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More Stars Than in the Sky Above

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More Stars Than in the Sky Above

30.09.2008

The mass relocation of the American film industry from east to west did not lead to a reduction in the role played by immigrants. On the contrary, the number of people from Russia in Hollywood only grew with time, and not because the film bosses preferred to hire their own countrymen over America’s native residents.

The emergence of the Dream Factory in California practically coincided with the Revolution and Civil War in Russia, and, consequently, with the exodus of our country's many artists. Of course, the Philosophy Steamer was not their only means of leaving, and many simply chose not to return to a Russia embroiled in chaos. The famous actor and dancer Theodore Kosloff (Fyodor Kozlov) was one such person. After graduating from Moscow's Imperial Theatre School in 1901, he began his career in the Mariinsky Theatre before moving on to the Bolshoi. His phenomenal technique in executing Spanish dances quickly made him famous, and in 1909, Sergei Diaghilev offered Kozlov the opportunity to take part in the Russian ballet tour in Paris. After achieving similar success in France, Kozlov decided to organize his own ballet troupe. In 1910, he moved to London, and in 1917, he settled in the United States. He starred in several dozen Hollywood films, and from 1930, he continued to work as a screenwriter.

In the 1920s, the first Soviet defectors began to appear. Rouben Mamoulian stayed in the United States after visiting on tour. He starred in numerous films, including The Mark of Zorro (1940), which was a great success in the Soviet Union during the post-War era. In 1923, Akim Tamirov and Maria Ouspenskaya did not return to the Soviet Union after a similar tour and later enjoyed successful Hollywood careers. Fedor Ozep left the Soviet Union, and in 1930, he shot the German film The Murder of Dmitry Karamazov based on Dostoevsky’s novel. Grushenka was played by Anna Sten (born Anna Stenskaya), who began her career in the Soviet Union and later moved to Germany. She made it to the Hollywood upon signing a contract with Sam Goldwyn.

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