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The Ascent (1977) More at IMDbPro »Voskhozhdenie (original title)


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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Vasiliy Bykov (novel)
Yuri Klepikov (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
2 April 1977 (Soviet Union) See more »
Two Soviet partisans depart their starving band on a short march to a nearby farm to get supplies. The Germans have reached the farm first... See more » | Add synopsis »
4 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Shattering See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order)
Boris Plotnikov ... Sotnikov
Vladimir Gostyukhin ... Rybak
Sergey Yakovlev ... Village elder
Lyudmila Polyakova ... Demchikha
Viktoriya Goldentul ... Basya
Anatoliy Solonitsyn ... Portnov, the Nazi interrogator
Mariya Vinogradova ... Village elder's wife
Nikolai Sektimenko ... Stas'
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sergei Kanishchev ... Boy wearing Budenovka (as Serezha Kanishchev)

Directed by
Larisa Shepitko 
Writing credits
Vasiliy Bykov (novel "Sotnikov")

Yuri Klepikov (screenplay) &
Larisa Shepitko (screenplay)

Original Music by
Alfred Shnitke  (as A. Schnittke)
Cinematography by
Vladimir Chukhnov 
Pavel Lebeshev 
Film Editing by
Valeriya Belova  (as V. Belova)
Production Design by
Yuriy Raksha 
Makeup Department
S. Kalinin .... makeup artist
Production Management
Willie Geller .... production manager (as V. Geller)
Sound Department
Yevgeni Bazanov .... sound re-recording mixer (as Ye. Bazanov)
Yan Pototsky .... sound (as Ya. Pototsky)
Special Effects by
Viktor Zhanov .... special effects (as V. Zhanov)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eduard Shcherbakov .... camera operator (as E. Shcherbakov)
Music Department
Raisa Lukina .... music editor (as R. Lukina)
Yuri Nikolayevsky .... conductor (as Yu. Nikolayevsky)
Other crew
V. Bystrov .... consultant
Ada Repina .... script editor (as A. Repina)
V. Sumtsov .... consultant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Voskhozhdenie" - Soviet Union (original title)
See more »
111 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Shattering, 8 September 2009
Author: jacksflicks from Hollywood

I agree with another reviewer, this is such a shattering film, that will be tough to watch again soon, though for quality alone, it deserves repeated viewing. The complexity of the characters, the incredible cinematography and superb direction make this movie worth the emotional price of watching.

There is one scene, of the two partisans dragging themselves through the snow to escape a patrol, that's perhaps, for sheer physicality, the most amazing performance I've ever seen. In fact, though not episodic -- the story flows -- this is a movie of memorable scenes. There's the passing of rations amongst the partisans, the snow scenes, the ruined farm scene, the encounters in the houses, the interrogation, the "basement" scene, the "ascent". All stand out like jewels in a necklace.

For me, the religiosity isn't overt. Frankly, I don't think it would have been permitted in a Soviet film. I do see this as an existential parable about the value of life. Here is a tale where the hero -- and he is a true hero -- becomes the villain, and the weaker one becomes the stronger one. Is this a mystical process or one dictated by circumstances? There is a transfiguration, but does it come from within or without? You must see the movie to understand the issues, for they can't be discussed without giving away too much of the story. I can't say enough about the acting. It's hard for me to choose which of the leads is more affecting. I'm not familiar with Soviet film of the 70s and am not familiar with any of the actors, but they are all superb. I also note how director Larisa Shepitko uses children. They remind me of Giotto's child angels.

There is a little muddling in the end. There is apparently a prior relationship between the soldier Sotnikov and the interrogator Portnov, but this is left dangling. And the final scene is a bit ambiguous. But compared to the total experience these are quibbles. This is a movie that will mark you for life.

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Great Acting s-napolitano8
Where can I purchase this movie? darkwolfe-dcn
Music 88L71
Very well-made but depressing as hell sfviewer123
Anatoli Solonitsyn timoconnolly
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