Adventures of Captain Wrongel / Pryhody kapitana Vrunhelia




Ukrainian SSR


Kyivnaukfilm / Ukranimafilm


133 min


Davyd Cherkaskyi


Ivan Vorobiov


Leonid Priadkin, Volodymyr Bielorusov

When an international sailing regatta is announced, the most skilled captains in the world are invited to participate and prove who is the best among them. Their task is to make a trip around the world.

Retired Captain Khrystfor Bonifatych Vrunhel also receives an invitation. He names his yacht “Victory,” and hires an assistant, the inexperienced (but always full of optimism) student Lom, and sets off for an adventure. And the adventures begin even before the ship is able to reach the open sea, as the yacht is run aground. During this ordeal, the boat loses the first two letters of its name, forming a new word: “Troubles.”

At the same time a small-time criminal and gambler, Fuks, joins their team. He is in possession of a stolen statue of Venus and knows many languages.  He is a skilled navigator — not maritime navigation per se, but rather “playing the ponies.” The valuables that Fuks carries are destined for the mafia bosses Bandito and Gangsterito who are being pursued by Agent 00X.

This movie revolutionized Soviet animation and had a cult following for several generations of viewers. It combined a number of animation techniques — multiplaning, drawing, object animation, etc. It also mixed and portrayed the most popular genres in European and American cinema at that time, combining crime thrillers, Westerns, and the sea adventure literature much loved by young readers. This combination was rare for the Soviet screen.

The storyline with gangsters was not in the original script based on Andrei Nekrasov’s story. It was invented and written by the director of the film, Davyd Cherkaskyi, to add dramatic tension. Absurdist humor and snippets of dialogue from the film immediately became immortalized in popularly used quotes, while the soundtrack was released as an album.