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The story of a man (Andrey Sokolov) whose life was ruthlessly crippled by World War II. His wife and daughters were killed during the bombing of his village, he spent some time as a ... See full summary »
Two young scientists are exploring new fields of nuclear physics. Dmitry Gusev and Ilya Kulikov are good friends, but rivals in love. Dmitry marries Lyolya and they live happily together. ... See full summary »
In 1919 workers arrive by train in the middle of the Taiga in order to construct a town. They fell trees and unload bricks from the train for that purpose. The newly arrived hero Vasilij is... See full summary »
Antonio is a retired aviator from the Portuguese colonial wars,he falls in love with a member of the resistance against the dictatorship of Antonio d Oliveira Salazar ( Ornella Muti) . He ... See full summary »
The story of a man who routinely dodges all responsibility, bemoans fate, spends his days boozing, and refuses to work. The act of playing long-lost father to a pretty teenager spurs him to turn over a new leaf.
High schoolers Ksenia and Boris begin to understand that the feelings they share are more than just a friendship. But their first timid sentiment became apparent to people around them. They... 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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