On June 15, 1995, the ORT channel premiered the comedy "Peculiarities of the National Hunt". The film quickly gained popularity, and not only among hunters. According to the plot of the picture, the young Finnish writer Raivo is fascinated by the history of Russian hunting and dreams of one day visiting it personally. Soon such an opportunity was presented to him, but the reality turned out to be too far from romantic illusions.
LGITMiK student Ville Haapasalo was invited to play the role of the Finnish writer. Thanks to this role in Russia, he became much more popular than in his homeland - in Finland. In the film, in a cameo role, his wife Saara also starred. She can be seen in the form of a dark-haired milkmaid.
Filming began in the late summer of 1994. The place for the "Kuzmich cordon" was chosen in a village called Protochnoe, which is located in the Priozersky district of the Leningrad region. This is where most of the work on the film took place. But the military airfield, where the cow was loaded into the bomb bay, is located in the neighboring Pskov region. Scenes of an old Russian hunting were filmed in the vicinity of the town of Pushkin. Time was running out, frosts set in, therefore, the work on the film had to be carried out in record time.
The actors lived in a former pioneer camp, where a few years earlier director Dinara Asanova shot the film "Boys". The weather in autumn did not spoil the film crew with warmth, therefore, regularly had to take "strong" drinks. Just like the heroes of a comedy.
Viktor Bychkov, who played the huntsman Kuzmich, did not wear a beard in ordinary life. But, having received an invitation from the director Alexander Rogozhkin, he immediately stopped shaving. Less than two months passed, and Bychkov became what Kuzmich should have been in the film. And after filming the film, he decided to completely change his image and cut his hair baldly.
Rogozhkin immediately planned to invite actor Alexei Buldakov for the role of General Ivolgin. Critics noted that he was strikingly similar to General Alexander Lebed. After the comedy was released, Lebed decided to meet Buldakov. During the conversation, the general admitted that he was already tired of being constantly compared to the fictional movie hero Ivolgin. Rogozhkin himself argued that General Ivolgin was a collective character and was not written specifically from Lebed.
Alexander Rogozhkin was not only the director, but also the author of the comedy script. But, the very idea was suggested to him by an inveterate hunter Mikhail Kirilyuk, who became the director of the film. It was Kirilyuk who turned out to be the only hunter in the entire film crew. Initially, Rogozhkin did not expect that a comedy would turn out, and he could not even think that the film would gain such popularity.
Animals were also involved in the filming: three cows and a bear. The episode in which the hunters are photographed with the predator was dangerous, therefore, they decided to euthanize the bear by treating him with two bottles of cognac. But, he turned out to be stronger than expected, at the most inopportune moment he suddenly woke up, and even managed to bite the actor Semyon Strugachev. They decided not to cut the episode out of the picture. Bear Borya showed his aggression earlier, before his film debut, he was photographed with tourists at the Winter Palace, and once pounced on a girl. On the set, he became friends only with Viktor Bychkov.
It took much more cows than three bears. At the same time, in color they differed from each other. I even had to go to some trick - the external similarity to the animals was given with the help of gouache.
Once the shooting was in jeopardy: Alexei Buldakov, playing the role of General Ivolgin, slipped and fell on a stone. The actor had to be taken to the hospital and await the results of an X-ray examination. Fortunately, no serious damage was found, Buldakov returned to the set.
During the film premiere, the director and actors were surprised that the audience literally choked with laughter in those episodes that the filmmakers themselves seemed to be dramatic, not comedic. During the Kinotavr Film Festival, the film suddenly disappeared and was thrown over only a few hours later. It turned out that during this time the "pirates" managed to make copies of it.
In 1995, immediately after the release of the screens, the picture collected an impressive collection of various film awards. A little more than three years have passed and the beloved heroes, almost in full force, have appeared in a new comedy with a similar name - "Peculiarities of National Fishing".
Two actors who starred in the film "Peculiarities of the National Hunt" died at an interval of one day. On April 2, 2019, Alexander Vasiliev, who acted the role of the pilot, died. He was also the second director of the film. And on April 3, Alexei Buldakov passed away.