“And I will ask you to stay”: how they shot the film about Stirlitz

45 years ago the first-ever film “Seventeen Moments of Spring” was shown about a Soviet intelligence agent. The fact that the picture has become one of the favorite viewers, says the fact that the characters immediately became the heroes of jokes. Sincerely the author of the script, the writer Julian Semenov laughed at them. His daughter Olga recalls the shooting and her father.

And you, Stirlitz, I ask to stay

- Julian Semenov was very fond of Stirlitz and endowed him with some of his features. Dad wore a beautiful metal bracelet, - says Olga. - Somehow the actor Vasily Livanov, acting in the next film according to my father's script, asked to wear this piece of jewelry in the frame. Dad hesitated a little, but he convinced him. The bracelet was engraved: "Julian Semenov - October 8, 1931, Maxim Isaev-Stirlitz - October 8, 1900". Dad gave Stirlitz his day and month of birth. Nobody paid attention to this coincidence, and Livanov began to tell everyone and make fun of him in a friendly way. By the way, our bracelet is preserved.Pope graduated from the Institute of Oriental Studies, he studied with future Prime Minister Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov, who for several years also headed the Foreign Intelligence Service. His father was an extraordinary man, brave, educated, spoke five languages: English, Spanish, German, Farsi and Afghan Pashto. He, if he had not chosen journalism and writing, could easily have become a scout or diplomat.

Photo: courtesy of the Cultural Foundation and the House Museum of Julian Semenov

The real phone of Himmler and Goring

- All my life my dad was friends with scouts. Before writing a novel, script, to participate in the filming of the film, I consulted a lot. One of his unique friends and advisers was the Hungarian cartographer and geographer Sandor Rado, who supplied the Soviet Union with information about the plans of the German command and the deployment of troops of the German army on the Eastern Front, and Norman Borodin, our illegal resident who worked during the war in France. Julian Semenov always sought to complete authenticity, sat in archives for months, and in German including, studied the correspondence of Stalin and Churchill, even knew the real phones of Goering, Himmler.One of the most powerful moments of the film, when the Soviet intelligence officer, Kat, during clans in Germany screams in Russian, is a true story. Her dad told Borodin.

Sharm Stirlitz that he is a person, does not act on orders, he makes decisions. Dad was the same. He wrote bold reports, in 1989 he founded the newspaper "Top Secret". He lived according to the principle: "What is not forbidden is allowed." And this inner freedom of his hero did not like censorship very much. He was demanded to strengthen the role of leadership. Can not Soviet intelligence act independently. So in the film appeared the famous ciphering "Center - Eustace", which was not in the novel.

Photo: courtesy of the Cultural Foundation and the House Museum of Julian Semenov

The scene in the cafe could not be

- In general, with the film dad suffered. Director Tatyana Lioznova is very gifted, but the meeting of two great talents led to terrible conflicts, each had their own vision of the film. So, Lioznova in the role of Stirlitz wanted to shoot Georgian Archil Gomiosvili, known for the role of Ostap Bender. Dad was totally against and insisted. In the title role, he saw only Vyacheslav Tikhonov.After the release of the film, Stirlitz’s reflections were the most beloved scenes for the pope, he said: “Slava knows how to keep silence and think in the frame, this is given only to those rare actors who have powerful insides.” Lioznova sought to develop the line of his wife, to introduce into the film the son of Stirlitz Sashenka. He is in the novel, but did not fit into the script and as a result did not appear in the cinema. Dad was against the scene of the meeting Stirlitz with his wife in the German cafe "Elephant". He said: “They will laugh at us! They never send a wife across the border, only for her husband to look at her. This is an unjustified risk! ”In general, intelligence meetings with the family were extremely rare, in exceptional cases, and dad stood for authenticity. True, then he easily admitted that the actors played beautifully and the scene turned out to be wonderful. Julian Semenov was able to repent of his mistakes.

Photo: shot from the film "Seventeen Moments of Spring"
Photo: shot from the film "Seventeen Moments of Spring"

Left without awards

- Dad was friends with the actors, called back with Leonid Bronev, Lev Durov came to visit him in the Crimea, with Tikhonov they had very tender relations.When my father had a stroke in the last years of his life, and he could not be visited in the hospital, the doctors said that friends could record their messages on tape cassettes. Tikhonov spoke beautiful, touching memories of the shooting, of their friendship. When dad listened to them, tears flowed into his eyes. Tikhonov after “Seventeen Moments of Spring” was shot in several films according to Daddy's scenarios and always proudly said: “I play a scout again!”

