Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Papanin's Diary was one of several Russian films commemorating the 1937 incident wherein a group of Polar explorers were rescued after spending several days adrift on an ice floe. The titular Papanin not only supplies his memories of the near-disaster, but also the film he took of the event. This 53-minute documentary de-emphasizes the rescue, preferring instead to concentrate on the heroic behavior of the four marooned Russian aviators. Unfortunately, director M. Troyanovsky's prosaic treatment does not do full justice to his material. As a result, Papanin's Diary did only moderate business in Russia, and practically none at all elsewhere.