The Jolly Fellows


Time Out says

A.k.a. Moscow Laughs, the movie that introduced Soviet musical-comedy director Aleksandrov to Stalin. After an animated prologue informing us that Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton “aren’t appearing in the film,” Jolly Fellows announces its ambition in its opening number, choreographed in a slightly awkward series of long takes that celebrate the collectivity of farm life. Demonstrating his mentor Sergei Eisenstein’s penchant for typecasting, Aleksandrov tells the story of a shepherd (Utyosov) who aspires to be a musician, first crashing a dinner party and then the world of bourgeois concertgoing. The movie preempts A Night at the Opera in its portrait of class; choose your Marx experience—Karl or Groucho—accordingly.

By: Ben Kenigsberg



Release details

0 mins

Cast and crew

Grigori Aleksandrov
Leonid Utyosov
Lyubov Orlova
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