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Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944)
"Ivan Groznyy" (original title)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,605 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 32 critic

During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.

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(as Sergei Eisenstein)
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Title: Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944)

Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lyudmila Tselikovskaya ...
Serafima Birman ...
Mikhail Nazvanov ...
Mikhail Zharov ...
Amvrosi Buchma ...
Mikhail Kuznetsov ...
Pavel Kadochnikov ...
Andrei Abrikosov ...
Aleksandr Mgebrov ...
Maksim Mikhaylov ...
Archdeacon
Vladimir Balashov ...
Piotr Volynetz
...
Nikola, Simpleton Beggar
Semyon Timoshenko ...
Kaspar von Oldenbock, Livonian ambassador
Aleksandr Rumnyov ...
The Stranger
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 March 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ivan the Terrible, Part I  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Took over 3 years to make. See more »

Goofs

Amount of coins in the bowls that are showered over Ivan at the end of the coronation scene. See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Le contrôle de l'univers (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Perfect propaganda parallels
18 March 2007 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

I've seen this a number of times now so it's difficult for me to remember having trouble getting into the stylised form of acting and by 1944 dated expressionistic cinematography that other viewers might have. First time of watching it was on UK TV over 20 years ago with Part 2 and a documentary called Part 3 containing the remaining extant scenes, and I loved it. I'm dead against arty farty pretentious movies and am always aware that being obscure does not automatically make a film a classic, but this really is a classic of its kind. It was Eisenstein's best work (imho) a rallying call to all of the disparate inhabitants of Mother Russia to work and fight together, which was ordered by Stalin and who was pleased with the similarities – I bet he was on tenterhooks waiting for Ivan to go insane though.

Ivan is crowned Tsar of all the Russias and proceeds to drag the country into the 16th century, disposing of external enemies in the form of Tartars, starting a long war against Livonia and limiting the influence of the antagonistic aristocracy, the boyars. The acting is intensely melodramatic, with endless sinister sidelong glances taken from acute camera angles and Ivan's pointy beard shown to good advantage, which to people not paying much attention can probably be mirth-inducing. But this was pulse-quickening propaganda for the new Russian working class to comprehend, not Artheads decades later - Eisenstein did it so memorably that like Potemkin it's still spellbinding today. Otoh he borrowed extensively from Snow White too for some of most incredible shadowy images in here, and his whole technique hadn't moved on from silent film. The use of the b&w nitrate film, costumes, sets and angular ugly faces are wondrous to behold and Prokofiev's stirring music glues it all together triumphantly.

All in all, a knockout film with faults but which still defies and will survive all criticism.


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