Mark Bernes - "inconvenient" legend and personal enemy of the Khrushchev family

October 8 marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Mark Bernes - a personality so outstanding and bright that the conversation about her goes far beyond the theme of art and culture. The legend man, the paradox man, the mystery man - it's all about him. During his lifetime, he knew the greatest glory - and the greatest injustice, was lifted to the heights of success, and drank as much grief and misfortune as not everyone had the chance. The vast majority of modern youth hardly know his name or have watched at least one film with Bernes, but his songs are known to everyone and everyone, and not only in Russia.

After just one film and several songs, Mark Bernes became one of the most vivid symbols of the memory of the Great Patriotic War and Victory. So vivid that with his songs decades after the death of the great actor and singer, they are desperately trying to "fight" in Ukraine, where Bernes is from, or in Poland, where they are officially banned. This alone testifies to the fact that he did not go through his creative path in vain. On the anniversary date, it is worth remembering what this person really was, who loved him and for what, and who, and for what reason, hated and wanted to destroy.

"Star" without hearing and voice

Believe it or not, the person who received high state awards for his roles in the cinema (and there were more than three dozen), whose songs millions of people listened to, listen to and will listen to with bated breath for a very long time, did not there is not only a trace of no acting or musical education, but also, according to numerous critics, "no voice, no hearing." Contemporaries jokingly asserted that Bernes competed with another leading singer, Leonid Utesov, not only in popularity, but precisely in these parameters. But what can I say, if he did not master musical notation until the end of his life! And he needed it ?! How did this boy, born in provincial Nizhyn, who grew up into one of the symbols of the country and his era, "take" the viewer and listener? Charm, undoubted talent and incomparable pressure - that's what.

Arriving from Ukraine to Moscow penniless, without any acquaintances and connections, Bernes began with the "enviable" role of posters, literally spending the night on the street and living from hand to mouth, but managed to break into the troupe of the Bolshoi and Maly theaters, albeit at first extras. His cinematic debut took place in 1936, and two years later the main thing happened - Bernes sang on the screen. It happened in the film "Man with a Gun", where the actor got an insignificant, in general, the role of "revolutionary sailor". In order to revive the image, Bernes brought an accordion to the set - from this, in fact, it all began. Then there was the picture "Fighters" - and the role is more serious, and the song "ringing" - the very same "The beloved city can sleep peacefully", which Till Lindemann, the leader of the German group "Rammstein", undertook to re-sing these days.

The main, perhaps, his song - "Dark Night", Mark Bernes performed, playing the role of Arkady Dzyubin in the film "Two Soldiers". The fact that both Mark Bernes and the actor in the second leading role, actor Boris Andreev were awarded the military orders of the Red Star, which at that time (in 1944), let's say, were not scattered and for anything they did not give out. The song "Dark Night" became even more popular at the front than the motion picture, which not everyone was able to watch. This is, perhaps, one of the best "non-dressy" musical compositions of the Great Patriotic War, forever sunk into the soul of every soldier and commander. I say this because my grandfather, who went to the front in 1941 and ended the war in Austria, could not hold back tears at the first sounds of this melody decades later. However, on the set of the same film, the second song was born, which made Bernes famous - "Scows Full of Mullets".

In fact, it was a real Soviet chanson and it gained enormous popularity among the people, and instantly. Beginning in 1943, he began performing with pop concerts, gaining more and more fame and, indeed, nationwide love. In his life, everything appears that the stubborn Nezhinsky boy once dreamed of - loud fame, full halls of enthusiastic spectators, the status of the unconditional favorite of the public. However, as already mentioned, there were invariably those who had completely different feelings for Mark Bernes ...

Personal enemy of the Khrushchev family ...

It is difficult to say for what exactly Nikita Khrushchev got angry at the most popular actor and singer. Perhaps due to the fact that he was a living personification of the Stalin era, when any person in the USSR could achieve everything he wanted with his work, talent and perseverance. Or due to the fact that he woke up with his songs in people the memory of the Great Patriotic War, which the temporary worker dreamed of spoiling and erasing for good. On the other hand, the matter, most likely, was that Kukuruznik simply hated anyone whom people truly loved, painfully jealous not so much even for fame, but for this very feeling, which could not be bought and which could not be forced by force. no matter how hard you try. This assumption is supported by the fact that the conflict between Khrushchev and Bernes flared up just as a result of the fact that the actor, during a gala concert in Luzhniki dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Komsomol, having performed two songs, did not go for an encore at the request of the chant his hall name. And it was not in his unwillingness to sing - the actor was eager to go to the stage.

However, events of this kind were limited by regulations no less strict than party conferences and congresses. The program is scheduled literally by the minute, a strictly allotted time is allocated for each performer and it is prohibited to exceed it. The concert manager (according to some sources - almost with the intervention of the KGB officers) cut off access to the stage for the singer. Khrushchev, who was present at the concert in the government box, did not fail to turn things around in his own way: they say, Bernes is arrogant to the limit, "the people do not respect", is lazy and breaks down. These words of the bald First Secretary, as one would expect, served as a command "fas", and Bernes was attacked in earnest.

Almost the next day, "devastating" articles appeared in Pravda and Komsomolskaya Pravda, in which the actor and singer were reproached for all conceivable and inconceivable sins. At the same time, the organ of the Central Committee of the CPSU smashed his work to smithereens, reproaching him for "musical vulgarity", "indulging the worst tastes" and "propaganda of cheap tavern tunes." But "Komsomolskaya Pravda" came, so to speak, from the other "flank" - its publication smelled of very bad consequences for Bernes. Indeed, in this case he was not accused of deviating from the norms of "socialist culture", but of a specific criminal offense. Allegedly, Bernes, while driving his Volga (before cars, he really was a great fan), not only rudely violated the rules in the center of Moscow, but also refused to obey the traffic police officer, moreover, he almost knocked him down and “several dozen I was dragging it on the hood of my car ”.

