Began his career as an actor, editor and cameraman at the Tiflis studios. Kalatozov's second feature as a director, "The Salt of Svanetia" (1930), was considered a landmark of early Russian cinema, but his third, "The Nail in the Boot" (1932), was banned by the Soviet authorities for "negativism." His output was sporadic during the 1930s and 40s (partly due to his being consigned to a series of administrative posts) but he earned widespread international acclaim for "The Cranes Are Flying" (1957). A poignant WWII drama featuring a fine central performance from Tatiana Samoilova and some rather gymnastic camera techniques, "Cranes" was a co-winner of the best film award at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival. Kalatozov's subsequent work has been relatively unexceptional.