For citation:

Plotnikova A.G. M. Gorky’s Drama The Lower Depths in the World Cinema. Studia Litterarum, 2020, vol. 5, no 2, pp. 234–251. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2020-5-2-234-251

Author: A.G. Plotnikova
Information about the author:

Anastasia G. Plotnikova, PhD in Philology, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1866-0608

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: August 12, 2019
Published: June 25, 2020
Issue: 2020 Vol. 5, №2
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 234-251

UDK: 821.161.1 + 791.3
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)52 + 85.373(0)
Keywords: M. Gorky, “The Lower Depths”, “On the way to the Depths”, drama, film adaptation, A.O. Drankov, M. Murata, A. Deésy, J. Renoir, H. Zuolin, A. Kurosawa, V.К. Kott.


The article overviews and analyzes the adaptations of M. Gorky’s drama The Lower Depths in the world cinema. It describes the history of the writer’s attempts to adapt his drama for the cinema in the 1920s, and also analyzes the artistic features of M. Gorky’s cinema script On the Way to the Depths and the use of the motives of this scenario in subsequent cinema experiments. Screen versions of The Lower Depths appeared in Russia and in the Soviet Union, in Germany, France, Hungary, Japan, and China from the beginning of the twentieth century to the 2000s. The article describes films by A.O. Drankov, P.I. Chardynin, A. Deeshi, M. Murata, J. Renoir, H. Zuolin, A. Kurosawa, Y.Y. Karasik, and V.K. Cott. Appeal to films which are different in their artistic task and aesthetic implementation allows us to identify universal components of the drama, and to see how the transformation of the plot, problems, motive structure of the drama in the interpretation of directors from different countries and eras took place. The article traces how the author’s film adaptation can help expand and deepen the meanings of a literary work for readers and spectators of other generations and cultures. The appendix contains the most complete filmography of the adaptations of M. Gorky’s the drama The Lower Depths.


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