Night on the 14th Parallel

[Ночь на 14-ой параллели]

USSR.Lenfil'm.1971.B/W.91 min.
Directors: Iulian Semenov and Vladimir Shredel'
Script: Iulian Semenov, Vladimir Shredel'
Cinematography: Vladimir Burykin
Music: Murad Kazhlaev
With Valentin Gaft, Vsevolod Platov, Elena Kozel'kova, Zhanna Kovenchuk
Russian dialogue. No subtitles.

Based on Semenov's novella "He Killed Me Near Luan Pra Bang."

A Soviet journalist in Vietnam is traveling back to the interior from the front to file his latest story. The truck he is riding in breaks down, and as he and his local companions try to fix it, an American helicopter attacks them. Unbeknownst to the journalist, the copter is piloted by an old friend, a left-leaning American journalist who, disillusioned by US publishers' refusal to print his work, has agreed to come to Vietnam and file the kind of stories that will get printed. His professional disillusionment, as well as his mounting personal problems, set him on a homicidal – and suicidal – path.

The suspenseful narrative is somewhat crudely framed by documentary footage of civilians suffering in Vietnam and a repeated voiceover warning to America that it will never defeat the Vietnamese, who are fighting for "their home and freedom."

Iulian Semenov

director photo

Iulian Semenov was a well-known prose writer, playwright, and screenwriter. He was born in Moscow in 1931 and graduated from the Institute of Oriental Studies in 1953. His best-known work is Seventeen Moments of Spring, one of the Soviet Union's most popular television miniseries. He died in 1993. Night on the 14th Parallel is his only directing credit.

Filmography as Screenwriter

1961 Weekdays and Weekends
1963 Carrying Out Official Duties
1966 Not the Luckiest Day
1966 On Thin Ice
1967 Departure
1967 Major "Whirlwind"
1967 No Password Necessary
1971 Night on the 14th Parallel (also co-directed)
1973 Seventeen Moments of Spring
1975 Diamonds for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
1976 The Life and Death of Ferdinand Lues
1978 No Distinguishing Features
1980 The Spanish Variant
1980 The Fiasco of Operation "Terror"
1980 Ogarev St, 6.
1980 Petrovka, 38
1984 TASS Is Authorized to Announce
1986 Face to Face
1988 Big Game

Vladimir Shredel'

Vladimir Shredel' was born in 1918 in Moscow. He studied at the State Filmmaking Institute under Soviet masters Sergei Eisenstein and Grigorii Kozintsev.

1955 The White Poodle
1956 The Bride
1958 Nocturnal Guest
1961 Weekdays and Weekends
1963 Two Sundays
1966 Who Invented the Wheel?
1969 Five from Heaven
1971 Night on the 14th Parallel
1972 Affairs of the Past
1976 A Long, Long Affair
1978 Someone Else's
1985 Three Percent Risk

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