23.10.2021

Innocent Smoktunovsky

Words run, they are cramped – so what! –
You are never afraid to be late.
There are a lot of them – words, but still if you can –
Tell me when you cannot help but say
V. Vysotsky

“Boulevard … On the sides are rare islands of old patriarchal Moscow.

Kropotkinskaya … I visit these places with tender emotion. Here, right here, in a quiet side street for a crescent moon at the height of the seventh floor … I once thought about my “today” and drafted “projects” for the future. It must be stupid, at least it sounds pompous. However, naive plans of complex psychological moves, tactical tricks and techniques were hatched, daydreaming of “castles in the air” were erected, monstrous breakouts were developed, monstrous in their absurdity, designed to starve, stupid importunity.

What happiness, almost nothing of this was destined to become a reality …

I chose this place from several: it was a reliable, convenient and, therefore, rather long-term refuge. From the upper landing with the apartments, a narrow staircase led even higher with a full turn in the opposite direction, that is, 360 degrees, so that, leaving their apartments, the tenants could not see me, and I could calmly recline on the windowsill of a walled-up window at the rumbling, an asthmatically noisy elevator. The sudden roar of it at first frightened me, and, bristling nervously, I jumped up, but then I got used to it and woke up at night sometimes because it didn’t rattle for too long, and the anxiety “didn’t it break?” Took hold of me. I went down to the sixth floor, shook the elevator button – it rattled, and I, having calmed down, went up the stairs to my room. Well, this is at night, everyone is sleeping, and nobody is anywhere. And in the afternoon? Do not always go down and do not always click. “What are you doing here, citizen?” – a question could follow. I have neither a residence permit, nor a job, and the view is not so very ordinary. Summer, heat, and I’m in a ski suit. So with every distant knock of the front door that rang out below, I listened with tension to the steps, voices, ready to rush down the stairs at any moment so that the craftsmen who came to repair “my broken hoarse neighbor” would not catch me …

On the Arbat, this is exactly what happened once before. They lowered me down, and for a long time I explained that I was good and I had no things, and that I didn’t hide anything there. Although they did not treat me rudely, they did not believe me, but went to check, leaving me in a red corner under the care of some small, dry old woman. I sat quietly, melting in my chest the powerful beats of Hamlet’s heart, and with all my appearance showed that I humbly awaited their return. The old woman turned out to be extremely curious and tried to ask me something, but I continued to sleepy, seemingly not hearing her questions, and when she climbed onto the chair next to me to turn on the speaker … I “pulled” at the door so that only in the courtyard, frightened, he thought that the old woman would not tear the old woman from the chair by an air wave. ”

You read an excerpt from the memoirs of Innocent Mikhailovich Smoktunovsky, in which the actor talks about the period of his biography when he lived in Moscow “on bird’s rights”. The acquaintances from whom he left his belongings went on vacation without warning Smoktunovsky, and he had to walk around the hot summer of Moscow in a ski suit for two weeks.

Like all other heroes of this book, Smoktunovsky (his real name sounded a little different – Smoktunovich) was born far from Moscow – in the village of Tatyanovka in the north of the Tomsk region on March 28, 1925. Later, in 1929, the Smoktunovich family moved to Krasnoyarsk.

The Smoktunovich family had three children. During the famine of 1932, Innocent and one of his brothers were given up for childless aunt, the father’s sister, who lived there in Krasnoyarsk. “They gave me and Volodka to her,” Smoktunovsky recalled. – Arkashka stayed with his parents – this is a favorite, he was very fat and white, completely blond. And my brother and I are red-haired, and Volodka was generally some kind of black, they didn’t love us and gave us to this aunt. ”

A little strange decision, even taking into account the difficult circumstances of those years. Two working parents keep one of the three children, and give the other two “for food and upbringing” to a single woman. Although who knows, other people’s circumstances …

In Krasnoyarsk Innokenty graduated from high school, where he played in the drama club, after which he studied at the school of projectionists for some time.

In 1943 he was called up for service. At first, Innocent landed in the Kiev Military Infantry School, but did not stay there for a long time. Half-starved existence pushed the cadets to various tricks and tricks, including the collection of potatoes left in the fields after harvesting. This occupation was very risky – it was considered the theft of state property and was punished to the fullest extent of Soviet laws. The fact that this potato was left to rot on the field after harvesting did not bother anyone. The Soviet government took the position of the notorious dog sitting on hay in such matters.

