Cinema: Oft-Told Tale

The Overcoat. In Nikolai Gogol's short story, as in this brief and virtually flawless film from Russia, Akaky Akakievich is a hunched, squinty-eyed penpusher, ridiculed at his office, who all winter long must suffer the cold winds of St. Petersburg whipping through his gauze thin overcoat. Compelled to buy a new one at painful cost, he talks to it, sleeps with it, defends it against a threatening moth. Next day, miraculously, Akaky Akakievich and his overcoat create a sen sation at work. His former tormentors are now backslapping friends; he is even invited...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!