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Film / Operation Y and Shurik's Other Adventures

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Operation Y and Shurik's Other Adventures (original title: Операция "Ы" и другие приключения Шурика) is a 1965 Soviet comedy film directed by Leonid Gaidai. The film is made up of three independent parts all of which involve a young man named Shurik, a naive and nerdy university student who keeps finding himself in ludicrous situations. The film is considered to be the first of the so-called "Shurik trilogy" (including Kidnapping, Caucasian Style and Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession).

Part 1, "Workmate", involves a burly drunk named Fedya refusing to give up his seat on the bus to a pregnant woman. Shurik puts on sunglasses and pretends to be blind, so Fedya reluctantly gives up the seat to him but gets enraged when Shurik instead offers the seat to the pregnant woman. Fedya starts a fight and is arrested. The judge sentences him to 15 days of community service. By a strange coincidence, he is sent to work at the same construction site where Shurik works part-time, and the manager puts them on the same crew. Fedya doesn't do his work, bullies Shurik, and plots his revenge. Shurik finally strikes back, starting a Tom and Jerry-like chase through the site. Finally, Shurik subdues Fedya and begins to re-educate him.


Part 2, "Déjà vu", has Shurik dreading the final exams at the university. Like every other student, he is desperately looking for lecture notes and spots them in the hands of a girl named Lida riding a streetcar. As he's reading the notes over her shoulder, they become so absorbed by the act that they become oblivious to everything else. Lida is convinced that Shurik, who doesn't speak a word while reading, is a female friend of hers. At Lida's apartment, they continue reading while eating and resting, with Lida taking off her clothes, before going back to the university. Shurik is distracted and loses Lida. He passes his exam and is introduced to her by another student. He doesn't recognize her but is enchanted. He walks her home and, after getting past an angry dog, they end up in her apartment. There, he begins to get a sense of déjà vu. He tells her, and she assumes that he may be psychic. They decide to test it by having Lida write a task she wants him to do and having him guess it. Shurik kisses her, and Lida lets the piece of paper (with "find the teddy bear") drop to the floor, no longer caring about the wish. They decide to meet up again after the next exam.


There is also a subplot involving another student trying to cheat his way through the physics exam using a radio disguised as a pocket flower and an ear bandage, to communicate with a friend of his who has the textbook and notes in front of him. He even appears to get away with using radio jargon in front of the professor. Then the professor uses the radio equipment in his bag to intercept the communication and then jam it, before approaching the student, commending him for the elegant design, and then failing him.

Part 3, "Operation Y", starts with a warehouse manager attempting to cover up his own thefts by hiring three petty criminals (the Coward, the Fool, and the Pro) to stage a break-in and trash the place a little. The plan is simple, the Coward distracts the elderly lady who works as the night guard and knocks her out with chloroform, the Fool breaks the locks, and the trio then ransacks the place. The plan goes awry when the elderly woman, Shurik's landlady, asks him to cover for her for a few hours. The Coward is surprised by Shurik's presence and accidentally puts himself to sleep with the chloroform-soaked handkerchief. When the trio finally breaks in, a slapstick fight begins between Shurik and the trio (minus the sleeping Coward) using the various items in the warehouse (including musical instruments and rapiers). Shurik manages to subdue the Fool and the Pro but falls asleep after wiping his face with the Coward's handkerchief. The landlady arrives and takes the trio to the cops.

Provides examples of:

