In Die Russen kommen (c) DEFA-Stiftung, Eberhard Dassdorf
Viktor Perevalov was born on February 17, 1949 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg, Russia). He was one of the most popular Russian child and youth actors.
Perevalov’s film career started with a school visit to the Palace of Young Pioneers in his hometown, where he was discovered by filmmakers from the Lenfilm Studio who were looking for young actors for a short film. He was eight when he debuted in Tambu-Lambu, an adventure story about two little boys searching for a man who lost his notebook. In the following years, Perevalov performed in various fairytale and children’s films.
One of Perevalov’s most striking roles came two years after he was discovered, when he performed in the international fantastical classic Mariya-iskusnitsa, by Aleksandr Rou; he played the part of Ivanushka, a little boy looking for his mother who was kidnapped by a Water Wizard and brought to a magical underwater kingdom. In 1961, he played the leading role in the children’s film Starozhil. Five years later, Perevalov was cast as a teenager in a story about gang boys in St. Petersburg, Respublika SHKID (dir. Gennadi Poloka), and in the love story Dolgaya schastlivaya zhizn (dir. Gennady Shpalikov), winner of the first prize at the Bergamo Film Festival. The press was very taken with the young actor and praised him for his outstanding talent.
In 1968, Perevalov performed as a 17-year-old war volunteer in Goden k nestroevoy. This film was also distributed in East Germany and might have inspired director Heiner Carow to cast him as the Soviet forced laborer Igor in his WWII story Die Russen kommen. Die Russen kommen, however, was originally banned by East German officials for its controversial content and was not released until 1987.
Even when Perevalov was well over thirty, because of his youthful appearance he played the roles of teenagers in crime stories, children’s films, dramas and musicals. In 1982, however, Perevalov declined the offers for new roles and put his film career on hold. He ended up working various jobs, including as a sales person, in the following years.
Although Perevalov took on supporting parts in Igra and Ka-ka-du at the beginning of the 1990s, it was not until 2006 that he would appear more regularly. He played one of the main roles in Igor Apasyan’s internationally awarded low-budget tragicomedy Grafitti. His next role was in Rusalka, a story about an introverted little girl who grows up believing that she has the power to make wishes come true. This film drew attention at many international film festivals, including those in Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Stockholm and Sofia. The 2008 Sundance Festival honored the film’s director, Anna Melikian, with the Directing Award.
Victor Perevalov, who played in over sixty films for cinema and television, died in St. Petersburg on July 5, 2010.
|2011||Kranimij sudboj (Keeping Faith)|
|2010||Semejnuj dom (The Family House)|
|2008||Smetr shpionam: Krim (Spies Must Die: The Crimea, TV series)|
|2007||Shornij Sneg (Black Snow)|
|1978||Traktir na Pyatnitskoy (Tavern on Pyatnitskaya Street)|
|1968/87||Die Russen kommen (The Russians Are Coming)|
|1968||Goden k nestroevoy (Fit for Military Service)|
|1968||Staraya, staraya skaszka (A Very Old Tale)|
|1968||Ya vas lyubil… (I Loved You Once…)|
|1966||Respublika SHKID (The Republic SHKID)|
|1966||Zemlya ottsov (Land of the Fathers)|
|1966||Dolgaya schastlivaya zhizn (Long Happy Life)|
|1961||Starozhil (Old Resident)|
|1959||Mariya-iskusnitsa (Maria the Wonderful Weaver)|
|1958||Gorod zazhigaet ogni (City Lights)|