[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image_4789.jpeg]]

-->''Stirlitz opened his computer, connected to the internet, and logged onto TV Tropes. "It's a website," concluded Stirlitz.''

[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventeen_Moments_of_Spring ''Seventeen Moments of Spring'']] (Russian: ''Семнадцать мгновений весны'', ''Semnadtsat' mgnovenij vesny''), also ''Seventeen Instants of Spring'', is a 1973 Soviet TV miniseries directed by Tatyana Lioznova and based on the book of the same name by the novelist Yulian Semyonov. The series consists of 12 episodes of 70 minutes each.

The series depicts the life of a Soviet spy Maxim Isaev, who is operating in Nazi Germany under the name Max Otto von Stirlitz (sometimes transcribed as "Stierlitz"), played by the Soviet actor Creator/VyacheslavTikhonov. Other leading roles were played by Leonid Bronevoy, Oleg Tabakov, Yuri Vizbor, Yevgeniy Yevstigneyev, Rostislav Plyatt, Vasily Lanovoy and Mikhail Zharkovsky. The series is set in 1945, with the war lurching to a conclusion. Isaev/Stirlitz has been a Nazi Party member since 1933 and has risen to a high rank as an SS intelligence officer, while all the time spying for Moscow. He receives a coded message saying that Soviet intelligence has heard rumors that someone in Germany has approached the Western Allies with hopes of making a separate peace. Moscow directs Stirlitz to find out who is doing it. Meanwhile, SS intelligence chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner has grown suspicious of Stirlitz, and orders Gestapo boss Heinrich Muller to investigate him.

This series had openly disobeyed the Soviet cinema rule of depicting the Nazis as monsters. Walther Schellenberg, Müller and Bormann were performed by the popular and charismatic actors Oleg Tabakov, Leonid Bronevoy and Yuri Visbor ([[AffablyEvil who managed to lend a touch of charm to their roles while leaving the audience with no illusions as to the morality of their characters]]), and Nazi bosses in general were shown as being very much alike the Soviet bosses of the time. And the protagonist, Stirlitz, looked like a Soviet intellectual who had to hide his true self under the mask of obedience, loyalty and "proper ideological orientation". Stirlitz's awesome ability to outwit his bosses and keep "the human face" at the same time (despite the fact that one could hardly make a career in SS from 1939 till 1945 [[IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten without staining his hands]]) was praised by the Soviet audience, [[BigBrotherIsWatchingYou who felt as though they were being spied on in their own country]].

Due to this, the series became a FountainOfMemes and the source of many anecdotes and jokes--see RussianHumor for examples of these, as well as the page quote. The series has something of a WeirdAlEffect in Russia today, as far more people are familiar with the jokes than the original TV show. It is sometimes described in the West as "Russian Film/JamesBond", which is true only in the sense that Stirlitz is seen as the quintessential super-spy in Russia in much the same way Bond is in the West - otherwise, the austere Stirlitz has very little in common with the rather more flamboyant Bond[[labelnote:*]]''James Bond''.[[/labelnote]].

There is also a prequel series, set in the UsefulNotes/RedOctober era. [[{{Sequelitis}} Avoid it]].

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!!Stirlitz had a trope. He liked it, so he had another one:

