Home » Directors Index » Ryazanov, Eldar

Ryazanov, Eldar

Born: : 18 November 1927 in Kuibyshev (now Samara), Russia
Eldar Ryazanov graduated as a film director with honors from the Soviet State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in 1950, under the direction of G. Kozintsev. For first five years after the graduation he was making documentaries and in 1955 came to work at the Mosfilm Studios, where he worked under the direction of Ivan Pyryev. Ryazanov's first feature film ‘Carnival Night’ (1956), was an instant box office hit.

Ryazanov's early comedies 'Devushka bez adresa' (1957), 'Gusarskaya ballada' (1962), 'Dayte zhalobnuyu knigu' (1963) were popular in the time of the cultural "Thaw", but his film 'Chelovek niotkuda' (1961), was banned by Soviet authorities, however, Ryazanov was not stopped making films. The most popular comedy is considered to be 'Watch Out for the Automobile’ (1966), the master blend of a witty script, precise direction, sharp cinematography, outstanding ensemble of actors and music written by one of the most recognized Soviet composer Andrei Petrov.

Ryazanov became known for his comedies with a soft satire on the Soviet life and for casting himself in a small parts in all his movies. 'Zigzag udachi' was a nice fairy tale for the Soviet people. TV movie 'Irony of Fate!' (1975), a humorous depiction of life in the 1970's Soviet Union, was a big hit of the 70's and later turned into a nostalgic cult. It is still shown every New Year's Eve as a tradition in the former Soviet Union. Just two years later Ryazanov directed another hit, 'Sluzhebny roman' (1977). In 'Garazh' (1979), Ryazanov brings an impressive display of characters and situations, ranging from funny, bitter, and sarcastic, to greedy, manipulative, and scary stupid as a satire on stagnation and losing of respect and good manners in the society under Brezhnev’s government, In 'Vokzal dlya dvoikh' (1982) Ryazanov brings the theme of "Gulag" prison-camp. 'Ruthless Romance' (1984) is the Ryazanov's adaptation of the 19th century story by 'Aleksandr Ostrovsky'. His latest film is Andersen. Zhizn bez lyubvi (2006).

Ryazanov has received for his work numerous awards at the Soviet, Russian and International Film Festivals. He was designated People's Artist of the USSR, and for two periods was the head of the Russian Academy of Cinematographic Art “Nika”, and just recently in 2007 he passed his position officially to Alexey Batalov.


(as director unless otherwise noted):
  • Andersen. Life Without Love / Andersen. Zhizn bez lyubvi, 2006;
  • The Key from the Bedroom / Klyuch ot spalni, 2003;
  • Tikhiye omuty, 2000;
  • Old Hags / Starye klyachi, 2000;
  • Hello, Fools! / Privet, duralei!, 1996;
  • The Prediction / Predskazaniye, 1993;
  • Promised Heaven / Nebesa obetovannye, 1991;
  • Forgotten Tune for the Flute / Zabytaya melodiya dlya fleyty, 1988;
  • Dear Yelena Sergeyevna / Dorogaya Yelena Sergeevna, 1988;
  • Four evenings with Vladimir Vysotsky / Chetyre vechera s Vladimirom Vysotskim, 1987; (TV series)
  • Ruthless Romance / Zhestokiy romans, 1984;
  • A Railway Station for Two / Vokzal dlya dvoikh, 1982;
  • Say a Word for the Poor Hussar / O bednom gusare zamolvite slovo, 1980; (TV)
  • The Garage / Garazh, 1979;
  • Office Romance / Sluzhebnyy roman, 1977;
  • The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! / Ironiya sudby, ili S legkim parom!, 1975; (TV)
  • Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia / Neveroyatnye priklyucheniya italyantsev v Rossii, 1974;
  • Old Men: Robbers / Stariki-razboyniki, 1971;
  • The Zigzag of Success / Zigzag udachi, 1968;
  • Watch Out for the Automobile / Beregis avtomobilya, 1966;
  • Give Me a Complaints Book / Dayte zhalobnuyu knigu, 1964;
  • Ballad of a Hussar / Gusarskaya ballada, 1962;
  • The Man from Nowhere / Chelovek niotkuda, 1961;
  • Absolutely Seriously / Sovershenno seryozno, 1961; (segment "Kak sozdavalsya Robinzon")
  • Girl Without an Address / Devushka bez adresa, 1957;
  • Carnival Night / Karnavalnaya noch, 1956;
  • Spring Voices / Vesenniye golosa, 1955;
  • The Island Sakhalin / Ostrov Sakhalin, 1954;
  • Not Far from Krasnodar / Nedaleko ot Krasnodara, 1953;
  • Your Books / Tvoi knizhki, 1953;