Ivan's Childhood (1962)
"Ivanovo detstvo" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, War  |  27 June 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 16,754 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 63 critic

In WW2, twelve year old Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev works for the Soviet army as a scout behind the German lines and strikes a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers.


(as Andrey Tarkovskiy) , (uncredited)


(story) (as V. Bogomolov) , (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Nikolay Burlyaev ...
Ivan (as Kolya Burlyaev)
Valentin Zubkov ...
Kholin (as V. Zubkov)
Evgeniy Zharikov ...
Galtsev (as Ye. Zharikov)
Stepan Krylov ...
Katasonov (as S. Krylov)
Nikolay Grinko ...
Gryaznov (as N. Grinko)
Dmitri Milyutenko ...
Old Man (as D. Milyutenko)
Valentina Malyavina ...
Masha (as V. Malyavina)
Irina Tarkovskaya ...
Ivan's Mother (as I. Tarkovskaya)
Soldier with glasses (as A. Konchalovskiy)
Ivan Savkin ...
(as I. Savkin)
Vladimir Marenkov ...
(as V. Marenkov)
Vera Miturich ...


During World War II, 12-year old Ivan works as a spy on the eastern front. The small Ivan can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information. Three Soviet officers try to take care of this boy-child. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ivan's Childhood  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The artist mentioned by Kholin to Masha is Vasily Ivanovich Surikov (1848-1916). Surikov is noted for his paintings of large-scale historical subjects. See more »


When Kholin and Galtsev take Ivan across the river in the boat, a tree into the water falls near them. It is supposed to be because of the military action taking place, but it can be seen that the base of the tree has been sawn across in a straight line. See more »


Ivan: Mamma, there's a cuckoo up there!
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Ne velyat Mashe
[Song played on the gramophone. English translation: "Masha is not allowed beyond the river".]
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User Reviews

Not perfect, but still a great film
22 January 2002 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

With this, I have now seen all seven of Andrei Tarkovsky's features. I still have to see Steamroller and Violin, his student film. From a directorial standpoint, Ivan's Childhood is Tarkovsky's weakest film. It does not contain the kinds of things we associate with Tarkosky the auteur. If I had seen this when it first appeared, I would have definitely been impressed with it. But with Andrei Rublev, Tarkovsky created one of the best films ever made, a label that Ivan's Childhood is not likely to ever receive. Still, it is a great film with several great scenes. The problem is that Tarkovsky took this film over from another director. He didn't plan it. His major contributions were the several dream sequences, which are the best parts of the film (especially the one where Ivan and his sister are riding in the back of an apple truck when it is raining). Besides these dream sequences, there are several other good sequences and at least one other great one (the scene I refer to here is the one in the birch forest with Masha). The final sequence is beautiful and it brought me to tears. 9/10.

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