* AboveTheInfluence: Stirlitz's professionalism is shown when he has to visit a brothel, and turns down an offer of sex - instead asking for coffee.
* AllGermansAreNazis: Averted, one of Stirlitz's key allies is a German pastor. Another character is a German KZ prisoner has a long rant about the Nazis have seduced and doomed Germany.
* AgentProvocateur:
** Klaus, a German agent who pretends to be a concentration camp escapee in order to ferret out people who are disloyal to the regime.
** Holthoff accuses Stirlitz of sabotaging the German nuclear effort by throwing suspicion on Runge the physicist, then suggests to Stirlitz that the three of them-Holthoff, Stirlitz, and Runge--escape to Switzerland together. It's a charade, a trap set up by Mueller. Stirlitz doesn't fall for it, whacking Holthoff over the head with a wine bottle and taking him to Gestapo HQ in handcuffs.
* AffablyEvil: Walter Schellenberg, Himmler's right-hand man, and the most affable, friendly high-ranking SS official you'll ever meet.
** So much so that the actor who portrayed Schellenberg got letters from his character's surviving relations thanking him for the dignified and affable portrayal. According to Schellenberg's niece Tabakov also looked quite a bit like the real "uncle Walter"
* BabiesEverAfter: The SS deserter who saved Kat's child escapes together with Kat after his heroic act. They've taken his own baby from orphanage ('cause his own mom is dead because of the bombing) and, pretending to be the married couple, try to find the rescue. Than, oops, he gets himself killed, and Kat has to somehow manage in the hostile Berlin with two babies on her hands. Everything ends well.
* BangBangBANG: Taken to ludicrous extremes in the first episode, where StockFootage of a Soviet artillery battery firing is interspersed with rocket noises and even Wild West-style ricocheting bullet whines. For no apparent reason.
* BecomingTheMask: In Episode 4 Stirlitz sees a German policeman barking orders and thinks that nowhere do cops like to boss people around like they do in "our country"--and then he's brought up short when he realizes he was thinking of Germany as "our country".
* BenevolentBoss: Schellenberg.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: Professor Pleischner throws himself out of the window to avoid being captured and tortured by Gestapo.
* BlondeRepublicanSexKitten: Blonde Nazi Sex Kitten, in the person of Barbara. Barbara is blonde-haired and very attractive and a hard-core true believer Nazi. She is not at all thrilled to have Kat the Soviet agent stashed in her home, even if Kat has (supposedly) agreed to turn her coat and work for the Germans.
* BookBurning: One of Goebbels' book-burning festivals is shown while Stirlitz ponders whether he's the one approaching the Allies.
* TheBookCipher: This is how Stirlitz decodes the coded messages he receives over the radio.
* CaptainObvious: No doubt the RussianHumor meme associated with this series is associated with the narration, which sometimes explicates the thuddingly obvious. The scene where Stirlitz is first shown decoding a message from a NumbersStation could have been staged without dialogue, but no, there's the voice of the narrator telling the viewer that Stirlitz is decoding a message. Another example can be found in Episode 5 when Stirlitz sees the briefcase that holds the radio transmitter. A scene that didn't require any dialogue instead has the ever-present voice of the narrator telling the viewer that yes, Stirlitz recognized the suitcase.
* ColonelBadass: Stirlitz.
* CyanidePill: A suicide pill hidden in a cigarette.
* DeepCoverAgent: Stirlitz has been undercover in Nazi Germany for years.
* {{Eagleland}}: Unsurprisingly, Flavor 2. Allen Dulles and the Americans are shown as only too willing to make a separate peace and use what is left of Nazi power as an ally in the fight against the Bolsheviks.
* EvilVirtues: The Nazis are shown to have some sense of personal loyalty and even decency towards each other, despite being monsters.
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion: The TV series was later colorized[[hottip:*:[[RussianHumor Stirlitz was surprised to see so many coloured people in the Gestapo]], re-edited and re-released.
** This caused [[BrokenBase considerable content among the viewers]]. Criticism is mostly comes down to colorization being very, very poorly done and edits cutting out key moments for current political reasons or for seemingly no reason at all. [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks And the simple fact that it used to be in black and white.]] On the other hand, colorising an entire mini-series was a tremendous job. A lot of details lost in the original version due to film limitations were re-added. And the result looks indistinguishable from proper colored films.
* GoodCopBadCop: In episode 5 a Bad Cop Gestapo thug beats on a suspect and breathes threats of torture, followed by the Good Cop who comes in and tells the suspect in a friendly manner that it will all be over and they'll let him go if he signs a confession. The Good Cop then leaves the interrogation room, finds the Bad Cop, and tells him to beat on the suspect some more.
