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
His wife dead from poisoning and his chief warrior, Kurbsky, defected to the Poles, Ivan is lonely as he pursues a unified Russia with no foreign occupiers. Needing friendship, he brings to court Kolychev, now Philip the monk, and makes him metropolitan bishop of Moscow. Philip, however, takes his cues from the boyars and tries to bend Ivan to the will of the church. Ivan faces down Philip and lets loose his private force, the Oprichniks, on the boyars. Led by the Tsar's aunt, Euphrosyne, the boyers plot to assassinate Ivan and enthrone her son, Vladimir. At a banquet, Ivan mockingly crowns Vladimir and sends him in royal robes into the cathedral where the assassin awaits. Written by
This film was withheld by Soviet authorities by order of Joseph Stalin, since this film, dealing with Ivan's slide into madness and the tyranny of the Oprichnina, did not properly mythologize Ivan IV Grozny to Stalin's satisfaction. It was not finally released until 10 years after the deaths of director Sergei M. Eisenstein and Stalin. See more »
Like the first part of the movie "Boyarsky Zagovor" (Conspiracy of the Boyars)is indeed a film about Stalin (who was a great admirer of Ivan the IV.) and the (seem-to-be)mechanics of power itself. The ideology, which is acted out (or reflected?!) stays much the same: one people/one leader is the ideal and necessary state of the (russian) nation, enabling it to take up with the other nations ("the Germans")The terror on the boyars and the elimination of some of them reflects Stalin's paranoiac action on comrades, subaltern party-members with the help of the "oprichniki" (here: Beriya and consorts). For instance, once in the movie, Ivan makes 'one of his best friends' the metropolit of Moscow, but in the same sequence is persuaded by the oprichniki's leader to kill his relevant to make him scared of Ivan's power. Because of this illustration of paranoiac stalinist mechanism, I can't agree on the popular notion, that the second movie is not as good as the first. One more reason: the most startling child actor ever: Erik Pyryev as the young tsar, ordering the chief boyar to be lashed.
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