SHINEL (1926)

A fantastical, visually inventive adaptation of two short stories by Nikolai Gogol, made by the FEKS (Faculty of the Eccentric Actor) Studio.

Stills must not be reproduced, copied or downloaded in any way.

Film details

Alternative titles

  • The OVERCOAT Alternative
  • The CLOAK Alternative


“One of the earliest cinematographic attempts at psychological analysis – to look into a person’s internal world and convey his unspoken thoughts and dreams.”
Neya Zorkaya, The Illustrated History of Soviet Cinema, 1989

A great masterpiece of Russian literature, Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat would have been familiar to much of the audience of Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg’s adaptation. This allowed the directors considerable creative licence, notably in their portrait of early nineteenth-century Russia as an authoritarian hellhole, where petty clerk Akaky Akakievich dreams of a new overcoat.

Kozintsev and Trauberg make inspired use of what was then Leningrad to convey the feel of imperial St Petersburg. Their treatment owes at least as much to the grotesque stylisation of German Expressionism as it does to the work of their Soviet contemporaries.

Kozintsev and Trauberg would continue to collaborate for the next twenty years.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top