Amphibian Man (film)



Amphibian Man (film)

Amphibian Man

Soviet poster for Amphibian Man
Directed by Vladimir Chebotaryov
Gennadi Kazansky
Written by Alexander Beliaev (novel)
Akiba Golburt
Aleksei Kapler
Aleksandr Ksenofontov
Starring Vladimir Korenev
Anastasiya Vertinskaya
Mikhail Kozakov
Music by Andrei Petrov
Cinematography Eduard Rozovsky
Distributed by BijouFlix Releasing
National Telefilm Associates (NTA) Inc.
Release date
December 19, 1962
Running time
82 min.
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

Amphibian Man (Russian: Человек-амфибия, translit. Chelovek-amfibiya) is a 1962 Soviet science fiction romance film starring Vladimir Korenev and directed by Vladimir Chebotaryov and Gennadi Kazansky.

It is an almost fable-like story based upon the eponymous novel by Alexander Beliaev. It focuses on a youth named Ichthyander (Russian: Ихтиандр, Ichtiandr) (from Greek: fish+man) who was surgically altered to survive under the sea. Unlike traditional science fiction movies of the time the film focuses much more on the concept of love won and lost. It was given the name of Tarzan des Mers before the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs took exception.

The film was the leader of Soviet distribution in 1962 (65.5 million viewers). It is little-known in the West, but has become a cult classic.


The story is set in a seaside port in Argentina (but filmed in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR), largely among a community of pearl fishers. The protagonist is the adopted son of a doctor/scientist who was sometime in the past forced to save the boy's life by implanting him with shark gills. Thus he is able to live under water, but must keep his secret from the world. The conflict arises from his falling in love with a pearl-fisher's beautiful daughter. His secret is discovered and the girl's stern father attempts to exploit Ichthyander for his ability. Due to being kept caged under water, his ability to breathe in the open air is affected, and he must now permanently live in the sea (at least for several years). Although set free, the lovers are permanently separated from each other.

Although ostensibly a lost-love-tragedy like Romeo and Juliet, the film has a significant focus on greed and commercial exploitation (of the pearl-greedy fishermen), possibly under the influence of Socialist Realism.


Actor Role
Vladimir Korenev Ichthyander
Anastasiya Vertinskaya Guttiere
Mikhail Kozakov Pedro Zurita
Anatoli Smiranin Old Baltazar
Nikolay Simonov Prof. Salvator
Vladlen Davydov Olsen, the reporter
Sergei Boyarsky Chief Prison Guard
Anatoli Ivanov chthyander understudy in the most challenging underwater shots
Stanislav Chekan prison guard
Nikolai Kuzmin sailor
Mikhail Medvedev boatswain
Yuri Medvedev fishmonger
Anna Nikritina Zurita’s mother
Tito Romalio Jr. newsboy
Georgi Tusuzov episode
Aleksandr Zakharov policeman

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