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A Tale About Nipper-Pipper (Skazka o Malchishe-Kibalchishe)

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A Tale About Nipper-Pipper
(Skazka o Malchishe-Kibalchishe)
Skazka o Malchishe-Kibalchishe Poster.jpg
Original Theatrical Poster
Country SOV.jpg USSR
Directed by Evgeniy Sherstobitov
Release Date 1965
Language Russian
Studio Dovzhenko Film Studios
Main Cast
Character Actor
Malchish-Kibalchish (Nipper-Pipper) Sergey Ostapenko
Malchish-Plokhish (Baddun) Sergey Tikhonov
Red Cavalryman Anatoli Yurchenko
Uncle 518 Sergey Martinson
Head Bourgeoish Leonid Gallis
Chief Bourgeoish General Dmitriy Kapka
The Old Man Pyotr Kiryutkin

A Tale About Nipper-Pipper (Skazka o Malchishe-Kibalchishe) is a 1965 (filmed 1964) Soviet children's film directed by Evgeniy Sherstobitov and adapted from the 1933 heroic tale A tale about a war secret, about the boy Nipper-Pipper, and his word of honour by Arkady Gaidar. The Soviet state is attacked by Bourgeoish army. The Red troops on the border are defeated, and the grown-ups from a village perish in battle. Then the village boys, led by brave Malchish-Kibalchish (Nipper-Pipper in the English translation of the original tale), take weapons and firmly stand in defence, waiting for the Red Army coming.

The following weapons were used in the film A Tale About Nipper-Pipper (Skazka o Malchishe-Kibalchishe):


Glisenti M1874

One of two revolvers of the spy Uncle 518 (Sergey Martinson) is a Glisenti M1874. This is very likely the same prop that is seen in several Dovzhenko Film Studios productions of 1950s-1960s.

Glisenti M1874 revolver - 10.35x20 mm
Uncle 518 with two revolvers: Glisenti and Smith & Wesson.
A good view of the Glisenti.
Another view of both revolvers.
The spy tries to intimidate the old villager.
A decent drawing of the Glisenti revolver on a film poster.

Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action

Another revolver of Uncle 518 is a kind of Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action revolver. This is not an original S&W production but rather a WWI era Spanish manufactured gun in .455 Webley (British contract) or 10.35mm Glisenti (Italian contract). Probably the same prop is seen in several Dovzhenko Film Studios productions of 1950s-1960s.

Italian Army issued version of S&W .44 DA revolver, produced by Orbea Hermanos in Eibar, Spain (also known as "F. Tettoni, Brescia" by the name of the importing company) - 10.35x20 mm
Uncle 518 with two revolvers: Glisenti and Smith & Wesson.
Another view of both revolvers.
The spy tries to intimidate the old villager.
The lanyard ring on the grip of the S&W revolver is seen.
Another view of the Smith & Wesson.


Luger P08

Bourgeoish officers, notably Chief Bourgeoish General (Dmitriy Kapka), carry Luger P08 pistols.

Luger P08 - 9x19mm
An officer at the right holds a Luger.
An officer (Aleksandr Tolstykh) carries a Luger holster.
The General brandishes two pistols, ordering his panically retreating soldiers to stop.

Rifles and Assault Rifles

Mosin Nagant M1891 Dragoon and M1891/30

The boys are armed with a mix of Mosin Nagant M1891/30 and Mosin Nagant M1891 Dragoon rifles (or pre-1935 version of M91/30 that has unhooded front sight).

Imperial Russian Mosin Nagant M1891 Dragoon - 7.62x54mm R
Soviet Mosin Nagant M1891/30 - 7.62x54mm R
In the opening scene the Red Army men fire a volley salute at the grave of Malchish-Kibalchish. One of the rifles has a hooded front sight and is definitly an M91/30. The rifles at the background are Karabiner 98k.
Kibalchish's father (Alfred Shestopalov) carries a rifle when he goes to war.
The Red Army cavalryman (Anatoli Yurchenko) appears in the village with the grievous news that the enemy defeats the Red troops on the border.
Kibalchish reloads his rifle.
A boy holds an M91/30 rifle with hooded front sight.
Boys prepate to repel the enemy attack.
Kibalchish fires his rifle.
Boys with rifles.
A boy reloads his rifle.
A boy aims the rifle with bayonet at Uncle 518.

Mosin Nagant M1891 Infantry

Some Mosin Nagant M1891 Infantry rifles are also seen.