Cadet Smoktunovich was unlucky – he was caught picking potatoes, and even during school hours. The sentence was clear – to the front! Private!

Innocent fell into the thick of it – on the Kursk Bulge. But fate kept him – for two years of the war he was never wounded, although he served the forefront all the time. But I had to go to captivity, though not for long. “I was fortunate enough to flee when they drove us to the camp. There was another way out – those who wanted to be offered service in the ROA … But he did not suit me. I, an eighteen-year-old tormented boy, was driven by the instinct of self-preservation. I found out among the peasants, where there are more forests and swamps, where there are fewer highways, and went there. The Nazis had nothing to do there, unlike the partisans. So I wandered to the village of Dmitrovka … I knocked on the nearest door, and they opened me. I took a step, tried to say something, and fell into oblivion. They lifted me up, carried me to the bed, fed me, washed me in the bathhouse. I was washed by several girls – and how they laughed! I’m a living skeleton with a stomach attached to the spine, protruding ribs, ”Smoktunovsky writes after the war. And he writes: “It was March of the forty-fifth year. Two years of a monstrous, debilitating, exhausting front-line life could not kill an incredible desire to live, the joy of spring, an imminent victory … The body must have drawn in and got used to finding it quite possible to live and develop in the trenches, in battles, on hikes, to shrink somewhat, from the environment going out and rejoicing at any minute of rest, and, sleeping, lying in the trench, to thank fate for a difficult day, which ended in life and a good dark night. “

Innocent will end the war near Berlin. He was lucky – he survived. But Father Innocent did not return from the war.

A short stay in captivity left an indelible imprint – the shameful stigma of a prisoner of war. The fact that a man escaped from captivity and continued to defend his homeland did not bother anyone. Was captured? Get defeated or worse – camp!

Innocent was lucky again – he was not imprisoned. True, according to the “Regulation on the passport regime”, he, as a former prisoner, was forbidden to live in thirty-nine major cities of the Soviet Union. Even in their native Krasnoyarsk was allowed only because Innokenty was from there.

Innokenty drove home with the intention of entering the forestry institute, and upon arrival he made another decision and entered the theater studio at the Krasnoyarsk Drama Theater named after A.S. Pushkin.

It was not possible to study for a long time – they kicked out a fight.

Fortunately, just at that time in Krasnoyarsk was the director of the Norilsk Polar (!) Drama Theater named after Vl. Mayakovsky Duchman – recruited a troupe. Innocent expressed a desire to join her and moved to Norilsk.

He could not even dream about Moscow, or, for example, Leningrad, with his ban.

By the way, Smoktunovsky nearly survived from the polar theater, thanks, the same Duchman defended. He advised Innocent to change his surname:
– What kind of surname is this for you – Smoktunovich? Are you a Jew? Take another one, otherwise you, what good, will indeed be driven to the North Pole.
Innocent did not want to change his last name, but changed the ending. He became Smoktunovsky.

Norilsk Polar Drama Theater named after Vl. Mayakovsky turned out to be an excellent professional school for Innokenty, because many talented actors, former prisoners of the Gulag, worked in the troupe of the theater.

Smoktunovsky lived in Norilsk for four years – from 1946 to 1951, but the harsh climate of the Arctic would be unfavorable to his health, and the actor had to move south to Makhachkala. Innokenty Mikhailovich served in the Dagestan Russian Drama Theater for one season.
It is there that his temptation will overtake. The temptation of Moscow.

“The life of an actor in a peripheral theater was quite fine with me. The only thing I wanted – and this feeling was clear – to travel around as many cities and theaters as possible, and the farther, exotic and unknown corners of our vast country – the better.

It was this desire that at one time prompted me to go to Norilsk, then to Makhachkala and relentlessly urged me to wave to South Sakhalin. Most likely, it would be so, if we hadn’t been at the performance of our brother and sister – Leonid and Rimma Markov, the actors of the Moscow Theater of the Lenin Komsomol. They came on vacation to their parents in Makhachkala, and the profession pulled them into the theater in the evening. Such spectators are unbelievable for our everyday life, and, to say it, we were thrilled, but what was my surprise when I saw a much greater thrill of these two beautiful, slender young people who came to the backstage after the performance. Not embarrassed by their excitement, they, gently and sweetly interrupting and complementing each other, alarmed me with assurances that everything that I do on stage,

