Synopsis by Mark Deming
A group of Russian soldiers and local partisans attempt to keep their spirits up and their wits about them in this musical from the Soviet Union. In the far eastern region of the Soviet Union, military forces attempt to ward off German invaders and destroy an Axis airfield that has been built behind nearby enemy lines. Amidst the army's adventures, a French pilot (Viktor Dobrovolsky) happens upon the Soviet encampment, sparking a romance with a local girl (O. Yakunina). Slavnyy Malyy/Novgorodtsy was never released to theaters in the Soviet Union, but it was shown to Russian soldiers at the front during World War II, where it is said to have been enthusiastically received; it was later revived for a retrospective of Soviet Cinema presented as part of the 2000 Locarno Film Festival.