I found out about this film a couple of years ago when I read a book on Soviet and Russian cinema. I remember the book describing this film as an “Eastern” as opposed to a Western. What I don’t remember it saying is how funny it is. The movie takes place during the Russian civil war with our hero Comrade Sukhov on his way home from a part of Asia near the Caspian Sea. Now that he has served his time, he only wants to get home to his beloved Katerina Matveyevna. Unfortunately for him, things won’t be that easy.
He first encounters a man buried in the sand up to his neck. After digging him out we first hear about Abdullah (the bad guy).
But before we meet Abdullah in person we come across Abdullah’s wives who promptly attach themselves to Sukhov. They think of him as there new master. Sukhov tries several times to explain why men should only have one wife, but the lead wife gives a pretty convincing argument that the job of being a wife is more than you can ask of one woman. Sukhov himself is tempted for awhile to take them home with him to join his Katerina.
Ultimately, the buried man, Sukhov, and a former Czarist customs official have to face down Abdullah. The film is very reminiscent of a spaghetti western except of course it’s in the east. The best part of the movie is how Sukhov casually goes through the film like he has no doubt in his mind that he will make it back to Katerina regardless of the situation. Kind of reminded me of Terence Hill in the Trinty movies.
This is one of the most fun movies I have watched in a while. I highly recommended it.