Erast Garin

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File:Erast Garin.jpg
Garin the 1953 movie Nesterka.

Erast Pavlovich Garin (Russian: Эра́ст Па́влович Га́рин; 10 November [O.S. 28 October] 1902 – 4 September 1980) was, together with Igor Ilyinsky and Sergey Martinson, one of the leading comic actors of Vsevolod Meyerhold's company and of the Soviet cinema. He was named People's Artist of the USSR in 1977.

Garin was born in Ryazan as Erast Gerasimov. He started his acting career in 1919 in an amateur theatre of the Ryazan military district. In 1926 he finished his education in the experimental theatrical workshops of the People's Commissariat for Education. He always looked up upon Meyerhold and Mikhail Chekhov as his mentors, rejecting naturalistic acting techniques propagated by Stanislavsky and paying utmost importance to voice and gesture.

Garin worked with Meyerhold in his theatre until its dissolution in 1936. Among his triumphs was the part of Khlestakov in the 1926 production of The Government Inspector. The trance-like quality of his "grotesquely anxious" performances in Meyerhold's productions could be attributed to an expressionistic acting style.[1]

Nikolay Akimov's Theatre of Comedy was the next theatre he worked in. In 1946 he gave up stage performances and concentrated on film acting. In 1941 he was awarded the Stalin Prize for the role of Tarakanov in the film Musical Story. Half-blindness prevented him from playing any major roles in the 1960s and 1970s.

Together with his wife Khesya Lokshina he was director of several films, for which he also contributed scripts. They adapted Mikhail Zoshchenko's novel Respected Comrade in 1930. Garin's memoirs, entitled With Meyerhold, appeared in 1974.


As actor

  • Lieutenant Kijé (Поручик Киже, 1934)
  • Marriage (Женитьба, 1936)
  • Бежин луг (1937) Bezhin Meadow
  • On the Frontier (На границе, 1938)
  • Musical story (Музыкальная история, 1940)
  • Швейк готовится к бою (1942)
  • Ivan Nikulin, Russian Sailor (Иван Никулин - русский матрос, 1944)
  • The Wedding (Свадьба, 1944)
  • Blue Mountain Land (Синегория, 1946)
File:Erast Garin (Zolushka).gif
King in the Cinderella
  • Cinderella (Золушка, 1947)
  • Встреча на Эльбе (1949)
  • The Inspector-General (Ревизор, 1952)
  • Неоконченная повесть (1955)
  • The Girl Without Address (Девушка без адреса, 1957)
  • Beloved Beauty (Краса ненаглядная, 1958)
  • The Witch (Ведьма, 1958)
  • Soldiers Were Going (Шли солдаты, 1958)
  • Russian Souvenir (Русский сувенир, 1960)
  • Alyonka (Аленка, 1961)
  • Vodyanoy (Водяной, 1961)
  • Kain XVIII (Каин XVIII, 1963)
  • Optimistic Tragedy (Оптимистическая трагедия, 1963)
  • A Little Frog Is looking for His Father (voice) (Лягушонок ищет папу (озвучивание), 1964)
  • The Ordinary Miracle (Обыкновенное чудо, 1964)
  • Rasplyuev's Days of Fun (Веселые расплюевские дни, 1966)
  • Two Days of Miracles (Два дня чудес, 1970)
  • Gentlemen of Fortune (Джентльмены удачи, 1971)
  • Если ты мужчина... (1971)
  • Nylon 100% (Нейлон 100%, 1974)
  • Change a Dog for a Steam Locomotive (Меняю собаку на паровоз, 1975)
  • Пошехонская старина (1975)

As director

  • Женитьба (1936)
  • Доктор Калюжный (1939)
  • Принц и нищий (1942)
  • Синегория (1946)
  • An Ordinary Miracle (Обыкновенное чудо, 1964)
  • Веселые расплюевские дни (1966)

As script writer

  • Женитьба (1936)
  • Обыкновенное чудо (1964)
  • Веселые расплюевские дни (1966)


  1. Julia Listengarten. Russian Tragifarce: Its Cultural and Political Roots. Susquehanna University Press, 2000. ISBN 1-57591-033-0. Page 137.

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