But with Lioznova he never crossed paths again. I admit that my father was so nagged at the shootings that after they finished, he wrote a play where the main character is a female director with a very complicated character. Of course, Lioznova became the prototype.

When “Seventeen Moments of Spring” looked at the General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, he came to an incredible delight and demanded to find a scout, from which Stirlitz was written off, and award the Hero of the Soviet Union with a Star. He was long explained that this is a collective, fictional character, then he ordered to mark all the main filmmakers. Not only awarded Julian Semenov and Lev Durov. They both grieved.Durov tried to console a friend: “Yulia, you are not alone”, to which the father replied: “Levushka, but still you are an actor, and all the characters are my children, I created them!”

Dad and Stirlitz are very similar internally. Intellectuals who love their country, but also able to listen and try to understand their opponent. Stirlitz lives abroad, but he is madly drawn to his homeland. Dad traveled a lot around the world, visited America, Japan, France, Spain, Cuba, Chile, in all hot spots, in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, but he always wanted to go home. He said: “For more than a month or two I can’t live abroad, without Russia and the Russian language, or I grab or hang over.” The scene where Stirlitz is sitting by the fireplace and quietly singing Russian folk songs to himself is about Semenov himself. When dad finished writing another novel, he finally allowed himself to relax and always delayed "Ducks are flying ...". But Stirlitz influenced its creator. During perestroika, a famous American director, a good father's friend, Oliver Stone, suggested that while in Russia he was hungry, he would go to the States for a few years to work, teach at the university, and write scripts.Dad said: “The author Strlitz has no right to quit his homeland. I will stay with my readers and viewers. ” It did not sound pathetic, because it was coming from inside. Only an honest and decent person could create such a hero.

Julian Semenov with his daughter Olga in his cabin
Photo: courtesy of the Cultural Foundation and the House Museum of Julian Semenov

Villa Stirlitz

- Dad loved the Crimea, he and his mom had a honeymoon trip there, then they went to the House of Creativity in Yalta. They said that I was conceived there. And then life in the Crimea became a necessity for the pope. In 1968, he wrote reports from howling Vietnam, slept in caves with partisans on mats on the cold floor, and after returning he found a darkening in his lungs, doctors suspected tuberculosis and prescribed the climate of Crimea. Dad gradually built a small house and from the beginning of the 80s almost all the time he lived in the village of Oliva, 30 kilometers from Yalta. He called the house "Villa Stirlitz", at the entrance hung a lamp with the following inscription. Here he wrote a sequel about a scout, a total of 14 novels. The house is high in the mountains, Julian Semenov, to be able to work, it was necessary to hide from the fans.They sent him bags of letters, a lot of encryption came in, people said that since the novels were in short supply, they copied them by hand. After the release of the film, friends, acquaintances, friends and fans of talent constantly called, and because of natural modesty it was hard for father to refuse to meet or talk, and sometimes he went for an innocent trick, answered in a female voice: “Julian Semenovich went on a business trip, sorry, please be only in a week. ” He, as Stirlitz, was very disciplined. I woke up early, worked for 12 hours, could, like his hero, go to sleep during the day and wake up and continue to work exactly 10 minutes later without an alarm clock. He was a workaholic.

Now "Villa Stirlitz" is a free museum. For themselves, the family built a small house nearby, and it was completely put at the disposal of visitors. We have all the daddy's typewriters, many manuscripts, books, things, photos. One priest once said that he was raising children according to Stirlitz. I asked: “What is the relationship between Orthodoxy and the Soviet intelligence officer?”, And he replied: “Stirlitz has not seen his wife, family for 20 years, he devoted himself to serving the motherland. He lived like a real monk. ”Dad was still a very cheerful man and adored all the jokes about Stirlitz - the most stupid and clever. Friends always told him new ones, especially many such anecdotes knew Andrei Mironov. Dad listened and burst into his loud, rolling, happy laugh. He considered jokes a sincere recognition of the people.



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