Starling and Lyre is the last feature directed by the legendary Soviet director Aleksandrov, starring Ljubov Orlova who had been the star of his popular musical comedies in the 1930s. This is a strange, glossy spy romance in which Orlova (already in her seventies!) and Pyotr Velyaminov play two lovers who have been working undercover in Germany since World War II, and who now have to investigate the German industrial machine as it potentially conspires against the Soviet Union.

The film, presenting Soviet Russia as a benevolent peace-loving superpower pitted against 'bad Germans and even worse Americans plotting to replay the Second World War against the Russians' was pulled from theatres a few days after its release and remained nearly invisible for decades because the plot, inadvertently, resembled the Guillaume Affair: in 1974, a personal assistant to German chancellor Brandt was unmasked as a Stasi spy.

Original title
Skvorets i Lira
Filmmaker
Grigoriy Aleksandrov
Country
Russia
Year
1974
Medium
35mm
Length
142’
Language
Russian
Production Company
Mosfilm Cinema Concern, DEFA-Studio für Spielfilme
Sales
Mosfilm Cinema Concern
Writer
Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Aleksandr Lapshin, Nikolay Pekelnik
Cinematography
Nikolay Vladimirovitsj Olonovskiy
Production Design
Stalen Volkov
Music
Oscar Feltsman
Cast
Lyubov Orlova, Svetlana Svetlichnaya, Pyotr Velyaminov, Nikolay Grinko, Boris Ivanov, Rina Zelyonaya, Rimma Markova