Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Russia's popular actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov plays Ivan Ivanovich, an ill and aging World War II veteran, who comes into possession of an eager and lovable puppy, whom he calls Bim. Because Bim has a black ear, which is not part of his breed's accepted physical conformation, Ivan is unable to obtain a pedigree certificate for him, a fact which causes him endless trouble. Though most of his neighbors are too feeble to be concerned, a few of them hypocritically criticize any deviation from "correctness," including Ivan's dog, his boon companion. Bim is, in fact, Ivan's only close friend. Bim wins friends in Ivan's housing project when the dog alerts neighbors to illegal activities by those same obnoxious hypocrites. This touching drama won the very important Lenin Prize of the Soviet Union in 1980, the Grand Prize of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and was nominated for an Oscar as "Best Foreign Film" in 1978. Tikhonov, who plays the old man here, may be best known in the West for his performance as Prince Bolkonsky in Sergei Bondarchuk's epic film of War and Peace.
dog, friendship, veteran [military], pets, puppy