheva) was a housewife. Her parents — Vasily Alekseyevich Kolchev and Iulitta Ivanovna Rakhmanova, both from working-class families — arrived to Moscow from the Ryazan Governorate and the Tula Governorate respectively.[1]

Valutsky started practicing screenwriting during his school days as he and his friends were watching many trophy films captured during the war. In 1956 he entered VGIK to study screenwriting under Valentin Turkin. During the studies he met Alla Demidova, also a student at the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute, and married her in 1961. Same year he and several other students were expelled from the institute following a grand scandal: it was revealed they had written a parody on a revolutionary drama play that featured Vladimir Lenin.[2] Vladimir later managed to enroll back to VGIK and eventually finished it in 1964 (Yevgeny Gabrilovich's course).


In-between he co-wrote a play Fallen and Alive for the newly-found Taganka Theatre where his wife served as a leading actress, although his novel was banned from the play by censorship. After graduating he got acquainted with Vitaly Melnikov, also a young director who was searching for a screenwriter for his feature comedy debut. The Head of Chukotka was produced in 1966 and released to a mild success (15.7 million viewers[3]), yet it gave a great push to the career of the popular comedy actor Mikhail Kononov. It also started a long-lasting collaboration between Valutsky and Melnikov. In four years they made another comedy film — Seven Brides of Yefreytor Zbruev that turned into one of the box office leaders of 1971 (11th place with 31.2 million viewers[4]). They produced the total of four movies between 1966 and 1987.

Valutsky also regularly worked with Igor Maslennikov. Between 1969 and 2009 they made seven movies together, including the second entry in the popular Soviet TV series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and Winter Cherry, a popular drama of the late 1980s (4th place with 32.1 million viewers[5]) that won several awards at the 1986 All-Union Film Festival[6] and was continued in two sequels. On March, 2016 Maslennikov revealed his plans to produce the fourth part based on his own screenplay.[7]

Valutsky was among those few Soviet screenwriters who successfully continued their career after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. His most famous work of this time period was a biographical war drama Admiral (2008) about the fate of Alexander Kolchak. With a $38 135 878 gross it is among the highest-grossing films of the post-Soviet Russia.[8] A longer version of the movie was made into a 10-part TV mini-series and showed by the Channel One Russia in 2009.[9] Valutskiy also wrote a screenplay for another biographical mini-series Yesenin (2005) about one of the greatest Russian poets of the 20th century Sergei Yesenin. It was based on the book by the Russian actor Vitali Bezrukov; his son Sergey Bezrukov played the main part.

Valutsky himself played small parts in two movies: Concerto for Two Violins (1975) and Charlotte's Necklace (1984). Between 1990 and 1995 Valutsky also taught screenwriting courses at VGIK. During his late years he wrote a children's book Romuald the Tasmanian about the adventures of an Australian wombat.[10] Despite living together for 54 years, he and his wife Alla Demidova left no children.

Vladimir Valutsky died on April 14, 2015, after a long illness.[2] He was buried at the Troyekurovskoye Cemetery.[11]

Selected filmography

Year Title Original title
1964 Fitil No.27 Фитиль Permanently Registered novel
1966 The Head of Chukotka Начальник чукотки
1970 Seven Brides of Gefreiter Zbruev Семь невест ефрейтора Збруева
1972 Commander of the Happy "Pike" Командир счастливой «Щуки»
1975 Concerto for Two Violins Концерт для двух скрипок also actor (Grisha)
1978 Inquest of Pilot Pirx Дознание пилота Пиркса Soviet-Polish co-production
Yaroslavna, Queen of France Ярославна, королева Франции
1980 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson Приключения Шерлока Холмса и доктора Ватсона TV mini-series
1981 Dog in Boots Пёс в сапогах animation
1983 Mary Poppins, Goodbye Мэри Поппинс, до свидания
1984 Another Man's Wife and a Husband under the Bed Чужая жена и муж под кроватью
Charlotte's Necklace Колье Шарлотты actor only (Paczynski the collector)
1985 Winter Cherry Зимняя вишня
1987 First Meeting, Last Meeting Первая встреча, последняя встреча
Curse of Snakes Valley Заклятие долины змей Soviet-Polish co-production
1990 Winter Cherry 2 Зимняя вишня 2
1995 Winter Cherry 3 Зимняя вишня 3
2003 Bless the Woman Благословите женщину
2005 Yesenin Есенин TV mini-series
2008 Admiral Адмиралъ
2012 God Loves Caviar O Theos agapaei to haviari Greek-Russian co-production
Spy Шпион


  1. ^ Vladimir Valutskiy (2008). First Meeting, Last Meeting... — Saint Petersburg: Amfora, 496 pages. ISBN 978-5-367-00672-8
  2. ^ a b Screenwriter of His Epoch. Vladimir Valutsky Died, Kommersant, April 4, 2015 (in Russian)
  3. ^ The Head of Chukotka at KinoPoisk
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of National Cinema (in Russian)
  5. ^ Cyril and Methodius Big Encyclopedia
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of National Cinema (in Russian)
  7. ^ Inna Fedotova. Safonova and Miroshnichenko Agreed to Do a Sequel to Winter Cherry article at Komsomolskaya Pravda, March 24, 2016 (in Russian)
  8. ^ Leaders of Russian Box Office at KinoPoisk
  9. ^ Admiral at IMDb
  10. ^ Vladimir Valutskiy (2012). Romuald the Tasmanian. — Saint Petersburg: Amfora, 128 pages. ISBN 978-5-367-02186-8
  11. ^ Vladimir Valutsky's tomb

External links