Prolific Soviet filmmaker Yuli Raizman reached the pinnacle of his success with such wartime flag-wavers as Mashenka. Set before and during the Russo-Finnish war of 1939-40, the film concentrates on the romance between post-office employee Mashenka (Valentina Karavayeva) and taxi driver Alyosha (Mikhail Kutznetzov). Encouraging the young man to become an engineer, Mashenka nearly loses him when he achieves success in his new profession and falls prey to the temptations of the seductive Vera (B. Altaskaya). When war breaks out between Russia and Finland, Mashenka signs up for nursing duty, and while on the battlefield she is joyously reunited with the errant Alyosha, now a member of the infantry. The final scene, a graphic and violent assault on a Finnish village, impressed even those reviewers who weren't politely inclined towards the Soviets in 1942.
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