GenreComedy, Drama, Romance Initial DVD releaseMay 17, 2000 (France) LanguageRussian
WriterRustam Ibragimbekov, Rospo Pallenberg Release date30 October 1998 CastJulia Ormond (Jane Callahan), Oleg Menshikov (André Tolstoi), Aleksey Petrenko (General Radlov (as Alexey Petrenko)), Richard Harris (Douglas McCraken), Vladimir Ilin (Captain Mokine), Marat Basharov (Polievsky) Similar moviesKnight Without Armour, Horror Express, The Great Race, Letter Never Sent, Dersu Uzala, The Man Who Cried
TaglineHe's Russian. That explains a lot.
The Barber of Siberia (Сибирский цирюльник, translit. Sibirskiy tsiryulnik) is a 1998 Russian film that re-united the Academy Award-winning team of director Nikita Mikhalkov and producer Michel Seydoux. It was screened out of competition at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
Jane Callahan (Julia Ormond), a beautiful American lady, writes to her son, a cadet at a famous military academy, about a long kept secret. Twenty years ago she arrived in Russia to assist Douglas McCracken (Richard Harris), an obsessive engineer who needs the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich's patronage to sponsor his invention, a massive machine to harvest the forests. On her travels, she meets two men who would change her life forever: a handsome young cadet Andrej Tolstoy (Oleg Menshikov) with whom she shares a fondness for opera, and the powerful General Radlov who is entranced by her beauty and wants to marry her. Tolstoy and Radlov, much to the surprise and indignation of the latter, become rivals for Jane's love. She confides a deep secret to Tolstoy, promises to marry him, and together they spend a passionate night of love. But later he overhears Jane denying her interest in him to the General, in order to win the general's favour and be granted an audience with the Grand Duke. Distraught, Tolstoy attacks the General who arrests his young rival on false charges and banishes him to Siberia to seven years of hard labor and a further five years of exile.
Julia Ormond – Jane Callahan
Richard Harris – Douglas McCracken
Oleg Menshikov – Andrei Tolstoi
Aleksei Petrenko – General Radlov
Marina Neyolova – Andrei Tolstoi's mother
Vladimir Ilyin – Captain Mokin
Daniel Olbrychski – Kopnovsky
Anna Mikhalkova – Douniacha
Marat Basharov – Polievsky
Nikita Tatarenkov – Alibekov
Artyom Mikhalkov – Buturlin
Georgiy Dronov – Cadet Nazarov (as Yegor Dronov)
Avangard Leontyev – Andrei's uncle
Robert Hardy – Forsten
Elizabeth Spriggs – Perepyolkina
Nikita Mikhalkov – Tsar Alexander III
Chopin – Nocturne in D-flat major, Op. 27, No. 2. Jane plays the piece while General Radlov proposes to her.
Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 II Adagio. This is the movement that Jane's son plays to convince his drill sergeant that "Mozart was a great composer".