He added fuel to the fire, flaring up in the soul of Smoktunovsky, and Andrei Alexandrovich Goncharov, director of the Moscow Drama Theater, spending his vacation in Makhachkala. Here is what Smoktunovsky wrote:
“You are a surprisingly lively artist, Kesha …
All of these glorious confessions in recent days would have been too much for a strong man on land, but here … on the high seas … I already started my great dive his second phrase: “Where did you study? .. What did you finish? ..” – made me come up.
– According to the acting nothing … nothing … did not end …
“Ah, that’s where this originality comes from … Well, it happens that way.” You need to work in good theaters, somewhere in the center. Go to Moscow … It probably won’t be easy – don’t wait for manna. But Moscow – life, rhythm, debate, opportunity, struggle – great, Kesha. So many theaters, yes you want, come to ours – while you are young, you must. Search, creativity is wonderful. ”

The truth is, when Smoktunovsky comes to Goncharov in Moscow and asks him to be accepted into the troupe, he will suddenly hear in reply:
“Ah, this is where your … originality brought you … Well, it happens … You can work in any theater, if you work, of course … and here there is an overabundance of wonderful actors … go somewhere to the middle zone of Russia – wonderful theaters, urgent demand for a modern actor … to Russia, of course, to Russia – it’s easy, probably, will not be … don’t wait for manna, but – rhythms, debate , creativity, search, prospects … five or six premieres a year, just think about it – great … opportunities that you simply can’t find here … great …
From Makhachkala, Smoktunovsky moved to the Gorky Stalingrad Theater.

The Lenin Komsomol Theater still did not give Smoktunovsky a chance. Here is what Innocent Mikhailovich himself wrote:
“After a languid two-year correspondence and negotiations with the Moscow Theater of the Lenin Komsomol, the whole failure of my claims finally became obvious to me. I kind of woke up from a bewitching, long sleep, and my friends in Volgograd, where I had been working two years after Makhachkala, suddenly saw me completely different from what they used to see. “If in five years I can’t do anything that should remain on the stage, I’m leaving the theater,” I said. Having decided, I freed myself from the severity of expectations, doubts and sent a telegram to Moscow: “Dear Sofya Vladimirovna, I’m ready to come to work all the time. Tell me when you can give the opening of the TV station respect Smoktunovsky.

Sofya Vladimirovna replied: “Don’t quarrel with the theater. Arrival. Wait for the vacation… Tell us what you would like to debut with. The respect of Giatsintov.”
Smoktunovsky did not want to wait any longer. He is tired of waiting. It was time to act.

He leaves the theater and arrives in Moscow. In the yard – 1955. Stalin died two years ago, life became a little freer, and no one remembers the ban on the right to reside in thirty-nine cities.

A show was held at the Lenin Komsomol Theater.

“About twenty actors came to the show,” Innokenty Mikhailovich recalled. – I was full of strength, determination, the mood was fine – I knew what and how I should do, and not even very worried. And now I don’t know how to explain, but during this home show there was applause and friendly laughter broke out more than once. This is my only successful show in Moscow, which inspired me with confidence that my visit was justified and that they would definitely take me.
Sofya Vladimirovna, shaking my hand, excitedly and somehow hopelessly repeated:
– My dear, dear … What to do? Well? Yes, yes …
“What to do … you need to take it, Sofya Vladimirovna, take it,” under the guise of a joke, I dragged a secret, terrible thirst. “
Smoktunovsky got into trouble – they refused to take him to the theater because he didn’t have a Moscow residence permit, but he could get a residence permit only having a permanent job in Moscow … A vicious circle.

The marathon race in the theaters began, endless and inconclusive. An unknown provincial actor could not count on a warm welcome.

Moscow, when it wishes, will turn into such a stepmother that just hold on!
“… The main director of a drama theater on Gorky Street, loudly taking in the air, enjoying the once-well-found manner of speaking, completely not wasting himself on this, mumbled in passing:
“ I don’t have time to talk with my actors, but where to get him on all sorts of newcomers … and what, in fact, do you want to talk about with me?
“I would like you to look at me, listen to me …
” “I look at you and listen to you, and, excuse me, I can not tell you anything comforting … goodbye …”

But there are other words of Innocent Mikhailovich: “Moscow, along with rejection, presented me with friends who believed in me, despite my protracted maturity.”