Mosin Nagant M1891 Infantry - 7.62x54mm R
A boy holds an M91 Infantry rifle.
M91 rifles are seen at the right and at the left.
Kibalchish (in red shirt) holds an M91 Infantry rifle.

Mosin Nagant M1891/30 Sniper Rifle

Two Bourgeoish snipers are armed with Mosin Nagant M1891/30 Sniper Rifles. An M91/30 rifle with turned down bolt handle, like on the sniper version, but without the scope, is carried by a Red Army cavalryman (Anatoli Yurchenko) in the final scene.

Mosin Nagant M1891/30 Sniper Rifle with PU 3.5x sniper scope and down turned bolt handle - 7.62x54mm R
Two snipers aim at the red banner.
A close view of the sniper rifles.
The snipers, blinded by sunlight spots, fail to hit the target.
The Red cavalryman finds the body of Malchish-Kibalchish. The turned down bolt handle of his rifle is seen.
The barrel of the cavalryman's rifle is seen.

Karabiner 98k

Most Bourgeoish soldiers are armed with Karabiner 98k rifles. Many of the 98k are fitted with long Gewehr 98-style sword bayonets.

Karabiner 98k - 7.92x57mm Mauser. Manufactured in Germany, 1937.
Bourgeoish soldiers in human wave attack, holding Karabiner 98k rifles with attached bayonets. They carry rifles in strange manner - turned sideways.
A soldier on the car holds a 98k rifle.
Soldiers sturm the positions of Kibalchish's squad.
Several soldiers fall and drop their rifles.
A boy picks up a rifle. Note that the bolt is open.
Soldiers hold rifles with bayonets.
Soldiers hold rifles without bayonets.
A closeup of the barrels and bayonets in the scene when Kibalchish is led to execution. The rifle at the right has simplifed barrel bands.

Sturmgewehr 44

Many Bourgeoish soldiers are armed with Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles, without magazines, and some with Gewehr 98-style sword bayonets.

Sturmgewehr 44 - 7.92x33mm Kurz
A close view of an StG 44 with bayonet and without magazine. The image is blurry due to fast motion.
A standard bearer carries an StG 44 with bayonet.
A standard bearer in center carries an StG 44 without bayonet.
One of the soldiers in the human wave attack carries an StG 44 without bayonet.
Soldiers with Karabiner 98k and StG 44 rifles.
Soldiers with StG 44.
A closer view of an StG 44.
Guards with StG 44 with bayonets in the residence of the Head Bourgeoish.
A guard with StG 44 with bayonet in prison.


ZK Shotgun

In one scene Malchish-Kibalchish stands of the watchtower, armed with a single barreled shotgun that seems to be a ZK shotgun.

Izhmekh IZh-K - 16 Gauge. ZK, the direct predecessor of the IZh-K, looks nearly the same except for the lack of the rear iron sight and the groove on the stock.
Malchish-Kibalchish spots Uncle 518 who sets fire to a field of wheat. The spur lever on the trigger guard, common for the ZK/IZh series of the shotguns, can be seen.
Kibalchish fires at the arsonist.
He reloads the shotgun.
The moving hammer is seen.
He extracts the spent cartridge and is upset that the gun was loaded with salt rather than the shot.

Machine Guns

Maxim M1910/30

The boys use a Maxim M1910/30 machine gun.

Maxim M1910/30 - 7.62x54mmR
The Maxim, painted in red, in action.
A Maxim is seen in the armory.

Other Weapons

M1917 Chemical Hand Grenade

The large hand grenades, seen in the Red Army armory, are M1917 Chemical Hand Grenades. In the movie these grenades represent high-explosive ones. As the grenades are thrown by underage boys, they must be only empty shells, without inert fill.

Russian M1917 Chemical hand grenade
Malchish-Plokhish takes two crates with grenades from the armory but drops the half, being unable to tug heavy crates.
Plokhish carries two grenades on his belt.
A close view of Plokhish's grenades.
Grenades in the crate.

45mm 53-K AT Gun

The boys use two 45mm 53-K AT guns, painted in red.

M1937 (53-K) Soviet anti-tank gun - 45 mm (1.77 in)
The Bourgeoish General looks in his spyglass at the boys firing the 53-K gun.
Two 45-mm guns of Kibalchish's squad.


Mauser C96 Mockup

The bodyguards of the Head Bourgeoish carry wooden mockups of holstered Mauser C96 pistols. Such props can be seen in several Dovzhenko Film Studios productions, except in this movie they are painted in white.

Two guards carry mockup Mauser pistols.
It can be seen that the "grip" and the "holster" are a single wooden piece.

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