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They Fought for Their Country (1975)
"Oni srazhalis za rodinu" (original title)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,009 users  
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In July 1942, in the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating soviet troops cross the bridge. ... See full summary »

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Title: They Fought for Their Country (1975)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Vasiliy Shukshin ...
Piotr Lopakhin
Vyacheslav Tikhonov ...
Nikolay Strel'tsov
Sergey Bondarchuk ...
Ivan Zvyagintsev
Georgiy Burkov ...
Alexandr Kopytovskij
Yuriy Nikulin ...
Nekrasov
Ivan Lapikov ...
Poprischenko
Nikolay Gubenko ...
Lieutenant
Andrey Rostotskiy
Nikolay Volkov
Nikolay Shutko ...
Lisichenko
Evgeniy Samoylov ...
Marchenko
Nonna Mordyukova ...
Natalya Stepanovna
Lidiya Fedoseeva-Shukshina ...
Glasha
Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy ...
Doctor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tatyana Bozhok
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Storyline

In July 1942, in the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating soviet troops cross the bridge. While they move back to the Russian territory through the countryside, the soldiers show their companionship, sentiments, fears and heroism to defend their motherland. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 May 1975 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

They Fought for the Motherland  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Sovcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last film of Vasiliy Shukshin. See more »

Goofs

When the German BF-109 crashes into the Russian house, guide wires are clearly visible and one explosive at the point of impact goes off before the plane hits the ground. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great film about a bunch of soldiers trying to prevent the Nazis from getting any farther into Soviet territory
21 May 2006 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

Its 1942. The war in Russia is going badly for the Russians. They are being slowly pushed back by the ever advancing Nazis. This is the story of a regiment who's slowly dwindling numbers try to survive and remain optimistic as they continue to try to prevent the enemy from ever reaching Stalingrad.

This is a great war movie. As with all Sergei Bondarchuk films this is a movie that makes you think and feel by showing you what its like to be a lone man in a huge situation. We get to go inside the heads of the various characters and we see what its like to be in battle. The battle scenes are good as the Russian soldiers simply try to survive the strafing, the bombing and to keep the Germans far enough away that they don't have a good chance at killing them.

In someways this film reminded me of Terrence Malicks's Thin Red Line which used similar techniques at times (for example: subjective camera, manipulation of the soundtrack, disjointed flashback.) Actually this movie reminded me of several other war films produced after its release and I'm curious if film makers like Francis Ford Coppola and others studied copies of this all but impossible to see film when they made things like Apocalypse Now.

As good as the film is it isn't perfect. The film can come off as a bit too "rah rah" for mother Russia at times, even though the film ultimately speaks to the larger question of defending one's own home land. The film also is a bit unfocused in the second half as the film takes some odd turns; then again the second half has some of its most powerful imagery with the young nurse trying to save the wounded man in the bomb crater and the return of one soldier from hospital.

See this movie. Its a great great war war film which only suffers when compared to some of the gems in the Sergei Bondarchuk back catalog of films.


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