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Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1945)

Ivan Groznyy (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 8 March 1947 (USA)
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.

Director:

(as Sergei Eisenstein)

Writer:

(as Sergei Eisenstein)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Serafima Birman ...
Boyarina Efrosinia Staritskaya
Mikhail Nazvanov ...
Prince Andrei Kurbsky
Mikhail Zharov ...
Czar's Guard Malyuta Skuratov
Amvrosi Buchma ...
Czar's Guard Aleksei Basmanov
Mikhail Kuznetsov ...
Fyodor Basmanov
...
Vladimir Andreyevich Staritsky
Andrei Abrikosov ...
Boyar Fyodor Kolychev
Aleksandr Mgebrov ...
Novgorod's Archbishop Pimen
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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

8 March 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ivan the Terrible, Part I  »

Filming Locations:


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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Weller drew his inspiration for the movement of Robocop (1987) from Nikolay Cherkasov's performance of Ivan the Terrible (1945). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Czar Ivan IV: The knife will slice through those who raise the hand over Moscow.
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Crazy Credits

The movie starts with the words: This movie is about a man who in the 16th century first united our country, about a Moscow prince, who in specific separations and self-interested prince-hoods created one powerful state, about a commander who raised the military honor of our fatherland in the east and in the west, about a leader who first took care of the solution of all these great things himself. Wreath of the czar of whole Russia. See more »

Connections

Featured in Sergei Eisenstein: Autobiography (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perfect propaganda parallels
18 March 2007 | by 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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