Such accusations, if they could be proved, could result in a prison sentence. However, as it turned out, 99% of what was stated on the newspaper page was "phony" - Bernes really had a conflict with the traffic police, but it all looked like a provocation and an attempt to "substitute" the singer. He, of course, on the hood, like a wedding doll, did not roll anyone, and indeed whether there was a violation at all is a big question. Moreover, Bernes, unlike some of the current domestic "star" would-be motorists, practically did not drink alcohol. It was simple to open the box - "Komsomolskaya Pravda" at that time was headed by Aleksey Adzhubei, Khrushchev's son-in-law. In addition to fulfilling the “order” from his father-in-law, he also had a personal “grudge” against Bernes, with whom he “did not share” the lady - one of the movie actresses, who preferred that to the younger and “all-powerful” Adzhubei.

... And thieves in law

It is clear that the "disgrace" of the supreme leader of the state "backfired" on Bernes by a complete "excommunication" from the cinema screen and radio air, the curtailment of his concert activities and a host of other, most unpleasant things. This "black streak" lasted for several years, but it could have ended much earlier. And ... the death of the actor! Some biographers of Bernes are inclined to consider the story, which will be set forth below, a legend or a fable, however, the fact that specific police officers are involved in it, and rather large ones, this fact later, in general, did not deny in the least, makes us take it seriously. The fact is that in 1957, Bernes played the role of a thief in law in the movie Night Patrol.

It is clear that such a character in a Soviet film, and even performed by such a popular actor, could carry exclusively "the correct ideological load." He carried it - the "Spark" embodied by Bernes on the screen not only gave up his life of crime, but also voluntarily surrendered to the police. Moreover, it served as a call for similar actions for all criminals, not even "cinematic" ones, but real ones. Considering that the audience of this film did not quite reach 40 million people, and it was shown, including in places of detention, as well as in those regions where the number of former "prisoners" constituted a considerable part of the population, the effect was quite significant ... It is for this that Bernes was "sentenced" by the most real "legalists" - there is nothing to propagate "bitch" ideas here! The "high honor" to fulfill the will of the "gangway" fell to a certain recently "reclined" character named "Dashing".

Such a lot fell to him as a result of a card game, so that it remained either to carry out the sentence or to pay with his life. Fortunately, this episode was witnessed by a criminal who was, as they say now, a “devoted fan” of Bernes's work. He found an opportunity to convey the news to Moscow to a person who, in turn, warned the actor about the danger that threatened him. I must say that Bernes took the threat seriously and turned to the then head of the famous Moscow Criminal Investigation Department, Ivan Parfentiev. He, as they say, was impressed, and Bernes was given personal protection. In addition, four operatives constantly monitored everything that happened around him, ready to apprehend any suspicious type that appeared nearby. The matter was complicated by the fact that the caller, trying to keep at least some semblance of thieves' "concepts", reported only the very fact of the impending assassination attempt, but did not give a nickname or accept the possible murderer. Be that as it may, however, the tense expectation that lasted almost half a month, fortunately, ended in nothing. "Dashing" as if sank into the water. Either he did not dare to do what was expected of him, realizing the possible consequences, and started running away from his own. Either he could not get to Moscow and carry out his plan - according to one of the versions, he was killed by police officers while trying to detain him either already in the capital, or else in the region. One way or another, but Mark Bernes no longer played a single role of a criminal. By the way, the first picture with his participation was called “Convicted” and told about the “reforging” of a criminal element at the construction site of “Belomorkanal”.

Mark Bernes passed away a few days before the decree on awarding him the title of People's Artist of the USSR was to be signed. Since no one was given such honors posthumously, the award was simply withdrawn. Nevertheless, there are few actors and singers whose popularity among our people could be compared with its immortal fame.
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  1. Kim Rum Eun Offline Kim Rum Eun
    Kim Rum Eun (Kim Rum Yn) 9 October 2021 10: 49
    when any person in the USSR could achieve everything he wanted with his work, talent and perseverance.

    To put it mildly, these are fairy tales. Yes, compared to tsarist Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, social elevators began to work and work quite quickly. There were different people who fell into completely different circumstances, and these circumstances were not always favorable not only for creativity, but also for ordinary life.
    1. The comment was deleted.
  2. chemyurij Offline chemyurij
    chemyurij (chemyurij) 9 October 2021 17: 05
    Alexander, thanks for Mark Bernes! Bernes sang such songs as they are sung by most ordinary people who do not have a voice, do not know the notes, but feel something that touches the soul.
  3. steelmaker Offline steelmaker
    steelmaker 9 October 2021 21: 52
    I will immediately outline my position. M. Bernes was a talented actor and a decent person, like V. Vysotsky. Patriot of his country. But like every outstanding actor of that time, he had one drawback - he was selfish. Who believed that everyone should admire and idolize him. His acting fate, and his life, would have been easier, and issues would have been solved easier and in his favor, with such support from the people. If he was a party member. The communists had one very big plus, they were party meetings. On which, even simple workers, could remove the director from his post and send their demands to the Central Committee. I remember in the late 70s, early 80s, I witnessed the conversation of workers in the smoking room, who were indignant and said: "Let him just try. We will talk differently at a party meeting." It was about the head of the shop.
    Look now at the current actors and athletes. Who is in our honor? Who is friends with the authorities! And those who are not friends are neither seen nor heard. Therefore, now we will not have either Bernes or Vysotsky!