The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
"Letyat zhuravli" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  21 March 1960 (USA)
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 9,601 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 50 critic

Veronica plans a rendezvous with her lover, Boris, at the bank of river, only for him to be drafted into World War II shortly thereafter.



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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 4 wins. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Tatyana Samoylova ...
Veronika (as T. Samoylova)
Aleksey Batalov ...
Boris (as A. Batalov)
Vasiliy Merkurev ...
Fyodor Ivanovich (as V. Merkuryev)
Aleksandr Shvorin ...
Mark (as A. Shvorin)
Svetlana Kharitonova ...
Irina (as S. Kharitonova)
Konstantin Kadochnikov ...
Volodya (as K. Nikitin)
Valentin Zubkov ...
Stepan (as V. Zubkov)
Antonina Bogdanova ...
Babushka (as A. Bogdanova)
Boris Kokovkin ...
Chernov (as B. Kokovkin)
Ekaterina Kupriyanova ...
Anna Mikhajlovna (as Ye. Kupriyanova)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Valentina Ananina ...
(as V. Ananina)
Olga Dzisko ...
(as O. Dzisko)
Klarina Frolova-Vorontsova ...
(as K. Frolova)
Leonid Knyazev ...
(as L. Knyazev)
Georgiy Kulikov ...
(as Yu. Kulikov)


Veronica and Boris are walking in the streets of Moscow and they love each other. Veronica is laughing, cause they are happy together this morning. They see some cranes in the sky. When arriving to Veronica's house they talk about a rendezvous at the bank of the river. And the 2nd World War begins in Moscow. Boris works in a factory and he hasn't got time to speak with Veronica. He has to go to the war ... Written by Kornel Osvart <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


So Much to Love - So Little Time See more »


Drama | Romance | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

21 March 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cranes Are Flying  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the film was released in the Soviet Union, it caused a sensation amongst audiences weaned on propaganda fare. For the first time, audiences were able to weep at the pain of losing millions of their population in the war. It was also the first time that subjects like draft dodging, war profiteering and the black market had been expressed on film. See more »


[first lines]
Boris: Wait, squirrel! Here. Put it on.
See more »


Featured in I am Cuba, the Siberian Mammoth (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

truly magnificent
23 January 2004 | by (Leusden, Holland) – See all my reviews

The plot of this movie is set against the most terrible war in history of mankind: the violent clash between Adolf Hitler's Germany and Soviet Russia, from 1941-'45.

With the western areas of their country thoroughly devastated, and 20 to 30 million Russian people killed, the vibes of this conflict can be felt in Russia up to the present day. Let alone back in 1957, when memories were still very fresh and painful.

This very black setting strongly contrasts with the fine and coherent style of 'Letjat zhuravli's' beautiful shots. Its simple story deals with human behaviour in times of war: bravery, love, patriotism, weakness, cowardice and corruption. All beautifully tied together by a toy-squirrel.

Add to this the truly magnificent acting, and it's easy to understand why this movie is so famous. Really, one of the very best ever made.

33 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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