* GoodShepherd: Pastor Schlag is a rare example of a Good Minister in the Soviet media.
* GrievousBottleyHarm: After Holthoff approaches Stirlitz with a proposal that they defect to a neutral country, Stirlitz crashes a wine bottle over his head. All it does is knock him out.
* GuileHero: Stirlitz only directly kills a single person in the entire series. It's not that he's afraid of fighting - he's a trained Center officer, after all - but he knows his mission is to gather intelligence and that, if he had to start gunning down mooks, he'd have failed.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: All the Nazi high leadership, as well as Stalin and Allen Dulles.
* IHaveManyNames: The protagonist. He is serving undercover in Nazi Germany as SS Colonel Max von Stirlitz. His "real" name as NKVD agent is Maxim Isayev. His original name is Vsevolod Vladimirov. At his safe house and the Elefant bar he's known as "Bolzen".
* TheInfiltration: Years undercover have paid off, as Stirlitz has made it deep within German intelligence.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Stirlitz shooting Agent Klaus.
* KilledMidSentence: Klaus is in the middle of some non-stop nattering when Stirlitz, seemingly tired of listening, pulls out his gun and shoots Klaus InTheBack.
* LocalHangout: The "Elefant" bar, where Stirlitz hangs out and occasionally meets informants.
* LongingLook: Stirlitz's wife is brought to the Elefant bar, to see her husband for the first time in years. However, he's such a DeepCoverAgent that they don't dare do anything other than stare at each other across the room.
* TheMole: Stirlitz is this, having been embedded in Germany for many years while reporting to Moscow.
* MookFaceTurn: A guard reminded of his own child by Kat's baby [[PapaWolf goes into a rage]] and kills the SS-woman and her superior officer when the former offers the sadistic choice below.
* {{Narrator}}: Omnipresent throughout, sometimes delivering exposition, sometimes relaying Stirlitz's thoughts, sometimes playing the CaptainObvious (see above).
* NaziNobleman: The main character claims to be this. His German alias is Max Otto [[TheVonTropeFamily Von]] Stirlitz.
* TheNeedsOfTheMany: After getting Kat from the clutches of the Gestapo and spiriting her to SS headquarters, Stirlitz thinks about how he ''could'' have taken her to safety. But that would have meant the end of his mission as well, and would have jeopardized the Russian war effort and the fate of Europe, so he didn't.
* NumbersStations: How Stirlitz gets messages from Moscow. He listens to a Numbers Station and decodes the message with his code book.
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: Klaus is shot in the back and dumped in a swamp.
* SadisticChoice: An SS-woman threatens to freeze Kat's baby to death unless she gives up the name of resident.
* SherlockScan: Usually delivered by the solemn narrator's (Yefim Kopelian's) voice telling us what Stirlitz noticed and what train of thought he conducted from that.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Stirlitz plays chess with an old lady barkeep while wondering about whether Goebbels is the one trying to make a separate peace.
* SmugSnake: Barbara Krein.
* SpottingTheThread: Kat, one of Stirlitz's radio operators, is heavily pregnant. Stirlitz is concerned, saying that when she's in labor she might be in too much pain to maintain her cover identity. Sure enough, when Kat's giving birth she starts calling for her mother in Russian. The nurses call the Gestapo.
* SpyFiction: Oh yeah.
* StockFootage: Lots, both depicting World War II combat and illustrating the senior Nazis.
** The Soviet CulturePolice ''insisted'' on the newsreel-like inserts, because they wanted to avoid [[SpotlightStealingSquad the impression that Stirlitz alone won the war]].
* SurpriseCheckmate: In episode 2 Frau Zaurich, proprietor of the "Elefant" bar, challenges Stirlitz to a game of chess. He beats her in about a minute. She is appalled.
* TaxidermyIsCreepy: Stirlitz has a clandestine meeting in a natural history museum in episode 5. Lots of creepy closeups of stuffed animals and birds.
* TranslationConvention: Most characters speak Russian; but the meetings with [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler]] are in German overdubbed by Russian, as per course for Soviet cinema.
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