MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,761 this week

Balalaika (1939)

6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 172 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

A Russian prince disguised as a worker and a cafe singer secretly involved in revolutionary activities fall in love.

Director:

(as Reinhold Schunzel)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $6.99 on Amazon Instant Video

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 02 Mar 2012
 
list image
a list of 531 titles
created 14 Mar 2012
 
list image
a list of 104 titles
created 01 Jun 2012
 
a list of 2279 titles
created 02 Apr 2014
 
a list of 11 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Balalaika" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Balalaika (1939)

Balalaika (1939) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Balalaika.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In order to avoid a prearranged marriage, a rebellious French princess sheds her identity and escapes to colonial New Orleans, where she finds an unlikely true love.

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Frank Morgan
Rose-Marie (1936)
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Opera singer (Marie de Flor) seeks out fugitive brother in the Canadian wilderness. During her trek, she meets a Canadian mountie (Sgt. Bruce) who is also searching for her brother. Romance... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Reginald Owen
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Anita Halstead, swept off her feet by magician Arturo, finds the results less than magical.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Loretta Young, David Niven, Hugh Herbert
The Firefly (1937)
Certificate: Passed History | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nina Maria Azara is the beautiful and alluring singing spy for Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. Her mission is to seduce French Officers, in order for them to reveal Napolean's intentions ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Allan Jones, Warren William
New Moon (1940)
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Marianne de Beaumaniour is on her way to New Orleans from Paris to inspect the plantation she inherited from her uncle. On the ship with her are bondsmen, that are to be sold for slavery. ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Mary Boland
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Are we watching a remake of 'it happened one night'?

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: June Allyson, Jack Lemmon, Charles Bickford
Adventure | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The Invisible Man's grandson uses his secret formula to spy on Nazi Germany.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Ilona Massey, Jon Hall, Peter Lorre
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An ambitious young executive chooses a loveless marriage and an unfulfilling personal life in exchange for a successful Wall Street career.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Myrna Loy
Bitter Sweet (1940)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In order to avoid an arranged marriage with a man she doesn't love, Sarah Millick runs off to Vienna with her music teacher, Carl Linden, whom she does love. They are married. In Vienna, ... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, George Sanders
A Lost Lady (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two days before Marian and Ned are to be married, he is killed by the husband of a woman he was seeing on the side. Marian becomes withdrawn and they send her to the Canadian Rockies for ... See full summary »

Directors: Alfred E. Green, Phil Rosen
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Frank Morgan, Ricardo Cortez
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Crown Prince is to marry the Princess Brenda of Irania, but the Princess declines the arranged marriage. Relieved, Florizel heads for London, with the Colonel, where he seeks adventure ... See full summary »

Director: J. Walter Ruben
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Frank Morgan
By Your Leave (1934)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

In the midst of a mid-life crisis, Henry Smith convinces his wife, Ellen, that they should take separate one-week vacations, with no questions asked. He tries to sow some wild oats with a ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Corrigan
Stars: Frank Morgan, Genevieve Tobin, Neil Hamilton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ilona Massey ...
Lydia Pavlovna Marakova
...
Nicki Popoff (as Charlie Ruggles)
...
Ivan Danchenoff
...
Prof. Marakov
...
Gen. Karagin
...
Masha (Lydia's maid)
Dalies Frantz ...
Dimitri Marakov
Walter Woolf King ...
Capt. Michael Sibirsky
Phillip Terry ...
Lt. Smirnoff
Frederick Worlock ...
Ramensky
Abner Biberman ...
Leo Proplinski
Arthur W. Cernitz ...
Capt. Sergei Pavloff
...
Lt. Nikitin
...
Slaski (bartender)
Edit

Storyline

Prince Peter Karagin, an officer in the Cossack army, sees and hears lovely Lydia Marakova in the cafe Balalaika in St. Petersburg and wants to meet her. When he hears she likes to fraternize with a lower class of people, he gives a student 50 rubles for his clothing. She eventually accepts his persistant presence and they fall in love. Peter uses his influence to get Lydia an audition at the opera house, where she is hired and is scheduled to perform later. The Prince, however, is not aware that she, her father and brother are part of a revolutionary movement. Their mutual deception is quickly shattered when Peter and the Cossacks violently break up a revolutionary rally in the public square, where Lydia's brother is killed. Soon afterwards, she learns that the rebels plan to assassinate Peter and his uncle, General Karagin, at the opera house on opening night, and still in love, she warns Peter not to go to the performance. He cancels the reservations, but General Karagin decides to... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Balalaikka  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Prince Peter Karagin, aka Peter Teranda: Don't you love someone?
Lydia Pavlovna Marakova: Is that your business?
See more »

Connections

Featured in From the Ends of the Earth (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Magic of Your Love
Written by Gus Kahn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A well-made underrated musical with some good songs and some fine sequences.
22 December 1998 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

I am generally a soft touch for movies that have fictional characters in a well-known historical setting, and this one is no exception. Based on a 1936 underrated musical that opened in London, and set on the eve of both World War I and the Russian revolution, it involves a Russian Prince, Nelson Eddy, and a singer and revolutionary, Ilona Massey, who deceive each other as to who they really are, and fall in love. But even after they discover their true identities, they remain in love until separated by the war and then the revolution.

The sets and costumes are first-rate and director Reinhold Schunzel keeps the film moving at a nice pace and handles the crowd scenes extremely well. Mild comedy is provided by Charlie Ruggles and Frank Morgan. Although I'm not much of a fan of Nelson Eddy - he's somewhat bland in his acting - he does have a good voice, so I did enjoy lots of his singing. The stirring "Ride, Cossack, Ride" while the Cossacks are on horseback riding towards the camera, which keeps moving back to avoid a collision, is beautifully photographed. His rendition of "Silent Night" in German, while in the trenches during WW I, answering the Austrian enemy soldiers singing of that song, was a wonderful tender sequence. Eddy also sings the Toreador song from Bizet's "Carmen" which will surely will be liked by opera fans.

But I loved best the last 15 minutes or so, when the Russian emigrés who have gathered in Paris after the war, meet at the Paris version of the Balalaika Cafe to celebrate the Russian New Year. Instead of the joy you would expect on such an occasion, you see the sadness in everyone's eyes at having had to leave their homeland. Frank Morgan sings about his "Land of Dreams," and it moved me to tears.


13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Balalaika coronahunter
When will this be available on DVD? Julie Southwell
Excellent Nelson Eddy Vehicle Two-Spacer
Discuss Balalaika (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?