  • Author Avatar: The director based the character of Shurik on himself and out of over a hundred actors auditioning for the role chose the one who resembled him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Shurik is one of the nicest guys you'll ever find. Just don't push him over the edge. Both part 1 and part 3 demonstrate this trope.
  • Blackface: Fedya in part 1 end up getting painted black head to toe. He then expresses his rage by grabbing a stick and jumping up and down while screaming nonsense.
  • Clown Car: The Pro's car (S-3A, designed for the handicapped) appears to be way too small to be able to hold his great bulk, much less the entire trio. It's light enough that he can turn it by lifting the front of the car by hand.
  • Comic Trio: The three petty criminals provide much of the humor in the third part.
  • Crowbar Combatant: In part 3, the Fool's job is to break the locks on the warehouse door with a crowbar. When training, he practices on pretty much everything, including fixtures in the room. When the warehouse manager insists that he use it to break the bottles of vodka in the warehouse instead of taking them (since the goal is to make it look like a break-in to cover up the stuff the manager has already stolen), the Fool nearly whacks him with the crowbar for the suggestion.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Averted with the angry dog in the second part. Shurik tries to trick it by stuffing sleeping pills into some sausage and throwing the sausage to the dog. The dog quickly eats the sausage but leaves the pills.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Lida is so absorbed by studying her physics before the exam that she utterly fails to notice an unfamiliar guy (Shurik) following her instead of her friend. Shurik himself is just as oblivious about where he's going.
  • The Gambling Addict: a student in Deja Vu handles the examination question cards like playing cards and uses blackjack jargon, saying "hit" and "stand" (and later "bust", when the professor kicks him out of the auditorium for rummaging through too many cards). However, even the professor momentarily starts to pick up the cards, after the student tells him, before realizing what he's doing, implying that he likes to play cards too.
  • Greed: In Part 3, when the warehouse manager offers the trio 300 Rubles to do the job, they claim it's not enough. When the manager asks for their price, the Fool answers, "330... each!" Having no choice, the manager grudgingly agrees.
  • Heroic BSoD/My God, What Have I Done?: Happens to Shurik when he thinks he's accidentally killed the Fool. He quickly gets over it when it turns out to not be the case.
  • Impersonating an Officer: In part 3, the Pro's task is to pretend to be a druzhinnik (member of a voluntary police assistance posse) and show up if the night guard uses her whistle. He screws this up in training.
    Manager: You. What were you supposed to do?
    The Pro: Keep watch and appear as a druzhinnik if the old lady whistles.
    Manager: And did she?
    The Pro: No.
    Manager: Then why the hell did you come? Moron!
    The Pro: Agreed.
  • Instant Sedation: In part 3, the Coward's job is to knock out the night guard with a chloroform-soaked handkerchief. He accidentally knocks out himself by wiping his face with it. It's not permanent, as he groggily wakes up partway through the "warehouse battle" only to collapse again. Shurik follows suit when he wipes his face after subduing the other criminals. Then a mouse comes out to sniff the handkerchief and is also knocked out.
  • It's a Small World, After All: In part 1, Fedya is sent to work off his community service at the same construction site where Shurik works part-time.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: In part 3, the old lady's rifle is empty and only serves to scare off any rabble. The trio knows this because the warehouse manager tells them. Shurik threatens the Pro with it, only for the Pro to give him the Russian equivalent of the finger.
  • Loose Canon: Shurik in this movie is generally considered to be the same person as the eponymous characters in Kidnapping, Caucasian Style and Ivan Vassilyevich. However, the plots aren't interconnected, Shurik doesn't recognize the Coward, the Fool and the Pro in Kidnapping, and his wife from Ivan Vassilyevich is neither Lida nor the heroine from Kidnapping.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The construction site in part 1 represents a perfect opportunity for Fedya to get his revenge on Shurik without getting arrested again.
    Fedya: Listen, have you had any accidents at the construction site?
    Shurik: No, not a single one yet...
    Fedya: There will be! Let's go.
  • No Name Given: The three criminals in part 3 are never named. Even their nicknames only show up in the credits. This continues with the other movies they're in.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: During the "battle" in part 3, the Fool pretends to be a wax figure standing between two other figures before kicking Shurik in the butt and running away.
  • Operation: [Blank]: The Fool decides to call their planned break-in "Operation Y". When asked why he chose that letter, he explains that he doesn't want anyone else to guess what it means. The original title uses the Russian letter "Ы" (which is usually transliterated as "Y"), and no native Russian word starts on that letter.
  • Psychic Powers: Lida suggests the possibility that Shurik has psychic powers when he starts to experience a feeling of déjà vu from being in her apartment (he's actually been there before but was so absorbed by reading the notes that he didn't notice) and wants to test it by having him guess a wish that she writes on a piece of paper. The wish is to find her teddy bear, but Shurik kisses her instead. Lida decides that this is better than a teddy bear.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The gag with the Pro using a handicapped person's car despite his strength. The warm leggings he's wearing in the scene are due to Morgunov having problems with his legs due to diabetes, so he would have likely been eligible for the vehicle.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: The warehouse manager hires the trio to stage a break-in at his warehouse in order to cover up his own thefts of the goods. They end up screwing it up, and everything is exposed.
  • Skipping School: While not stated, it can be assumed that Shurik lacks class notes in part 2 because he hasn't actually attended class.
  • Slapstick: The first and third parts rely on this sort of humor.
  • Vodka Drunkenski: One of the Fool's tasks is to break a bunch of bottles of vodka. However, during the training run, he starts taking the bottles instead. When told by the manager that he needs to break them, the Fool almost kills him on the spot for the "sacrilege".
  • We Need a Distraction: The Coward's job in part 3 is to walk up to the night guard, ask a question, and then knock her out with chloroform. During the training run, the manager berates him for screwing that up.
    Manager: You were supposed to distract her with a simple, natural question. What did you ask?
    The Coward: "How can I get to the library?"
    Manager: At 3 AM? Idiot!
    • He also tries asking how cold it is, eventually settling for asking for a smoke.

Alternative Title(s): Operation Y