See pictures of the pretty costumes here. Watch the movie with English subtitles here.
Hey, guys, have I ever told you about The Hussar Ballad? No? Sit down, it’s story time.
Shurochka (Aleksandra) Azarova is a 19th century tomboy. She rides around her uncle’s country-side estates and generally enjoys life in those halcyon days when rich Russians measured their wealth in souls (serfs they owned) and Napoleon ravaged Europe.
While wearing her cousin’s uniform, she runs into Lieutenant Rzhevsky - look at those moustaches! That’s how you know he’s a man. He’s visiting her uncle and is bound by some family pact or something to marry Shura. Thinking she’s a fellow soldier he confides in her his opposition to the idea and also laments that Shura will probably have prissy girl cooties. So, for the official meet-and-greet, she puts on her prettiest pink empire waist dress and her best puckered lips and fluttering eyelashes and terrifies the hell out of him for the lulz.
Then there’s a ball, and then Napoleon invades. Pay attention here, because this next part is important.
Shura puts on her cousin’s uniform again, grabs the aging family butler (who used to be her uncle’s military aide… something guy) and runs away to the war. Then the awesome part of the movie happens when she’s running around shooting French people in the dead of Russian winter. Marshall Kutuzov gives her a medal for it and everything.
She runs into Rzhevsky’s unit, they liberate some French singer - the fuck is she doing in the middle of war in Russia? - and then Rzhevsky gets drunk and bad-mouths Shura (the girl he met, not the actual person he still thinks is a young soldier sitting right there). Shura gets jealous and mad and calls him out to a duel for her own honour. Also, they make a bet that if Rzhevsky ever saves girl!Shura, he has to marry her.
Then some other war stuff happens, there’s a hot, noble Italian guy - hands up fellow Russians, who secretly shipped Shura with Hot Italian Guy? She should’ve climbed that like a tree, a hot, Italian tree.
There’s a fake prisoner capture plan that turns into real prisoner capture, then everyone in the movie shows up, there’s shooting, and then Shura sees a rat and faints, because rats are scarier than French soldier, and Rzhevsky shoots the rat, fulfilling the terms of the bet.
Best part? Shura is based on a real person. Link to the film with subtitles back at the beginning of the post.