This film, created in 1946 by Ivan and Vladimir Nikitchenko, was produced by the Soyuzdetfilm, later called the Gorky Film Studio, originally founded in 1915. “Яблочко” (or “Little Apple”) is a masterful short film of pioneering special effects, specifically the “Optical Overlay,” created in the days before any digital computer manipulation. It has been recently called the “Russian Terminator” by more contemporary viewers, a title which will make more sense halfway through its viewing.
The sailor/dancer was one of Russia’s first tap dancers — Vladimir Zernov, who taught at the State College of Circus and Variety Arts. The piano player is David Ashkenazy, who worked with many Soviet pop artists of the day.