Valeri Chkalov (1941)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature]  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - USSR  |  
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Wings of Victory was the American release title for Soviet filmmaker Mikhail Kalatozov's Valeri Chkalov. After having been exiled from the Russian film industry for his so-called "negativism" (translation: he refused to adhere faithfully to the Communist party line), Kalatozov proved he'd "reformed" with this unabashed flag-waver. Vladimir Belokurov stars as legendary Soviet flying hero Valeri Chkalov, who garnered worldwide fame and effusive press coverage with his nonstop flight from Moscow to Seattle in 1937. Despite the fact that the outcome of the flight was well known, Kalatozov manages to stir up a great deal of suspense when Chkalov and his crew run out of oxygen. It is implied throughout that the selfless, courageous Valeri Chkalov is representative of all Russian flyers, both past and present.