At Home Among Strangers, a Stranger Among His Own (Свой среди чужих, чужой среди своих / Svoy sredi chuzhikh, chuzhoy sredi svoikh) is a 1974 film that was the directorial debut of Nikita Mikhalkov.
The film has a number of different titles in English. They include At Home Among Strangers, a Stranger Among His Own, A Friend Among Foes, a Foe Among Friends, as well as simply At Home Among Strangers.
A widely praised cult film within the former Soviet Union, At Home Among Strangers is a classic Russian Western or “Ostern” movie.
Outside of the former Soviet Union, few know of the film. However, it is absolutely worth seeing. In my opinion, it is the best film by Nikita Mikhalkov – even better than Oscar-winning Burnt by the Sun. The cast for the movie is superb, featuring great actors like Andrei Tarkovsky’s alter-ego, Anatoliy Solonitsyn. On top of that, the film features stunning cinematography.
At Home Among Strangers plot
Set at the end of the Russian Civil War, five friends are tasked with delivering a valuable cargo of gold to Moscow. The cargo is crucial to financing the young Soviet state and its attempts to avoid famine.
However, on the eve of the five friends’ departure, a daring robbery takes place and their cargo is stolen. Soon, suspicions fall on one of them – Shilov.
Through a web of violence, deceit, and corruption, Shilov has to battle to clear his name and return the gold to its rightful owners. Of course, along the way, there are train robberies, shoot-outs on deserted landscape, thrilling horseback chases sequences, and much more.
A word of warning
I strongly urge you to not watch the movie dubbed. The English-dubbed version of At Home Among Strangers is just awful. It ruins the experience of watching such a great movie. In fact, the poor reception the film received abroad when it first came out is largely attributed to the terribleness of its dubbed version.