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Ballad of a Soldier (1959)
"Ballada o soldate" (original title)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  26 December 1960 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 6,098 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 34 critic

During World War II, 19 year old soldier Alyosha gets a medal as a reward for a heroic act at the front. Instead of this medal he asks for a few days leave to visit his mother and repair ... See full summary »

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Title: Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vladimir Ivashov ...
Pvt. Alyosha Skvortsov (as Volodya Ivashov)
Zhanna Prokhorenko ...
Shura
Antonina Maksimova ...
The mother
Nikolay Kryuchkov ...
The general
Evgeniy Urbanskiy ...
Vasya (the invalid)
Elza Lezhdey ...
The invalid's wife (as E. Lezhdej)
Aleksandr Kuznetsov ...
Gavrilkin (the train sentry) (as A. Kuznetsov)
Evgeniy Teterin ...
The lieutenant ('A terrible beast') (as Ye. Teterin)
Valentina Markova ...
Liza (Pavlov's wife) (as V. Markova)
Marina Kremnyova ...
Zoya (neighbor girl) (as M. Kremnnyova)
Vladimir Pokrovskiy ...
Pavlov's invalid father (as V. Pokrovsky)
Georgiy Yumatov ...
Sergeant giving bars of soap (as G. Yumatov)
Gennadiy Yukhtin ...
Pvt. Seryozha Pavlov (as G. Yukhtin)
Valentina Telegina ...
Old woman truck driver (as V. Telegina)
Lev Borisov ...
Joking soldier on train (as L. Borisov)
Edit

Storyline

During World War II, 19 year old soldier Alyosha gets a medal as a reward for a heroic act at the front. Instead of this medal he asks for a few days leave to visit his mother and repair the roof of their home. On the train eastwards he meets Shura who is on her way to her aunt. In those few days traveling together they fall in love. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

medal | love | mother | soldier | train | See All (42) »

Taglines:

From the very pages of life itself! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ballad of a Soldier  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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User Reviews

 
"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."
5 March 2007 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic" is the famous quote by Stalin. In this movie we see a marvellous illustration of the sentiment.

Don't worry; I didn't spoil anything. We learn from the opening narration that this is the story of a fallen hero. With that in mind, the atmosphere of impending tragedy colours the entire film despite the film's rather charming presentation. It's a wonderful irony, because the director opens with such a powerful & nihilistic statement, but then he follows with a sweet and inspiring presentation which you might even call "innocent".

I'm not exactly a fan of war movies, but I don't consider this to be one at all. There are very few details about the war, no politics, no propaganda. Essentially you can replace the Russian uniforms with British, German or Japanese, and the story would remain the same--"The Ballad of a Soldier". Oddly enough, it's the compelling portrayal of rustic life (which he encounters along his journey) that provides the backbone and theme of this film, a very human story.

It reminds me of the Italian classic "Bicycle Thieves" as well as the Japanese masterpiece "Ikuru" by Kurosawa. Each scene packs a lot of heart, and the grand finale brings it all together poetically and artistically. I won't mention any names, but I sure wish certain other artsy Russian directors could be as lucid and authentic in their presentations.

One more thing... I can't end this review without mentioning the SUPERB MUSIC. The composer is listed as Mihkail Ziv, but IMDb offers no biographical info on him. The melody is powerful and epic while being traditional and intimate at the same time. It really mirrors the theme of the film perfectly: things of great importance come in simple packages.

This movie gets 9 stars from me, which is about the highest rating I ever give. See it if you ever get the chance.


18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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one of the best war movies ever richsparta
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