Quite recently, at the end of September, it was 45 years since the day when the legendary comedy by Leonid Gaidai "Ivan Vasilyevich Changes His Profession" was released on the screens of our country. The film immediately became a cult, only in the first year it was watched by 60 million viewers. Throughout the history of Soviet cinema, the film takes the 17th place in terms of attendance.
Many viewers will remember the episode in which the tsar, having sipped vodka in the apartment of engineer Timofeev, concluded: "The housekeeper made vodka." The phrase quickly went to the people, although few people imagined what kind of housekeeper did the vodka? In the Kremlin's Sytny Palace, there was the Klyushnaya Chamber, or, as it was also called, the club, where they prepared tinctures for the tsar's table.
Yuri Nikulin was planned for the role of Ivan Vasilyevich, but the actor said that the film would not be released, so there was no point in wasting time shooting. Eight more actors passed the audition, including such eminent movie stars as Georgy Vitsin, Evgeny Evstigneev, Vladimir Etush. As a result, the role went to Yuri Yakovlev, who brilliantly played both the tsar and the manager of the Bunshu house.
Why was Yuri Nikulin called the main contender for the role of Ivan Vasilyevich? At this time, the journal "Science and Life" published an article about the work of the famous Soviet anthropologist M. Gerasimov on the restoration of the portrait of Ivan the Terrible. Looking at the photo, Nina Grebeshkova, Gaidai's wife, noticed that Nikulin is surprisingly similar to the tsar.
The feast scene in the royal chambers was expensive - 200 rubles. These expenses did not fit into the budget of the picture in any way. Director Leonid Gaidai had to pay for the royal delicacies from his own funds. Not without overlays, when the feast was already filmed, it turned out that there was a bottle of Borjomi on the table, which did not fit into the menu of the 16th century. I had to re-shoot everything.
As you know, the picture was filmed based on the play by Mikhail Bulgakov "Ivan Vasilyevich", written in the thirties. The name of the engineer in that play was Nikolai Timofeev. Gaidai decided to give this role to the actor Alexander Demyanenko, whom the whole country knew as Shurik from Operation Y and Prisoner of the Caucasus. The surname of the engineer was preserved in the film, but the name was changed. He became Shurik.
During the filming, Natalya Krachkovskaya, who played the role of the house manager's wife, fell ill. She spent a month in the hospital with pneumonia. And when she returned to the set, the director was horrified, the actress lost a lot of weight. I had to put her on enhanced nutrition.
Nina Maslova got the role of Queen Marfa Vasilievna. Indeed, one of the wives of Ivan the Terrible was called that. But they lived in marriage for only 15 days. Martha died unexpectedly, rumors circulated that she had been poisoned.
During interrogation, Ivan Vasilyevich stated that he was living “in the wards”. The original version had a different answer: “Moscow. Kremlin". Naturally, the artistic council did not miss such a bold phrase. Just like Miloslavsky's remark, to the question "Who will pay for the banquet?", Who reasonably answered - "People, father, people."
The appearance of the royal chambers was filmed not in Moscow, but in Rostov the Great. And Shurik's apartment was on Novokuznetskaya Street in Moscow. In the same building there was also the “Radiotovary” store, where the engineer Timofeev fled for so long.