ⓘ Chasing Two Hares


ⓘ Chasing Two Hares

Chasing Two Hares, also known as A Kiev Comedy, is a 1961 Soviet comedy film directed by Viktor Ivanov based on the eponymous play by Mykhailo Starytsky.


1. Plot

In Kyiv at the beginning of the 20th century, a frivolous barber named Svyryd Petrovych Holokhvostyi Oleg Borisov goes bankrupt and is forced to close his shop. Upon learning that a Mr. Sirko Mykola Yakovenko is offering a dowry of ten thousand roubles for his unrefined and unattractive daughter, Pronia Margarita Krinitsyna, Svyryd decides to pay his debts by marrying her. Svyryd dupes a German creditor of his to finance the courtship. While showing off his new suit to friends in the park on Saint Vladimir Hill, he sees and briefly flirts with the beautiful Halia Natalia Naum before being chased away by her would be boyfriend, Stepan.

That evening, Svyryd takes Pronia to the movies on a date and afterwards makes a false confession of love to her. She invites him to her house to propose. Later that night, while drinking with his friends, Svyryd boasts about his successful date with Pronia; and that once he gets the money, he will start an affair with a beauty. Svyryd meets Halia in an alley, falsely confesses his love to her, claims to be a rich suitor, and forces her into an embrace. Halias mother, Sekleta Limerikha Nonna Koperzhinskaya, happens by and stops it. Sekleta threatens him and makes him swear on the steps of Saint Andrews Church to marry Halia whose heart actually belongs to Stepan.

The next day, Sekleta, sister to Mrs. Sirko, lets herself into her sisters home where she insults them and is summarily thrown out. Svyryd narrowly misses Sekleta as he arrives to propose and receive the Sirkos blessing for marriage with Pronia.

Some time later, he runs into Sekleta who forces him to share an open carriage to her house where guests soon arrive to celebrate Sekletas name day. During the celebration, Svyryd flirts with Sister Mironia, a pretty nun, and gets her to drink. As the party winds down, Sekleta announces the engagement of Halia and Svyryd. As she happens to be passing by her sisters house, Mrs. Sirko tries to partake in the festivities, but is stopped by Pronia who is embarrassed by such a lowbrow party. Sekleta laments that none of her relatives stopped by to visit on the special occasion which leads Svyryd to realize that Pronia and Halia are cousins! Halia runs from the gathering to her beloved Stepan who informs her that Svyryd is a fraud.

On the wedding day, curious friends of Sekleta discover Pronia is marrying Svyryd. A black cat crosses Svyryds path on his way to Pronias door, and he immediately trips and falls into the dirt, soiling and tearing his wedding attire. Sekletas friends race to inform her before the wedding can take place. Sekleta halts the wedding party on the steps of Saint Andrews Church and announces to everyone that Svyryd is in fact engaged to Halia. Pronia collapses upon realizing what has happened.

As Svyryd tries to walk away, Sekleta stops him and demands that he now marry Halia; however, creditors and bill collectors suddenly appear with proof that Svyryd is bankrupt who then leaves the scene with his friends.


2. Cast

  • Marharyta Krynytsyna - Pronia Prokopivna Sirko "Priska"
  • Taisiya Lytvynenko - Khymka, servant of the Sirkos
  • Nonna Koperzhynska - Sekleta Pylypivna Lymerykha, sister of Evdokia Filippovna
  • Oleg Borisov - Svyryd Petrovych Holokhvostyi "Galakhvastov"
  • Mykola Yakovenko - Prokip Svyrydovych Sirko, father of Pronia
  • Anatoliy Yurchenko - Stepan, the groom of Halia
  • Hanna Kushnirenko - Yavdokha Pylypivna Sirko, mother of Pronia
  • Kostiantyn Yershov - Dancer, friend of Holokhvostyi
  • Natalia Naum - Halia, daughter of Sekleta Pylypivna
  • Olga Wickland - Mademoiselle Ninon, hostess of the guesthouse