- 1 hr 27 min
Stariki-razboyniki (Old Men Robbers) is a Soviet comedy film directed by Russian filmmaker Edmond Keosayan. It was released in 1972 and stars Yuriy Nikulin, Evgeniy Evstigneev, and Olga Aroseva. The film is set in a small Russian town where a gang of old men, led by the charismatic and cunning Yaroslav Ilyich Glazunov (played by Yuriy Nikulin), carry out petty crimes and robberies. Despite their advanced age and physical limitations, the old men are able to outsmart the police and evade capture with their clever tactics.
Yaroslav is the brains behind the operation, and his partners in crime are his close friends and fellow retirees - Semyon Semyonovich (played by Evgeniy Evstigneev), who is a former factory worker and the muscle of the group, and Mikhail Ivanovich (played by Georgiy Vitsin), who is a retired teacher and a master of disguise.
The film is full of comedic moments, as the old men, who are often dismissed and underestimated by those around them because of their age, prove time and again that they are still sharp and capable. They go to great lengths to carry out their heists, including disguising themselves as construction workers, using a fake baby carriage to smuggle stolen goods, and even faking a heart attack to divert attention away from their crimes.
The gang's exploits catch the attention of the local police department, and the officers are determined to catch the elusive old men. However, the police are repeatedly outwitted by the clever and cunning thieves.
Alongside the comedic moments, the film also touches on poignant themes of aging and isolation. The old men are shown to be marginalized by society and forgotten by their families, and they turn to crime as a way to reclaim their sense of agency and purpose. They find a sense of camaraderie and belonging in their friendship with each other, and their exploits provide them with a sense of excitement and adventure that is otherwise missing from their lives.
The film is a lighthearted and entertaining comedy that showcases the talent and charisma of its veteran cast. Yuriy Nikulin, in particular, delivers a standout performance as the cunning and charismatic leader of the old men robbers. The film's comedic moments are balanced with heartfelt moments that speak to the universal human experience of aging and the search for connection and meaning.
Overall, Stariki-razboyniki is a classic of Soviet cinema that continues to be beloved by audiences to this day. Its themes and characters are timeless, and its comedic moments still manage to bring laughter and joy to viewers more than four decades after its initial release.