64 user 43 critic

Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

Ballada o soldate (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 26 December 1960 (USA)
Young Russian soldier Alyosha earns a medal, but asks to visit his mother instead. His journey recounts various kinds of love during wartime.


Grigoriy Chukhray


Grigoriy Chukhray (as G. Chukhraj), Valentin Ezhov (as V. Yezhov)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Vladimir Ivashov ... Alyosha Skvortsov (as Volodya Ivashov)
Zhanna Prokhorenko ... Shura
Antonina Maksimova ... Katerina (Alyosha's Mother)
Nikolay Kryuchkov ... The General
Evgeniy Urbanskiy ... Vasya (The Invalid)
Elza Lezhdey ... Liza (The Invalid's Wife)
Aleksandr Kuznetsov ... Gavrilkin (The Train Sentry)
Evgeniy Teterin ... The Lieutenant ('A terrible beast')
Valentina Markova Valentina Markova ... Zoya (Skvortsovs' neighbor)
Mariya Kremneva ... Elizaveta Petrovna (Pavlov's Wife) (as M. Kremnnyova)
Vladimir Pokrovskiy ... Vasiliy Egorovich (Pavlov's father)
Georgiy Yumatov ... The Driver
Gennadiy Yukhtin ... Seryozha Pavlov
Valentina Telegina ... Old Woman Truck Driver
Lev Borisov ... The Soldier (Pavlov's Buddy)


During World War II, 19 year old soldier Alyosha gets a medal as a reward for a heroic act at the front. Instead of this medal he asks for a few days leave to visit his mother and repair the roof of their home. On the train eastwards he meets Shura who is on her way to her aunt. In those few days traveling together they fall in love. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the very pages of life itself! See more »


Drama | Romance | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The can of meat the train guard is eating from was clearly marked: "U.S. Meat". This would have been correct in actual life due the United States' Lend Lease with the Soviet Union. See more »


Alyosha Skvortsov: Comrade General, instead of my decoration, could I go home to see my mother?
See more »


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

User Reviews

A little masterpiece.
3 October 2010 | by RueiroSee all my reviews

This is one of the greatest anti-war movies ever made and a touching little human drama that has not lost any of its power after half a century. After fifteen years since I first saw it, it remains among my ten favourite movies of all time from any country. It is full of poetry and visual beauty; a humble masterpiece from a young director at that time, who encountered all sorts of problems and restrictions during the shooting. Nevertheless, his perseverance to bring this work to life and the touchingly realistic performances of the cast make of this movie not only one of the best films that ever came out of the Soviet Union but also a classic gem of world cinema.

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Soviet Union



Release Date:

26 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ballad of a Soldier See more »

Filming Locations:

Moscow, Russia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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