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

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 885 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
Nikolai Shutko ...
Lisichenko
Yevgeni Samojlov
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

 
Truly great film about World War II
18 November 2007 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Sergei Bondarchuk is a great director. He has proved it with War and Peace, with Waterloo and now again with They Fought for Their Moterhland.

The film looks great. It's amazing how Bondarchuk can translate a world to film and still make it feel very real. The production is great, except for some minor things (tank turrets don't move). When I watched this film, I got the feeling that the whole world was at war. Not only these soldiers somewhere in Russia, but that they were just small parts in a big world conflict.

Most people always complain about the acting in Russian movies. That doesn't go for this one. It all feels very natural. The pain they show looks real, their sweat is there and I cannot imagine it with other actors (or acting method). Sergei Bondarchuk himself plays a role and he shows that he cannot only direct, but also act.

What I loved the most, is that this film shows war as I think it is. There are humans, the enemy is just a dot far away and every fight there are losses. Russians and Germans bleed alike. The Soviet flag is shown and it's clear who we are supposed to root for, but the main characters aren't heroes. They fight because they are told too, not because they are tough.

The music is like the music of War and Peace; not really pleasant to listen to, but it's perfect for the film. When an act of horror is shown, voices rise as if they complain. A requiem to humanity.

They Fought for their Motherland is bit like Spielbergs Saving Private Ryan; only without the misplaced heroism and with that touch of humanity.

Maybe not for everyone (since their is a delicate balance between spectacle, humanity and of course philosophy), but when you are looking for more aspects of war than just the heroic stereotype combat, go for this.


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