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 16,747 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?


This movie was Andrei Tarkovsky's first major film. See more »


In the famous "Well Scene" Ivan's mother says "If A well is too deep you can see a star in it even in the day time". While speaking she is standing on the left hand side of Ivan but when their reflection is shown in water she is standing on the right hand side. Lateral Inversion has not been depicted correctly. Please have a look. See more »


Ivan: Mamma, there's a cuckoo up there!
See more »


Referenced in Life as a Dream (2007) See more »


Ne velyat Mashe
[Song played on the gramophone. English translation: "Masha is not allowed beyond the river".]
See more »

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User Reviews

Childhood Interrupted
6 December 2006 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

The first full-length feature film by the great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky caused a sensation when it was released and shown at Venice Film Festival in 1962 where it won the Golden Lion. The world had not seen such a powerful motion picture about war and what it does to the youngest and weakest - the children. It is a bleak, haunting and horrifying portrait of lost innocence and the childhood that was interrupted the very day the boy's family was murdered. Although Ivan survived physically, he was changed forever, not a boy but a man who looked in the eye of triumphant death and horror. The film introduces young Nikolai (Kolya) Burlyaev in the fascinating performance as Ivan. "Ivan's Childhood" is a screen adaptation of the story by a Russian writer Vladimir Bogomolov "Ivan" which is a fiction story but it is based on the real facts. Millions young boys and girls perished during the endless days, months, and years of the worst war of the last century. Bogomolov fought as a soldier during the WWII. He was only 15 years old but he had forged his papers - added two years, dropped from his school and joined the Army. He had been seriously wounded three times but survived and finished the war in Berlin - the 19 year old soldier with six medals for courage and heroism. He was a very good writer and I love his books "Moment of Truth" ("In the August of 1944"), and "Zosya" that were also adapted to very good movies in Russia.

24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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