Eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre... See full summary »
'The Role' is about a brilliant actor in revolutionary Russia who takes on the greatest role of his life - the role of another man. Influenced by the ideas of symbolism and the Silver Age, ... See full summary »
The hero of the film is an insurance agent who is also a car thief. He steals cars only from various crooks and never from the good people. Then he sells those stolen cars and gives all the... See full summary »
At the outset of the War, Alexei,an airman, marries Sasha Lvova, a young factory worker. One day, Alexei does not return from his mission and he is thought to be dead. Some time after the end of hostilities though, he reappears : taken prisoner, he has managed to survive. But everybody besides Sasha rejects him;to make matters worse, he is expelled from the party. Alexei sinks into despair and alcoholism. Fortunately, Stalin dies and his lot improves at last. Written by
Clear Skies labors under several awkward Soviet film necessities of its period, but it succeeds in creating a convincing story that--unlike Chukhrai's mediocre Ballad of a Soldier--actually forces the viewer to think about the unpleasant realities of recent Soviet history. Chukhrai's skill in handling actors is evident in both movies, but builds to greater impact in Clear Skies. The camera work in Clear Skies is also far superior to the earlier movie--the scene with the train full of soldiers passing through the crowd of crying women is more skillfully shot than anything any American cinematographer was doing at that period. Unfortunately, Chukhrai's special effects for Clear Skies were laughably bad; he would have done better to leave the toy airplanes out of it.
My own suspicion is that critics deem Ballad of a Soldier a classic because it used amateur actors and was shot in black and white, while they overlook the much better Clear Skies because of garish color, relentlessly photogenic characters and soap opera-ish ending make it seem--to them--like merely a somewhat tackier Hollywood film. In fact, it beats a great deal of what Hollywood was doing at that time, in spite of its political baggage.
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