Boris Barnet made his film acting debut playing the cowboy Jed, in Lev Kuleshov's "The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks" (1924), and turned to directing two years later. A versatile, sensitive craftsman, particularly effective with comedy, Barnet's career lasted from the silent years into the 1960s--no easy feat in pre-Glasnost Soviet Union. In 1933, he helmed what most consider his masterpiece "Okraina/Patriots," his first sound feature about the divided loyalties of a small Russian town during the first World War. As Soviet tastes changed in the late 1930s, Barnet's light comedies tended to fall out of favor. Two of his films made during the war years, "The Old Jockey" (1940) and "The Novgordians" (1943) were banned. Barnet managed to rehabilitate his career with 1947's "Exploit of an Intelligence Agent" in which he also co-starred as a venal Nazi officer. This odd mixture of film noir and comedy was well-received critically and led to more work for the director. Of the handful of films he directed or co-directed before his 1965 suicide, "Poet" and "The Wrestler and the Clown" (both 1957) stand out.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Joined Red Army; served as a medic on the front lines
Film acting debut in Lev Kuleshov's "The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks"
Film co-directing debut (with Theodore Otsep), the 21-reel serial "Miss Mend"
Solo feature directing debut, "Devushka s korobkoi/Girl with the Hat Box"
Directed "Moskva v Octybar/Moscow in October", made to honor the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution
Helmed the comedy "Dom na Trubnoi/The House on Trubnaya Square"
Made first in a series of documentaries about musical instruments, "Production of Musical Instruments"
Returned to fictional films with the dark and violent drama "Lyodolom/The Thaw"
First sound film, "Okraina/Patriots/Outskirts"; regarded as the director's masterpiece
Co-directed "U samovo sinyevo morya/By the Bluest of Seas"; one of the first Soviet films made in color; shot on location near the Caspian Sea
First film in three years. the drama "Noch v Senyabr/Night in September"
"Stari nayezdnik/The Old Jockey" banned by the Soviet government for some twenty years
"Novgoridnii/THe Novgorodians" also banned
Helmed the somewhat expressionistic war drama "Odnazhdi noch/One Night"; also acted
Portrayed a venal Nazi in "Podvig razvedchika/Exploit of an Intelligence Officer"; also directed
Helmed "Schedroye lito/Generous Summer", about a collective farm in Ukraine
Directed the musical "Liana"
Collaborated with Konstantin Yudin on "Boryets i kloun/The Wrestler and the Clown"
Final film, "Polustanok/Whistle Stop"