Brave People

Brave People (Russian: Смелые люди, romanizedSmelye lyodi), initially announced on release abroad by Mosfilm as The Horsemen,[1] is a 1950 Soviet film, directed by Konstantin Yudin. The film starred Sergei Gurzo and Alexei Gribov, and was Yudin's first thriller film, as he had previously worked predominantly on comedies.[2]

Brave People
Постер фильма «Смелые люди» (СССР, 1959).jpg
Poster for release in Czechoslovakia
as Muži v sedle ("Men in the saddle")
Directed byKonstantin Yudin
Written byMikhail Volpin
Nikolai Erdman
StarringSergei Gurzo
Alexey Gribov
Tamara Chernova
Oleg Solyus
Rostislav Plyatt
Music byAntonio Spadavecchia
CinematographyIgor Geleyn
Release date
  • 1950 (1950)
Running time
95 minutes

The film was positively received and was the number one film in the Soviet Union during the year of its release.[3][4]

The film is set in the Great Patriotic War,[5] but the plot, an adventure about a boy and his racehorse set in the Caucasus, is strikingly different from the grim realism of other war films of the era.[6]


The setting of the film is USSR during the pre-war years. Vasiliy Govorukhin (Sergei Gurzo), a young stud farm worker, who has nurtured an excellent horse with the nickname Buyan; but the cruel trainer Vadim Beletsky (Oleg Solyus) has strong doubts concerning the outstanding qualities of the horse.

True character of Beletsky is exposed during the Great Patriotic War; it turns out that he is a German spy and saboteur, also he has already prepared to convey the Soviet elite horses to the fascists.

Stud farm workers, caught on occupied by Nazi troops territory, prepare and organize a Soviet partisan unit; his chief party organizer chose Kozhin (Nikolay Mordvinov). The detachment is intended for combat, intelligence and other operations behind enemy lines.

Vasiliy Govorukhin, along with his faithful horse Buyan show their courage and resourcefulness; together they are to expose enemy spies and save the best horses from the export to Germany.

This turns out to be a difficult task, because the Nazis take hostage Soviet women, children and old men and put them into a wagon, hitched to the rolling stock together with the horses ...


  • Sergei Gurzo - Vasily Terentevich Govorukhin, stud farm worker
  • Alexey Gribov - Konstantin Sergeevich Voronov, Nadya's grandfather, senior trainer of the stud farm
  • Tamara Chernova - Nadezhda Petrovna Voronova
  • Oleg Solyus - trainer of the stud farm Vadim Beletsky who is also the German spy Otto Fuchs
  • Nikolay Mordvinov - Kozhin, party worker, commander of the guerrilla unit
  • Vladimir Dorofeev - Kapiton Kapitonovich, veterinarian
  • Kapan Bader - Hakim, partisan
  • Sergei Bobrov - Prohor Ilyich, director of the stud farm
  • Oleg Potocki - Kolya Deviatkin
  • George Gumilevsky - Uncle Stepan, herdsman
  • Victor Proklov - herdsman
  • Simon Svashenko - herdsman
  • Rostislav Plyatt - von Schwalbe, a German officer


  1. ^ Soviet Russia Today - 17-18 p39 1949 Coming soon . . . A GREAT FILM FROM THE USSR. The Horsemen. A new screen epic, in brilliant colour, directed by Konstantin Yudin Watch for the opening date at the Stan/ey Theater ...
  2. ^ Soviet Film, Volumes 212-223. Sovexportfilm. 1975. p. 126.
  3. ^ Youngblood, Denise (2007). Russian War Films: On the Cinema Front, 1914-2005. University Press of Kansas. pp. 103–106. ISBN 978-0700614899.
  4. ^ New World Review, Volume 19. N.W.R. Publications. 1951. p. 39.
  5. ^ Tony Shaw British Cinema and the Cold War: The State, Propaganda and Consensus 2006 p83 "Those Soviet films distributed in Britain during this period therefore tended to offer their audiences few revelations about life in the East. Literary classics, such as Gogol's The Inspecting General (Vladimir Petrov, 1953), and Great Patriotic War adventures, such as Brave People (Konstantin Yudin, 1950), predominated instead."
  6. ^ Frank Biess, Robert G. Moeller Histories of the aftermath: the legacies of the Second World War 2010 p137 Footnote 11 "The sole exception, Konstantin Yudin's Brave People (Smelye liudi, 1950), an adventure about a boy and his racehorse set in the Caucasus, is strikingly different from the other war films of the ..At the film's end, life has returned to a “normality” that few Soviet citizens experienced. A well-dressed crowd fills the stands at the race; the scene could easily pass for Derby Day, whether in the US or the UK."

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