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Alexander Nevsky (1938)

Aleksandr Nevskiy (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Biography, Drama | 22 March 1939 (USA)
The story of how a great Russian prince led a ragtag army to battle an invading force of Teutonic Knights.

Directors:

(as S. Eisenstein), (as D. Vasilyev)

Writers:

(as S. Eisenstein), (as P. Pavlenko)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Aleksandr Nevsky (as N. Cherkasov)
Nikolai Okhlopkov ...
Vasili Buslai (as N. Okhlopkov)
Andrei Abrikosov ...
Gavrilo Oleksich (as A. Abrikosov)
Dmitriy Orlov ...
Vasili Novikov ...
Pavsha - Governor of Pskov (as V. Novikov)
Nikolai Arsky ...
Domash Tverdislavich - a Novgorod Boyar (as N. Arsky)
Varvara Massalitinova ...
Valentina Ivashova ...
Aleksandra Danilova ...
Vasilisa - a Maid of Pskov (as A. Danilova)
Vladimir Yershov ...
Von Balk - Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (as V. Yershov)
Sergei Blinnikov ...
Tverdilo - Traitorous Mayor of Pskov (as S. Blinnikov)
Ivan Lagutin ...
Anani - a Monk (as I. Lagutin)
Lev Fenin ...
The Archbishop (as L. Fenin)
Naum Rogozhin ...
The Black-Hooded Monk (as N. Rogozhin)
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Storyline

It is the 13th century, and Russia is overrun by foreign invaders. A Russian knyaz', or prince, Alexander Nevsky, rallies the people to form a ragtag army to drive back an invasion by the Teutonic knights. This is a true story based on the actual battle at a lake near Novgorod. Written by Gene Volovich <volovich@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The culminating triumph in the career of the man who made "Potemkin" and "Ten Days That Shook the World." Nikolai Cherkassov, in the title role, heads a cast of thousands. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alexander Nevsky  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Propaganda 3 anti-German/Nazi: the symbol on the back of the gloves of the Archbishop is reminiscent of both Christian symbolism and of the swastika; some of the Teutonic figures closest to the tent chapel display crossed daggers on their tunics reminiscent of a swastika; many of the Teutonic knights carry flags and shields or wear clothes emblazoned with a figure resembling the imperial German eagle (the coat of arms of the Order of Teutonic Knights also incorporate a similar eagle); the Archbishop bears a minimally disguised swastika on his mitre/ headdress during the battle; many of the Teutonic foot soldiers wear helmets reminiscent of the German army of World War II; the treachery of the knight who kills Master Armourer despite having surrendered to him. See more »

Goofs

Dietlieb, one of the Teutonic knights leaders, is shown as wearing a helmet with an open had on the top. A knight wearing this helmet is killed during the initial part of the battle, but the same knight is later seen together with the Grand Master and other leaders when the knights withdraw and regroup and is also seen to drown when the ice gives way. See more »

Quotes

Gavrilo Oleksich: [to Ignat] Vasily's thinking of marriage.
Ignat - the Master Armorer: The nanny goat's in the yard and the billy goat wants in!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bolshoi Ballet: Ivan the Terrible (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

One of Eisenstein's best...
26 April 2001 | by (College Station, TX, USA) – See all my reviews

Like many of Eisenstein's other works, "Aleksandr Nevsky" is a beautifully made and well-written propaganda piece. Even today, it stands on its own with a solid story and incredible action scenes. No one did an epic battle better than Eisenstein ("October" and "Ivan the Terrible"), and the giant battle on the frozen lake in "Nevsky" ranks up there as one of his best.

Just as important to the film as Eisenstein's script and visuals is the masterful score by Prokofiev. Fortunately, it has been rerecorded for the most recent video release and the new soundtrack adds incalcuable depth and power to the story on the screen. In my opinion, the film's score is simply the best ever composed for a film. It fits the film perfectly, both during the film's intense action scenes and the lingering moments of reflection. If for no other reason, one should see this film to hear one of the 20th century's greatest composer's best works.

The story is true (well, as true as events from the 1200s can be accurately recreated) and simple, but powerful. Despite its heavy-handed Russian/Soviet patriotism, the film succeeds in telling a compelling story. When one looks at the events unfolding when the film was made, it becomes even more of a masterpiece.

No, "Nevsky" doesn't have the flashy visuals or super-handsome stars of a modern war epic, but it still ranks of one of the most interesting films in my book. For fans of Eisenstein or classic cinema, it is an absolute must-see. And for people who want to see the Soviet propaganda machine firing on all cylinders, check it out as well.


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