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The Thaw (1931)

Ledolom (original title)


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Cast overview:
Vera Marinich Vera Marinich ... Anka (as V. Marinich)
Aleksandr Zhukov ... Skulov
Andrey Martynov Andrey Martynov ... Semen (as A. Martinov)
S. Pryanishnikov ... Tarkhanov (as S. Prianishnikov)


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Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »






Soviet Union



Release Date:

20 June 1931 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

Eisgang See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mezhrabpomfilm See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

I never heard a corpse complain of the cold
13 April 2012 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

As this story of corruption in a small village begins, we see the noble worker, standing by the water, looking off into the future. After some Academician cutting, he is joined by Vera Marinich, also looking forward to the Worker's Paradise. Another cut and they are leaning on each other, then sharing a cuddle on the sand. Vera says she is pregnant. He is gone. Oh, well....

Given the Academician cutting, immense vistas and point-lit cinematography, this could pass for a serious major drama by Eisenstein -- or perhaps a series of Norman Rockwell covers for the Saturday Evening Pravda. After that opening, I think that director Boris Barnet was trying to put one over on the authorities and sneak a cynical message past them. It worked too.

There is little motion in this picture. People pose, people punch their fists in the air, but the only time anyone moves fast is when they rush to fetch the corpse of an important witness to kulak bribery in from the ice. Wouldn't want it to get cold, I guess.

Matters continue in this wise until Vera gives birth and the river starts to run. Then there is an explosion and the peasants rush to lynch the kulaks in their homes -- well, we see them slipping in the mud and then they are around the houses with the kulaks cowering inside. Cue the authorities to show up and tell them to go home. They will make sure that justice prevails.

Just like they have before, I guess. We get an epilogue of bargemen shipping machinery somewhere or other and a title card addressed to the Dictatorship of the People to prepare for the future. Barnet shows the government sabotaging justice. His cameraman shows the figures tiny against immense backgrounds. What are they supposed to be able to do? How did this escape? Well, they need a new movie in Novosibirsk. Send them this, comrade, and don't tell them in the Kremlin...

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