Russian Chanson
Russian Poem: “On the Railroad” A. Blok

Kidnapping, Caucasian Style

Кавкаская Пленница, или Новые Приключения Шурика (Kidnapping, Caucasian Style) is a 1966 Soviet comedy directed by Леонид Гайдай (Leonid Gaidai).

The film deals with the theme of bride kidnapping, an ancestral custom in the Caucasus. Its title is is a humoristic reference to Pushkin poem “the prisoner of the Caucasus”.

The plot

Shurik, a young anthropology student arrives to the Caucasus to write an essay on ancient local customs. He falls in love with a young girl who is spending her holidays to her uncle’s place, not knowing that the later has agreed to offer her hand to a rich man and has arranged her kidnapping. The uncle decides to use Shurik to realise his mischief by explaining to him that the girl agreed to the wedding and that the kidnapping is only a part of the local folklore.

As two of his preceding films, this one is featuring the trio of comics Трус,Балбес и Бывалый (the coward,the fool and the experienced), who have been paid to kidnap the girl.

Quotes from the film

Here are few of the numerous quotes from the film that are now part of the everyday speech in Russia:

  • А тост без вина – это всё равно, что брачная ночь без невесты. (And a toast without wine, it’s like a wedding night without a bride.)
  • Мой прадед говорит: имею желание купить дом, но не имею возможности… Имею возможность купить козу, но не имею желания. Так выпьем за то, чтобы наши желания совпадаашими возможностями. (My grandfather says: I have the desire to buy a house, but I don’t have the opportunity… I have the opportunity to buy a goat, but I don’t have the desire. So let’s drink to ensure that our desires coincide with our opportunities.)
  • Жить, как говорится, хорошо! А хорошо жить – ещё лучше! (To live, as they say is good! But to live well is even better!)