Beware of the Car

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Beware of the Car
File:Beregis avto poster.jpg
Soviet billboard theatrical poster of the film
Directed by Eldar Ryazanov
Written by Emil Braginsky
Eldar Ryazanov
Starring Innokenty Smoktunovsky
Oleg Yefremov
Andrei Mironov
Anatoli Papanov
Georgy Zhzhyonov
Narrated by Yuri Yakovlev
Music by Andrei Petrov
Cinematography Anatoliy Mukasey
Vladimir Nakhabtsev
Edited by Yekaterina Ovsyannikova
Release dates
Running time
94 min.
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

Beware of the Car (Russian: Береги́сь автомоби́ля, translit. Beregis Avtomobilya, US titles Uncommon Thief, or Watch out for the Automobile) is a Soviet 1966 crime comedy-drama film directed by Eldar Ryazanov, based on a screenplay by Emil Braginsky and produced by the Mosfilm. The film stars renowned Soviet actors Innokenty Smoktunovsky, Oleg Yefremov, Anatoli Papanov, Andrei Mironov, Georgy Zhzhyonov, among others.

Beregis' Avtomobilya is recognized for its noir genre satire as uncommon part of the Brezhnevist society. It is credited to have given Ryazanov a start in depicting Soviet political structure satire as a class of comedy cult films.

Plot summary

The movie plot evolves around Yuriy Detochkin (Smoktunovsky), a humble Soviet insurance agent suffering from a minor mental disorder.[1] Detochkin applies great resourcefullness and exceptional driving skill to stealing cars from corrupt Soviet officials in a Robin Hood way, disappointed by the Militsiya (Soviet police) being unable to fight them efficiently. One of the Detochkin's un-innocent victims is Dima Semitsvetov (Mironov), a retail embezzler hilariously trolled, but still tolerated by his colourful father-in-law Sokol-Kruzhkin (Papanov), a retired Soviet Army officer.

Detochkin sells the stolen cars and anonymously transfers the money to the accounts of various orphanages. Detective Maxim Podberyozovikov (Yefremov) investigates his crimes and tries to prosecute him, but faces a serious moral problem in doing that, partly because the suspect appears to be his amateur theater mate and friend.


  1. Innokenty Smoktunovsky as Yury Detochkin, former taxi driver, now an insurance agent
  2. Oleg Yefremov as Maxim Podberezovikov, detective, working on Detochkin's Cause
  3. Lyubov Dobrzhanskaya as Detochkin's Mother
  4. Olga Aroseva as Lyuba, a trolley-bus driver, Detochkin's fiance
  5. Andrei Mironov as Dima Semitsvetov
  6. Anatoli Papanov as Sokol-Kruzhkin, father-in-law of Dima Semitsvetov
  7. Tatyana Gavrilova as Inga Semitsvetova, wife of Dima Semitsvetov
  8. Georgy Zhzhyonov as Patrol policeman
  9. Yevgeniy Yevstigneyev as Acting coach
  10. Donatas Banionis as Priest, buyer of Detochkin's Volga car
  11. Lyubov Sokolova as Judge
  12. Vyacheslav Nevinnyy as Car mechanic
  13. Gotlib Roninson as Yakov Mihailovich, Senior Insurance Agent, Detochkin's boss
  14. Galina Volchek as Customer
  15. Sergey Kulagin as Pub manager
  16. Yakov Lents as Tobacconist's shop salesman
  17. Nikolay Parfyonov as Prosecutor
  18. Victoria Radunskaya as Tanya, criminalist
  19. Boris Runge as a man with suitcases
  20. Antonina Maksimova
  21. Antonina Dmitrieva
  22. Nina Krachkovskaya

Voice cast

Interesting facts

  • In the film, Detochkin and Podberezovikov act together in an amateur theater which rehearses the Hamlet. This is a play with Innokenty Smoktunovsky's real-life acting career: he was reputed as the "best Hamlet on Soviet stage" and cast in a Hamlet film adaptation.
  • The waltz[2] performed in the film is a distinguished melody composed by Andrei Petrov. Sergey Nikitin's repertoire includes a song named Glassy Gentleman (lyrics by Evgeny Evtushenko), which used a waltz from the film.
  • All cars stolen by Detochkin are "Volga"s - the most prestigious Soviet car model of the time. The fact that "Volga" was the standard personal car for Soviet elite is the intentional satire element of the film which Eldar Ryazanov found very hard to get approved.

Famous quotes

  • Narrator: Everyone with no car, wants to buy it. And anyone who has a car, wants to sell it. And he doesn't do it just because he will stay without a car.
  • Acting coach: Isn't it time, my friends, we aim a blow at our William, if you know, at Shakespeare?
  • Narrator: Crime movie without chase, it's like life without love.
  • Dima Semitsvetov (to customer): Here is Grundig tape recorder. Four tracks, stereophonic, elegant design. A rare thing, will go out in a minute. (The phrase quoted saying ironically about expensive, prestigious stuff)
  • Sokol-Kruzhkin (to Dima): The jail is your home!
  • Maxim: Excuse me, but maybe you're insane? — Detochkin: I'm not. I even have a certificate.
  • Lyuba (to Detochkin): Look at yourself. You're just... an idiot! (allusion to Dostoyevski's The Idiot)
  • Maxim: Of course, he is guilty. But he is... not guilty!
  • Sokol-Kruzhkin: Free Yuriy Detochkin!!!


The film was the leader of Soviet film distribution for 1966 watched by 29 million people (11 place). Innokenty Smoktunovsky recognized as the Best Actor of 1966.

Awards: Edinburgh-66, Sydney-66, Melbourne-67, Cartagena-69.

See also


  1. (the name hints to his childishness)
  2. Waltz - instrumental - MP3 - 3,7 MB - 128 Kbps at Cinema music (1938 - 1985) website (Russian)

External links