In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
Archive footage from Potemkin (1925), with English dialogue dubbed in by American actors, is combined with new footage to tie together the brave stand of Odessa Russian guerrilla bands of ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
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
At the beginning of the color dancing sequence, the many dances jump and fall in front of the Tsar. At the end of this sequence, one of the falling dancers pushes the wig off the head of Vladimir, as he lays on the floor apparently in a drunken state. See more »
Ivan the Terrible was Sergei M. Eisenstein's pet project for years and was to be a trilogy. Viewed alone, part 1 is a pretty good film. Part two is better. But only viewed together do they achieve true greatness. The over-stylized first part may be overwhelming at first but if you follow the whole saga, you'll understand one of the more subtle underlying themes: Eisenstein wanted the actors to evolve physically, their mannerisms resembling those of wild beasts (Ivan is an eagle, his bodyguard a bear...), the corruption of power, turning men into beasts. The character of Ivan at first seems far too romantically portrayed, but we later discover that it is the result of his romantic view of himself. As some of his past and his darker side are revealed, he seems by turns pitiful and paranoid, even cruel, but this is all so well written and played out (in a very unusual way, relying on Silent-era expressionism, though perhaps that was a fortunate "mistake" Eisenstein made, rather that a carefully thought plan), that it makes Ivan the Terrible one of the most human monsters ever to be put to film (Stalin even feared it for he found Ivan to resemble him far too much!). The wars and the intrigues are mostly subplot material, and the picture is mostly a psychological journey. One might also add that it is one of the very best of its kind!
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