Letter Never Sent

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Year Released: 1960
Rating: 1.0

Three geologists (Vasily Livanov, Tatiana Samoilova and Yevgeni Urbansky) along with guide Sabinin (Innokenty Smoktunovsky) fly to the Taiga to dig for Siberian diamonds - a love triangle forms among the researchers while Sabinin spends his time writing affectionate letters to his wife back home ... and then a forest fire ruins their plans.  It's little more than Soviet propaganda - "look at how far these passionate individuals will go for the glory of the people," etc. - and the style is wildly over-exaggerated: flames cover the screen as they do manual labor and faces are shown in extreme close-up when they're experiencing "torment."  At least the photography is fantastic, and I wonder if Griffith's Way Down East was an influence on the sequence at the end where the "lone survivor" of the group floats down a river on a chunk of ice (or was it forbidden to even think about Western heathens in the Motherland?).