At the Lenin Komsomol Theater Innokenty Mikhailovich will meet his future wife Sulamif Mikhailovna Gorshman. Here is how Smoktunovsky himself recalls this: “At the Moscow Lenin Komsomol Theater, where she worked, there was a performance. The door from the box opened. I then saw her for the first time. A moment paused at the top step – moved down.
Thin, serious, with an armful of amazing heavy hair. She walked slowly, as if descending from a long, long staircase, and there were only three steps down there. She came down from them, caught up with me and silently, calmly looked at me. Her look did not ask for anything, and perhaps she didn’t say anything … but all of her, especially when she was coming down, and even now, standing straight and calm in front of me, seemed to say: “I have come!”
– My name is Innokenty, and you ?. .
It must be when you walk for so long, and instead of thinking about the future, he is busy with all kinds of tinsel, like searching for himself, is it worth it to talk to him?
And she continued to be silent.
“Your name is Shulamith, is that so?” Am I not mistaken?
– Yes, this is exactly so, calm down, you were not mistaken. What do you all play, set up a theater out of life – look, it takes revenge. ”

After some time, they got married. And they lived happily all their lives. Their marriage was happy. Smoktunovsky was married only once – a rather rare case in the acting environment.

Maria, daughter of Innokenty Mikhailovich, recalls: “At home he was kind, affectionate and beautiful. He loved the holidays and sit at the table. He loved my mother’s ear. He himself liked to make salads, respected Chinese and Japanese cuisine, even learned to eat with chopsticks, said that this is an understanding of the people. When I brought a kimono from Japan, I told him: “You are my Japanese.” The family was his fortress for the pope. From childhood I remember the feeling of adoration that reigned in the house. He was happy when there were free hours at work, and he spent them only at home. He was, by the way, very economic and skillful. He liked to equip the house, nailed something, screwed it on, drilled it with a drill. True, sometimes it was better not to distract him. Let’s say he washes dishes and whispers something to himself. You ask: “What?”, And he: “Well, I’m rehearsing!”

After moving from Leningrad to Moscow, we got an apartment on Suvorov Boulevard. I’m small, I don’t care, but for dad it was too noisy. And when in 1989 we moved to a quiet side street near Belorusskaya, he was happy again and never tired of repeating: “This apartment is a holiday”. ”

And here is what Smoktunovsky himself admitted: “During the preparation of a new work, an artist sometimes has a crisis moment when he is at odds not only with his role, play, partners, himself, but most of all with that egoist who is firmly settled in himself . And no conversations, exhortations addressed to this tenant lead to anything good – they are useless. This comrade visits me quite often. With whatever beautiful director he worked at this “rush hour”, you almost unleash a hail of disrespectful views, thoughts, and sometimes even replicas against your will, remembering which after a while you literally writhe from shame and remorse. And the poor relatives are martyr heroes. For example, I almost convince myself out loud, persuading: “Well, keep yourself in control”, – and at this time, someone in my house was already cutting my eyes and rolling long monologues about iced tea, which, however, doesn’t exclude more elevated tones, when the tea is hot and I have all the thirsty for burning my throat. Everyone is guilty, in everything, always and everywhere. These my dislocations at home endure, try not to notice, but all the same, this evil does not decorate our lives, by no means. ”

In the end, Smoktunovsky got into the troupe of the Moscow theater-studio film actor.

Sulamif Mikhailovna, through his friends, arranged for him to meet with Ivan Alexandrovich Pyryev, a film director and at that time director of Mosfilm.
“Without knowing it at all, but only feeling strength and scale in a leisurely, lean person, I, although I said everything sensibly and essentially, got soaked all over and when Ivan Alexandrovich, giving me a letter, having previously sealed it, extended his hand goodbye” – said subsequently Innokenty Mikhailovich.
Guessing what was written in the letter, Smoktunovsky took it to the theater and handed it to the director’s secretary. A few days later they called him and invited him to draw up documents. “Everyone around us turned out to be nice, sympathetic people, full of attention and sensitivity. But, the truth is, they have taken my word that I will never only act in films, but I will not even strive to act in films, but only work on stage. Mindful of my face, I easily agreed not to go anywhere. And honestly I keep this word so far. “

Smoktunovsky settles in Moscow. He begins to act in films. So far in the episodes, but these episodes bring him the first big role, maybe the main role of his life. The role that became the measure for all other roles and a turning point in the acting fate of Smoktunovsky.

