Three Russian Girls (1944)

80 mins | Drama | 14 January 1944

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Girl from Leningrad , which was also the title of the Artkino production, starring Zoya Fyodorova, on which the film's story was based. Pre-production HR news items yield the following information about the production: In Sep 1942, M-G-M was negotiating to buy the rights to the Russian film from Gregory Rabinovich and Eugene Frenke. At that time, Michele Morgan and Greta Garbo were considered for the leads and Gregory Ratoff was mentioned as director. A week later, Frenke decided to produce the film himself and so withdrew from negotiations with M-G-M. At that time, Igor Vushenko and E. Stork were announced as screenwriters, but the extent of their contribution to the released film has not been determined. Although a Dec 1942 news item noted that Rabinovich was withdrawing from the production of the film and would retain only a financial interest, this may have not been the final case as he was credited onscreen as producer.
       In Jan 1943, Maria Manton, Akim Tamiroff, Leonid Kinskey, Tamara Shayne, E. Grusskin, Melva Doney and Diane Duval were announced as members of the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. In another HR news item, Doney's name was written as "Zona Doney" and Duval's was written as "Diana Duvall." In May 1943, producer Gregor Rabinovitch was reportedly seeking Luise Rainer to play the starring role. Mimi Forsaythe replaced Oona O'Neill Chaplin as "Tamara" and Manart Kippen replaced Leo Bulgakov as "Misha" in Jul 1943. A 26 Jul 1943 news item adds Patty Pope to the cast, but her appearance in the ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Girl from Leningrad , which was also the title of the Artkino production, starring Zoya Fyodorova, on which the film's story was based. Pre-production HR news items yield the following information about the production: In Sep 1942, M-G-M was negotiating to buy the rights to the Russian film from Gregory Rabinovich and Eugene Frenke. At that time, Michele Morgan and Greta Garbo were considered for the leads and Gregory Ratoff was mentioned as director. A week later, Frenke decided to produce the film himself and so withdrew from negotiations with M-G-M. At that time, Igor Vushenko and E. Stork were announced as screenwriters, but the extent of their contribution to the released film has not been determined. Although a Dec 1942 news item noted that Rabinovich was withdrawing from the production of the film and would retain only a financial interest, this may have not been the final case as he was credited onscreen as producer.
       In Jan 1943, Maria Manton, Akim Tamiroff, Leonid Kinskey, Tamara Shayne, E. Grusskin, Melva Doney and Diane Duval were announced as members of the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. In another HR news item, Doney's name was written as "Zona Doney" and Duval's was written as "Diana Duvall." In May 1943, producer Gregor Rabinovitch was reportedly seeking Luise Rainer to play the starring role. Mimi Forsaythe replaced Oona O'Neill Chaplin as "Tamara" and Manart Kippen replaced Leo Bulgakov as "Misha" in Jul 1943. A 26 Jul 1943 news item adds Patty Pope to the cast, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Another late Jul 1943 news item noted that Artkino provided Rabinovitch with 500,000 feet of actual battle scenes filmed on the war front by Soviet cameramen. According to the HR review, the battle scenes and ski sequences in this film were excerpted from the Artkino film The Girl from Leningrad . The picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Score. The titles of songs included in the film have not been determined. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Nov 43
p. 344.
Box Office
1 Jan 1944.
---
Daily Variety
23 Dec 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
30 Dec 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
7 May 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 43
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 43
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Dec 43
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
1 Jan 1944.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
31 Jul 43
p. 1457.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
1 Jan 44
p. 1694.
New York Times
5 Feb 44
p. 13.
Variety
5 Jan 44
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Gregor Rabinovitch Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Asst to prod
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
Mus score
Choral dir
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd tech
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the Russian film The Girl from Leningrad written by Serge Mikhailov and Mikhail Rosenberg (Artkino, 1941).
SONGS
music by W. Franke Harling, lyrics by Stanley Cowan.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Girl from Leningrad
Release Date:
14 January 1944
Production Date:
early July--mid August 1943
Copyright Claimant:
R-F Motion Picture Corp.
Copyright Date:
10 January 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12499
Duration(in mins):
80
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Leningrad in 1941, columns of infantry men and truckloads of soldiers stream into the streets, readying to defend the city against the Nazis. When Red Cross headquarters calls all volunteer nurses to duty, a group of twenty girls reports to receive uniforms and equipment. Among the group is Natasha, their leader; Tamara, a former dancer; and Chijik, their youngest member, a mere child. At the railroad station, Natasha bids goodbye to Sergei Korovin, her fiancé and a soldier in the Russian army. The next morning, the Red Cross trucks deliver the nurses to the battlefront, where the field doctor orders them to convert an old wooden mansion into a hospital. That evening, a transport of wounded soldiers arrives, bringing the nurses their first taste of the bloody realities of war. Later, when a Russian plane is downed by Messerschmidts near the hospital, John Hill, an American flyer who had been testing the aircraft, is brought to the facility. Although an operation saves John's life, his legs remain numb from the shock. Despondent, John blames himself for the death of the plane's pilot. Natasha cares for John day and night, and he slowly recovers the will to live and discovers that he has fallen in love with her. When the enemy nears the hospital area, an order to evacuate is given and the nurses carry the wounded to waiting ambulances. After enemy artillery destroys a section of the hospital and one of the ambulances, some of the patients are forced to wait behind until an new ambulance can be dispatched. Natasha volunteers to stay behind with John and several of the other ... +


In Leningrad in 1941, columns of infantry men and truckloads of soldiers stream into the streets, readying to defend the city against the Nazis. When Red Cross headquarters calls all volunteer nurses to duty, a group of twenty girls reports to receive uniforms and equipment. Among the group is Natasha, their leader; Tamara, a former dancer; and Chijik, their youngest member, a mere child. At the railroad station, Natasha bids goodbye to Sergei Korovin, her fiancé and a soldier in the Russian army. The next morning, the Red Cross trucks deliver the nurses to the battlefront, where the field doctor orders them to convert an old wooden mansion into a hospital. That evening, a transport of wounded soldiers arrives, bringing the nurses their first taste of the bloody realities of war. Later, when a Russian plane is downed by Messerschmidts near the hospital, John Hill, an American flyer who had been testing the aircraft, is brought to the facility. Although an operation saves John's life, his legs remain numb from the shock. Despondent, John blames himself for the death of the plane's pilot. Natasha cares for John day and night, and he slowly recovers the will to live and discovers that he has fallen in love with her. When the enemy nears the hospital area, an order to evacuate is given and the nurses carry the wounded to waiting ambulances. After enemy artillery destroys a section of the hospital and one of the ambulances, some of the patients are forced to wait behind until an new ambulance can be dispatched. Natasha volunteers to stay behind with John and several of the other wounded men, and they all take cover in a dugout. That night, John confides his dream of seeing his country again once the war ends. The next day, Natasha and the others are rescued and driven to another hospital far removed from the front. There John recovers and begins to walk again, and although Natasha has fallen in love with him, she goes without hesitation when a call comes from the front for five more nurses. Deciding to tell John about her fiancé before she leaves, Natasha approaches him but is stopped by a wounded soldier asking for water. When the soldier tells her that Sergei was killed in battle, Natasha, speechless, wanders away without speaking to John. Natasha performs bravely at the front, and when a blizzard strikes, she forms a ski patrol to reach the injured. After Natasha is wounded in battle, she is taken to a hospital in Leningrad. Soon after, John receives orders to return to the United States. Before leaving, he seeks out Natasha at the hospital and, without declaring his love, bids her farewell and assures her that they will meet again once victory over Germany is declared. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.