The Thirteen

  • 87'
  • USSR
  • 1936
Red Army commander Ivan Zhuravlev accompanies ten honourably discharged soldiers on their way to the city. In the middle of the Karakum Desert they stumble upon a hidden well located near an ancient tomb. They also find brand-new weapons belonging to Shirmat Khan and his anti-Bolshevik bandits, the so-called basmachi. Zhuravlev gives orders to wait for Shirmat Khan and fight him until regular Red Army troops arrive.
The Thirteen is one of the most remarkable Civil War thrillers in Soviet cinema. Dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Red Army, its story was inspired by John Ford’s The Lost Patrol (1934). The film’s well-paced adventure plot and psychological plausibility meet the highest international standards.
The heroism in Romm’s film is of an unspectacular kind - no wounds are shown, no cries are heard. This understated pathos is unusual for Soviet cinema in the 1930s and has secured the film's freshness and enduring appeal.

Director
Mikhail Romm
Country of production
USSR
Production Year
1936
Festival Edition
IFFR 2011
Length
87'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Trinadtsat
Language
Russian
Production Company
Mosfilm Cinema Concern
Sales
Mosfilm Cinema Concern
Screenplay
Mikhail Romm, Iosif Prut
Cinematography
Boris Volchek
Editor
Tatyana Likhachyova
Production Design
Vladimir Egorov, Mikhail Karyakin, Andrei Nikulin
Music
Anatoly Aleksandrov
Cast
Ivan Novoseltsev