Soviet poster for Amphibian Man
Alexander Beliaev (novel)|
|Music by||Andrei Petrov|
National Telefilm Associates (NTA) Inc.
|December 19, 1962|
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.
|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|
|Anna Nikritina||Zurita’s mother|
|Tito Romalio Jr.||newsboy|