Cinema: Egorooshka's Travels

The Steppe, when Anton Chekhov wrote about it in a tale as monotonous and mesmeric as the steppe itself, was in Russia. But times have changed. In this movie directed by Alberto Lattuada (Tempest), the steppe is in Yugoslavia and all its inhabitants speak Italian. Khrushchev & Co. may consider this a steppe in the wrong direction. But the literary crowd will applaud Lattuada's loyalty to Chekhov's plot; children who are old enough to read the subtitles will take the hero to their hearts; and Walt Disney will no doubt hate himself for not making the picture first.

The hero is a...

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