Theatrical director Georgy Tovstonogov prepared the novel “The Idiot” by F. M. Dostoevsky at the Gorky Bolshoi Drama Theater in Leningrad. He then already had his own performer for the role of Prince Myshkin, but then he accidentally watched a film with Smoktunovsky, and the actor seemed familiar to him. Somewhere once seen.

One day, during a rehearsal, Tovstonogov understood why Smoktunovsky seemed familiar to him – the actor had the eyes of Prince Myshkin!
Smoktunovsky embodied the image of Prince Myshkin brilliantly. Kind, naive, funny, awkward, completely devoid of all pathos, the hero of Smoktunovsky won the hearts of the audience. One of the theater critics of the time wrote about Smoktunovsky: “He violated theatrical rules. A live actor appeared in the BDT performance. ”

The premiere of “Idiot” took place on New Year’s Eve – December 31, 1957. “The performance has passed a long time ago, but I still hear that silence in the auditorium, repeated about two hundred times, wary-excited, on the verge of screaming, that silence, the only one able to lead the whole audience with the heroes into that high world of simplicity and sincerity, trustfulness, populated by Dostoevsky with such an amazing creature and personality as Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin, ”Smoktunovsky later writes.
Everyone liked the performance – both critics and spectators. The role of Prince Myshkin brought Smoktunovsky not only fame, she enriched the inner world of the actor himself, raised his acting skills by several steps. “I don’t know,” Smoktunovsky later admitted, “how would my creative life and, in general, my life, if I had not been faced with the legacy of Dostoevsky.”

Smoktunovsky played on the BDT stage until 1960, when he decided to return to Moscow. Collaboration with Tovstonogov ended for a number of personal and creative reasons, one of which was the actor’s interest in cinema.

And it was not for nothing that Innokenty Smoktunovsky readily acted in films – following the theater success, cinematic success came to him! Right by the saying: “It’s empty, it’s thick.”

Smoktunovsky plays Hamlet in the film of the same name directed by G. M. Kozintsev. Innokenty Mikhailovich creates a truly piercing image of a Shakespearean hero, an opponent of falsehood and lies, possessing a heightened sense of justice. A hero whose soul rushes about in vain search for truth and good. Many fans of Smoktunovsky consider the image of Hamlet to be the creative peak of the great actor.

Detochkin in Eldar Ryazanov’s film “Watch Out for the Car” was somewhat similar to both Prince Myshkin and Hamlet. A naive disinterested fighter for justice is generally a controversial image that is perceived ambiguously by the audience. Someone may admire Detochkin, someone condemn him for arbitrariness, but both spectators do it sincerely, because Detochkin, like all the images of Smoktunovsky, is very convincing, truly realistic, in contrast to the faceless and colorless mass of collective farm chairmen , advanced workers and conscious Komsomol, which in those years was stamped by Soviet cinema.
Many viewers and critics considered the scientist Ilya Kulikov from the movie “Nine Days of One Year” to be a negative character, which offended Smoktunovsky very much. “Perhaps I did not succeed in the set degree of a theoretical physicist, but not to see a person who is capacious, subtle, not devoid of a sense of friendship, kindness and love, is simply, in my opinion, impossible,” the actor wrote.

The image of Porfiry Petrovich from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment was perceived unambiguously and flatly by the Soviet people as a retrograde, one of the many small pillars of the vile autocracy. In the film of Lev Kulidzhanov, Smoktunovsky “raised” this image, showing the viewer primarily a smart, thinking person. A thinker, philosopher, whose principles allow him to refute Raskolnikov’s theory. (The image of Raskolnikov at that time was considered uniquely positive.)
Smoktunovsky had a unique recognizable voice, rich shades, with a wide range of sound. He read aloud a lot of different works, both on the radio and at the recording studio.

In 1973, “Tsar Fedor Ioannovich” by A. K. Tolstoy was staged on the stage of the Moscow Maly Theater. The main role – the role of Tsar Fedor – was played by Smoktunovsky.
As always – in his own way, and as always – good.

The great actor deliberately neglected both the historical and the stage interpretation of the appearance of Fyodor Ivanovich. He revealed to the audience a new king – wise in his human simplicity.

Innokenty Mikhailovich Smoktunovsky continued his work until the last days of his life. He died on the third of August 1994 in Moscow.
I am sure that you will certainly want to know more about Smoktunovsky. Read his book Be! – you will not regret. Innokenty Mikhailovich wrote in the same way as he played – subtly, convincingly and with soul.

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