Boris Godunov (1954)
Russian filmmaker Vera Stroyeva specialized in a cinematic adaptations of famous operas. One of the most successful of these was her 1955 film version of Mussorgsky and Pushkin's Boris Godunov. Stroyeva's adaptation deftly streamlines the story of a Russian czar whose life is placed in jeopardy by a pretender to his throne. A. Pirogov sings the title role, while G. Nellep provides vocal and visual menace as the "False Dmitri". The use of a color process known as Magicolor adds just the right touch of theatrical artificiality to the pomp-and-splendor proceedings. Boris Godunov was released in the US in 1959, at a time when the only Russian most Americans were concerned with was named not Boris but Nikita.