Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears
Poster for USA promotion
Directed byVladimir Menshov
Written byValentin Chernykh
StarringVera Alentova
Irina Muravyova
Raisa Ryazanova
Aleksey Batalov
CinematographyIgor Slabnevich
Edited byYelena Mikhailova
Music bySergey Nikitin
Release date
11 February 1980
Running time
148 minutes
CountrySoviet Union

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Russian: Москва слезам не верит, romanizedMoskva slezam ne verit) is a 1980 Soviet romantic drama film made by Mosfilm.[1] It was written by Valentin Chernykh and directed by Vladimir Menshov. The leading roles were played by Vera Alentova and Aleksey Batalov. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1981.[2]


Part One

In 1958, three young women, Katerina, Lyudmila, and Antonina, live in Moscow in a workers' dormitory, having arrived from province.

Katerina, serious and hardworking, works in a factory while studying at night to get admitted to a college. Antonina, a construction worker, dates her fellow co-worker Nikolay, a reserved but kind young man. Lyudmila, dynamic and vivacious, works in a bakery, but spends time in a university library in a search for the opportunity to marry up.

When asked to house-sit for her well-to-do Moscow relatives, Lyudmila, flirty and impetuous, invites herself along and convinces Katerina to throw a dinner party as a ploy to meet successful men. At the party, Lyudmila talks with Sergei, a rising ice hockey star, while Katerina meets Rudolf, a smooth talker who works as a cameraman for a national TV channel.

During Antonina and Nikolai's wedding, Lyudmila and Antonina learn that Katerina is pregnant. Rudolf refuses to marry Katerina and is not willing to help with finding an abortion clinic. His mother offers Katerina money, while telling her that they will not have her as a part of the family. Katerina rejects the money, telling her that she plans to have an abortion. In the next scene, her friends greet her with a new born daughter, Aleksandra. Three friends and their guests celebrate the arrival of the baby in their dormitory room.

In the last scene of Part One, Katerina, exhausted, studies at night, with Aleksandra sleeping by her side. Going to bed, Katerina changes the alarm clock from 6am to 5:30am, and cries.

Part Two

Twenty years later, in 1978, Katerina is a newly appointed CEO of a large factory. She drives a car, a sign of privileged status in the Soviet Union, and lives with her teen-age daughter in a nice apartment. She, Lyudmila and Antonina are still close. Lyudmila has divorced Sergei, who has quit playing hockey because of problems with alcohol; she works at a dry-cleaning and still looks for a bridegroom (preferably a general). Antonina is still married to Nikolai; with three teen-age children, they are a loving and harmonious family. Katerina dates a married man, but her private life is not happy.

Returning home on a local train, Katerina meets Gosha, who starts a conversation with her after she notices his dirty shoes. Gosha is an intelligent tool-and-die maker in a research institute, where his instrument maintenance skills are an enormously valued help to his scientist coworkers. Katerina starts dating him, yet she does not tell him that she is a factory CEO as Gosha believes that a woman should not make more money than her husband.

As their romance progresses, Rudolf, who changed his westernized name for a now-fashionable russified Rodion, but still works as a TV cameraman, unexpectedly reenters Katerina's life, and tells her he wants to meet his daughter. Katerina curtly tells him that she does not want to see him again, but he shows up uninvited at her apartment and tells Gosha and Aleksandra about the interview, revealing Katerina's executive position (and high salary) to Gosha. Gosha's pride is hurt, and he leaves the apartment. Unable to stop him, Katerina reveals to Aleksandra that Rudolf is her father.

Gosha disappears from Katerina's life, and she becomes frantic. A week later, Lyudmila, Antonina, and Nikolai come to her apartment to comfort her. Nikolai gathers what little information Katerina knows about Gosha (which does not even include his last name) and finds him drinking alone, still stung by Katerina's "betrayal". Nikolai convinces Gosha to return home, and, alone with Katerina and Aleksandra, Gosha asks for a dinner. As he eats, Katerina watches him, saying "I've been looking for you for such a long time." "Eight days", Gosha replies, to which Katerina, with tears in her eyes, repeats, "I've been looking for you for such a long time."




Over 93 million Soviet viewers saw the film in the cinema, making it one of the most successful films in Soviet history.[3][4] In 2021, a poll conducted by Russian Public Opinion Research Center voted it as the best Soviet film of all time among Russian viewers.[5] Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears has an approval rating of 40% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 5 reviews, and an average rating of 4.8/10.[6] The film currently holds a rating of 8.1/10 on IMDb.[7]

Then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan watched the film several times before his meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in order to gain a better understanding of the "Russian soul".[8][9][10]

Awards and nominations

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film Soviet Union Won
Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear Vladimir Menshov Nominated


Songs from the film

See also


  1. ^ Peter Rollberg (2009). Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema. US: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 465–466. ISBN 978-0-8108-6072-8.
  2. ^ "The 53rd Academy Awards (1981) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  3. ^ "Русская кинодвадцатка Радио Свобода "Москва слезам не верит"". Radio Svoboda. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  4. ^ Richard Stites (1992). Russian Popular Culture: Entertainment and Society Since 1900. Cambridge University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0-521-36214-8.
  5. ^ "Россияне назвали своим самым любимым советским фильмом «Москва слезам не верит»". Meduza (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-01-07.
  6. ^ "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.
  7. ^ "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears" – via
  8. ^ "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears".
  9. ^ "Сиротоэкранное кино". October 10, 2005.
  10. ^ "Интервью с Верой Алентовой и Владимиром Меньшовым, "В Нью-Йорке с Виктором Топаллером", RTVi". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  11. ^ "10 фактов о фильме "Москва слезам не верит"".
  12. ^ "10 занятных фактов о фильме «Москва слезам не верит»". September 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "Москва слезам не верит".