Immortal scene! Bridge. Three identical black Volga GAZ-21s drive up from one side, and a motley three of foreign cars on the other. An exchange of spies takes place. Although at that time it was generally believed that we were scouts.
As a child, I thought - everything is lax there in this America - they couldn't even come in the same cars. Whether it's ours! ..
A childish mind could not distinguish documentaries from well-staged fiction films. Only forty years later, I wondered - how did you manage to shoot such an epic movie back in 1968?
It turns out with great difficulty. Lioznova with "Seventeen Moments of Spring" could be envied - her tape described Germany during the Second World War. Something, but there were enough trophy cars in the USSR. Another thing is Savva Kulish, who took on a two-part film about the realities of our time. The Cold War was in full swing. The Iron Curtain closed the West as much as possible from ordinary citizens. But it was necessary to shoot just such a movie - the KGB acted as an unofficial customer, consultant and assistant.
In part, this played a big positive role. There are few blunders in the film, and we all believed in unison - this is exactly how it all happens with the bourgeoisie!
But let's not digress from the topic.
A sufficient number of foreign cars was needed. And more or less modern. There were a little more than a dozen. Some only flashed in separate scenes, some were the "main characters", while others tried on several roles.
Two words about one nuance - the country is depersonalized in the film. It is impossible to determine in which particular European power everything is happening - the inscriptions are in English, the steering wheel of most cars is on the left, there are no exact links to geography. Most of the cars are also depersonalized. Nameplates and names are often difficult to see.
But we will try.
"Goddess" and others
Here the main character comes out of the "Goddess" (and this is what the Citroen DS was unofficially called) and follows to the hotel.
Where the director got the car - a late fifties - early sixties dream for this scene - is anyone's guess.
General plans of life abroad were successfully edited from separate scenes filmed in the Estonian SSR and London. Moreover, as you can see, the transitions from one to another are practically invisible.
In the scenes at the end of the working day of the pharmaceutical group and on the beach, you can see almost all the cars involved.
In front of the viewer, accustomed to the monotony of the Volga and Muscovites, such a variety is fleetingly sweeping by that no motorist has taken their breath away!
It was not possible to identify all the participants in these and subsequent scenes, but some of them can be recognized.
A small, light-colored two-door sedan in the background - a 440 Skoda 1959. An inexperienced viewer is also a foreign car. She flashes only from afar and clearly as an employee of the crowd.
Mercedes and others
"Mercedes" is another matter! The main villain, the curator from the CIA, drives around on it.
Here we need to dwell in more detail. This machine is not easy and its fate too ...
"Mercedes Benz 300 SL" 1954 release. A sports car with a very memorable way of opening doors, called the "gull wing".
The first car in the world to use direct fuel injection instead of a carburetor. It was for the sake of acquaintance with this method through the KGB line that a car of the specified type was purchased with subsequent transfer for study to one of the Leningrad research institutes. From there already "Mercedes" and "begged" for filming. The fate of the car in later times is sad - according to one version, it burned down.
And the villain arrives in his supercar to meet with the chief of police. He is a conservative person and has been using Adler Standard 8 since the early thirties.
Here is a rare shot when you can read the name of the car.
Ford Taunus 17 m was produced in 1957-1960. The tsereushnik's henchman drives around on it. A disgusting type who, at the end of the second series, will die in the same car during the chase.
There is another foreign car in the background. It is very similar to our 21st Volga. Only this is also a Ford. 1956 Ford Consul.
Remember in the beach scene a big black car with a catchy detail - the rear wheel arches are completely closed?
This is exactly the case that I mentioned, that some cars were used in several guises.
"Hudson Hornet" has such an unusual appearance for us that the director, apparently, that is why he decided to shoot it in the role of a police car!
Here's a close-up of another American, the 1955 Plymouth Belvedere. At the moment he is in the line of the funeral procession. Although in some scenes it is used by the main character - our scout.
By the way, for this procession, almost all the available imported equipment was removed from the bins! Some of the filming participants recall that in order to create the appearance of a large number of cars, the drivers turned a corner and, having quickly traveled around the block, again attached themselves to the end of the column.
Finally, the chase! It was attended by three and a half cars.
I'll explain now.
Here the assistant of our intelligence officer is rescued in the only English car involved in this film - the 4 Rover P100 1960. The villain is chasing him in the aforementioned Ford Taunus. The main character catches up with this cavalcade on a black "Pontiac Chieftain" of 1950. A few minutes of turns and shooting, after which, saving his comrades, the scout goes to the ram!
"Ford" tumbles, and what is left of the "Pontiac" ... Miraculously turns from a two-door sedan into a heap of metal, but ... a four-door. The audience immediately noticed this, but such a minor flaw is forgivable for the film crew. The film turned out wonderfully well.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to identify all the cars from this outstanding film. If you look closely, you can see the GDR Barkas-1000 and the latest BMW-1600 at that time. And also some antediluvian rarities flashed there.
But I repeat - the film turned out to be great! Agree ...