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Budimir Metalnikov
Born Budimir Metalnikov
(1925-09-27)27 September 1925
Moscow, USSR
Died 1 September 2001(2001-09-01) (aged 75)
Moscow, Russia
Occupation Screenwriter, film director
Years active 1955—2001

Budimir Alexeevich Metalnikov (Russian: Будимир Алексеевич Метальников; 27 September 1925 — 1 September 2001) was a Soviet and Russian screenwriter and film director. Honored Artist of the Russian SFSR (1978).

Early years[]

Metalnikov was born in Moscow into an educated Russian family of chemical engineers.[1] His father Alexei Petrovich Metalnikov came from peasants. He was working as the chief engineer at the Apatit enterprise when he was arrested in 1937. Budimir's mother Zinaida Georgievna Metalnikova was also arrested shortly after. The 12-year-old Budimir and his 3-year-old sister Marina were taken to the NKVD reception center for children of enemies of the people situated in the Danilov Monastery. The children were then separated and put into different orphanages; Metalnikov never managed to find his sister, despite all his attempts. In 1939 he was sent to Kirovohrad to study in one of the vocational schools to be an electrician. After a while he received a letter from his aunt along with some money and returned to Moscow where he continued studying.

In 1942 Metalnikov was enrolled to the Red Army. After some studying in the infantry school and serving in the airborne brigade he was sent to fight at the Karelian Front. He was heavily wounded during one of the battles and spent many months in hospitals. On October, 1944 he was sent home as war-disabled. On his return he entered an evening school, but soon left it to study screenwriting at VGIK under Yevgeny Gabrilovich and Ilya Vicefield. He graduated in 1954 and immediately started working in cinema.[1]


His first success came with a movie A Home for Tanya directed by Lev Kulidzhanov in 1959. Seen by 25.2 million people at the time of release, it competed for the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival.[2] His next screenplay was made into A Simple Story movie by the director Yuri Egorov and released in 1960 to even a greater success: with 46.8 million viewers it became one of the box office leaders and the 48th most popular Soviet movie of all time.[3] It featured an ensemble cast of the acclaimed Russian actors: Nonna Mordyukova, Mikhail Ulyanov and Vasily Shukshin. Mordyukova's character was partly inspired by her own personality and was written specially for her.[1]

1969 saw the release of the biographical film Tchaikovsky directed by Igor Talankin and co-written by Budimir Metalnikov and Yuri Nagibin. It featured Innokenty Smoktunovsky in the leading role of the famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In 1972 the movie was nominated for two Oscars: Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Academy Award for Best Original Musical.[4] It was also nominated for the 1971 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Between 1955 and 2001 Metalnikov wrote screenplays to 20 Soviet and Russian movies, including three movies directed by himself. He had been also working as an educator at High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors since 1966.[1]

He mainly specialized in social dramas and village dramas in particular. The themes featured in his screenplays were similar to the village prose movement, but usually with an emphasis on the relationships between people rather than collective farming and other problems of the Soviet countryside. His works are distinguished by their romantic tone and humor. A conflict between rural community and townspeople is also a running theme in many of his movies.

Among the other themes he explored was science fiction. In 1973 he directed The Silence of Dr. Evans, a drama about a contact between humans and an advanced alien society based on the original screenplay, with Sergei Bondarchuk in the leading role of Dr. Martin Evans. In this film Metalnikov focused on a number of philosophical topics, including moral values of the human society. In 1987 he co-wrote a screenplay for another science fiction movie The End of Eternity based on the novel of the same name by Isaac Asimov and directed by Alexei Yermash. The movie was noted for many stylistic similarities to Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky, with the soundtrack also written by Eduard Artemyev.

Budimir Metalnikov died on September 1, 2001. He was buried at the Vagankovo Cemetery.[5]

Selected filmography[]

Year Title Original title
Director Screenwriter
1959 A Home for Tanya Отчий дом
Green tickY
1960 Alyoshka's Love Алёшкина любовь
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1960 A Simple Story Простая история
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1965 Women Женщины
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1967 The House and the Owner Дом и хозяин
Green tickY
Green tickY
1969 Tchaikovsky Чайковский
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1973 The Silence of Dr. Evans Молчание доктора Ивенса
Green tickY
Green tickY
1973 Of Those I Remember and Love О тех, кого помню и люблю
Green tickY
1981 Three Times About Love Трижды о любви
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1987 The End of Eternity Конец вечности
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2004 Salamandra's skin Кожа саламандры
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Budimir Metalnikov (2006). I Will Tell You... Memoirs. — Moscow: Russkiy impuls, 464 pages. ISBN 5-902525-10-1


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Pavel Sirkes. «True Nostalgia» interview with Budimir Metalnikov in the international culturological web magazine Foreign Backyard, №3/1, 2010 (in Russian)
  2. Official Selection 1959 : All the Selection at the Cannes Film Festival official website
  3. Leaders of the Soviet box office by Sergey Kudryavtsev, official LiveJournal page (in Russian)
  4. The 44th Academy Awards (1972) Nominees and Winners at the official Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website
  5. Budimir Metalnikov's tomb at Wikimedia Commons

External links[]

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