Taglines: They all loved her… too much.
Ivan Bibic returns to his Pittsburgh PA suburb after surviving a Japanse POW camp, causing regular nightmares. All the time he remained faithfully devoted to his childhood love, fellow ethnic Yugoslavian virgin Maria Bosic. She dates him again, thus ruining a virtual engagement to captain Al Griselli.
Against Ivan’s dad’s advice, they get married. But Ivan became psychologically impotent, feels unworthy of her and starts wondering, even looking for another girl. Meanwhile slick guitar-and-song-busker Clarence Butts moves in to South-Western PA, and seduces Maria.
Maria’s Lovers is a 1984 drama film directed by Andrei Konchalovsky and starring Nastassja Kinski, John Savage, and Robert Mitchum. The plot follows a soldier returning from World War II who marries the woman of his dreams, but he is unable to consummate his marriage ruining the couples chances of a shared happiness.
About the Story
In the spring of 1946, Ivan, an American soldier, returns home psychologically scarred after spending some time in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. Once back in his small Pennsylvania town, Ivan settles in, trying to put his life back together while living with his stoic peasant father.
Shortly after his arrival, Ivan looks for his childhood sweetheart, Maria, a beautiful woman who is taking care of her old deaf grandmother. However, he is disappointed to find Maria in the arms of Al, a captain. Ivan’s father thinks that Maria is too good for his son, but perhaps good enough for himself. He pairs his son with Mrs Wynic, a flirty neighbor. Ivan has sex with her, but he is tormented by the traumas of the war. He tells her that it was his dreams about Maria that allowed him to survive the prison camp.
Ivan is given a hero’s welcoming by his community, formed by immigrants from Yugoslavia. During the celebrations, when Al goes to dance with one of Maria’s friends, Ivan grabs the opportunity to get close to her. Together they leave the party in his motorbike, heading for their favorite spot of years ago.
He gives her a pair of earrings that he planted there for her, before leaving for the war. The next morning, Al is furious and breaks his relationship with Maria. Ivan’s goal is fulfilled and he marries Maria in an orthodox ceremony, but his dream of a happiness shared with Maria is soon broken. Having adored Maria for so long from afar, now that they are together, Ivan is unable to consummate their marriage, disturbing their happiness.
Maria works as a nurse and would like to have children. Deeply in love with Ivan, she has to deal with her increasing sexual frustration. On the advice of Clarence, a drifter singer passing by the town, Ivan reaffirms his sense of manliness with Mrs Wynic, with whom he is not impotent. Maria discovers Ivan’s infidelity, and a terrible argument ensues between them. Al invites the couple to his engagement party to Maria’s girlfriend.
In the middle of this gathering, Al breaks off his engagement, realizing that he is still in love with Maria. Al and Ivan have a confrontation. Ivan offers to let Al have Maria, but to demonstrate his own love for Maria, he puts his hand in a burning stove. Maria, very much in love with Ivan, tells Al that she does not love him.
Maria heals Ivan’s hand, but the unhappiness between them increases further. She is pursued by Clarence who tries to seduce her, but she remains faithful to Ivan and resist Clarence’s advances. One day, unexpectedly, Ivan ups and leaves town by train. Moving to a new city, he starts work in a slaughter house, making new friends. Left to her own devices, Maria finally succumbs to Clarence’s advances, but immediately vehemently rejects him, consequently getting pregnant. Maria searches out Ivan and tells him of her pregnancy and of the death of her grandmother, but Ivan is now cruelly indifferent towards her.
Maria’s Lovers (1985)
Directed by: Andrey Konchalovskiy
Starring: Nastassja Kinski, John Savage, Keith Carradine, Robert Mitchum, Anita Morris, Bud Cort, Karen Young, Tracy Nelson, John Goodman
Screenplay by: Gérard Brach, Andrey Konchalovskiy
Production Design by: Jeannine Oppewall
Cinematography by: Juan Ruiz Anchía
Film Editing by: Humphrey Dixon
Costume Design by: Durinda Wood
Set Decoration by: Lisa Fischer
Art Direction by: David Brisbin
Music by: Gary Malkin
Distributed by: Cannon Group
Release Date: January 5, 1985