Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to speak or walk, and bearing a strange note;... See full summary »
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
Historical evocation of Ludwig, king of Bavaria, from his crowning in 1864 until his death in 1886, as a romantic hero. Fan of Richard Wagner, betrayed by him, in love with his cousin ... See full summary »
Action opens in November of 1793, with Danton returning to Paris from his country retreat upon learning that the Committee for Public Safety, under Robespierre's incitement, has begun a ... See full summary »
In 1547, Ivan IV (1530-1584), archduke of Moscow, crowns himself Tsar of Russia and sets about reclaiming lost Russian territory. In scenes of his coronation, his wedding to Anastasia, his campaign against the Tartars in Kazan, his illness when all think he will die, recovery, campaigns in the Baltic and Crimea, self-imposed exile in Alexandrov, and the petition of Muscovites that he return, his enemies among the boyars threaten his success. Chief among them are his aunt, who wants to advance the fortunes of her son, a simpleton, and Kurbsky, a warrior prince who wants both power and the hand of Anastasia. Ivan deftly plays to the people to consolidate his power. Written by
I have two comments to make about some disparaging remarks made by other contributors: First, it is naive to condemn this film as "propaganda" -- GONE WITH THE WIND is all propaganda about how great the Old South was and how great the Ku Klux Klan was. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is propaganda about how heroic and clever the English were and how corrupt the Turks were. DR STRANGELOVE is all propaganda, too. THE ALAMO and other John Wayne films are propaganda about how great the conquest of the West was, how heroic the ethnic cleansing against the Indians was, and how corrupt the Mexicans were. So spare me your hypocritical condemnation of this film as "Stalinist Propaganda".
Secondly, what definitions can there be for whether a film is "great" or not? I suggest the use of two criteria: (A) Is viewing the film multiple times worthwhile and interesting? (B) Does viewing the film represent a memorable life experience? With these criteria, it does not matter whether the film is "dated" or the acting is "overdone" or whether the sound is flawed or in this or that quality. I certainly find IVAN THE TERRIBLE more interesting the more times I view it. On the other hand, there are movies that I consider "great" even though I refuse to watch them ever again, because I found them unbearably sad -- recent examples are SCHINDLER'S LIST and MILLION DOLLAR BABY.
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