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The Elusive Avengers

Неуловимые мстители
Director: Edmond Keosayan

USSR, Action film, western, comedy, 1966, 78 min

“The Elusive Avengers” is a vivid comedy about four youngsters who become heroes in the Russian Civil War. They are Danka, the orphaned son of a Red agent, his sister Ksanka joined by Valerka, a former schoolboy, and Yashka, a devil-may-care gypsy. They make a pledge of mutual assistance, determined to exact revenge on the bandits who are bringing so much suffering to peaceful villagers. The friends then embark on a series of daring adventures. The mischievous culprits always leave a note signed “The Elusive Avengers”. The group of four becomes so effective, in fact, that reports of their deeds are reaching the local division of the Red Army. This film by Edmond Keosayan was released in the Soviet Union around the time of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Despite that the film was criticized by the Soviet authorities for trying to copy the American Westerns. For the general audience, however, it became an eastern version of a Western with fighting, chases, gun shots and horse racing scenes.

 
About the director:
 
Edmond Keosayan (1936–1994) was an Armenian Soviet film director and musician. From 1952 to 1954 he worked at a watch factory in Yerevan. From 1954 to 1956 he studied at Plekhanov Moscow Institute of Economy and from 1956 to 1958 in Yerevan Fine Arts and Theater Institute, where he also worked as a compere. In 1964 Keosayan graduated from the Directing Department of VGIK (State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow). From 1964 onwards, he worked as a director at Mosfilm Studio.
 
Section: Red Westerns

Screenplay: Sergei Yermolinsky, Edmond Keosayan

Dir. of Photography: Feodor Dobronravov

Music: Boris Mokrousov

Cast: Viktor Kosykh, Mikhail Metyolkin, Vasili Vasilyev, Valentina Kurdyukova, Yefim Kopelyan, Vladimir Treshchalov, Boris Sichkin, Inna Churikova, Saveli Kramarov