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Alexander Nevsky (1938)

Aleksandr Nevskiy (original title)
The story of how a great Russian prince led a ragtag army to battle an invading force of Teutonic Knights.

Directors:

Sergei M. Eisenstein (as S. Eisenstein), Dmitriy Vasilev (as D. Vasilyev)

Writers:

Sergei M. Eisenstein (as S. Eisenstein), Pyotr Pavlenko (as P. Pavlenko)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nikolay Cherkasov ... Aleksandr Nevsky (as N. Cherkasov)
Nikolai Okhlopkov Nikolai Okhlopkov ... Vasili Buslai (as N. Okhlopkov)
Andrei Abrikosov ... Gavrilo Oleksich (as A. Abrikosov)
Dmitriy Orlov Dmitriy Orlov ... Ignat - the Master Armorer (as D. Orlov)
Vasili Novikov ... Pavsha - Governor of Pskov (as V. Novikov)
Nikolai Arsky Nikolai Arsky ... Domash Tverdislavich - a Novgorod Boyar (as N. Arsky)
Varvara Massalitinova ... Amelfa Timoferevna - Buslai's Mother (as V. Massalitova)
Valentina Ivashova ... Olga Danilovna - a Maid of Novgorod (as V. Ivashova)
Aleksandra Danilova ... Vasilisa - a Maid of Pskov (as A. Danilova)
Vladimir Yershov Vladimir Yershov ... Von Balk - Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (as V. Yershov)
Sergei Blinnikov ... Tverdilo - Traitorous Mayor of Pskov (as S. Blinnikov)
Ivan Lagutin Ivan Lagutin ... Anani - a Monk (as I. Lagutin)
Lev Fenin ... The Archbishop (as L. Fenin)
Naum Rogozhin Naum Rogozhin ... The Black-Hooded Monk (as N. Rogozhin)
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Storyline

It is the 13th century, and Russia is overrun by foreign invaders. A Russian knyaz', or prince, Alexander Nevsky, rallies the people to form a ragtag army to drive back an invasion by the Teutonic knights. This is a true story based on the actual battle at a lake near Novgorod. Written by Gene Volovich <volovich@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The culminating triumph in the career of the man who made "Potemkin" and "Ten Days That Shook the World." Nikolai Cherkassov, in the title role, heads a cast of thousands. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

22 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alexander Nevsky See more »

Filming Locations:

Moscow, Russia

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Propaganda 1 Pro-communism/Russia: the call for peasants to rise up and defeat the invaders; the involvement of a woman (Vasilisa) in the army and at the forefront of the struggle; the banishment of the moneyed men (the bourgeoisie) from the town as the peasants arrive; the forgiveness of the Russian people to the foot soldiers of the Teutonic knights (because they were forced to serve the knights). See more »

Goofs

The cross displayed on the shields borne by the Teutonic knights is different in shape and colour to the actual one on their coat of arms. See more »

Quotes

Amelfa Timoferevna - Buslai's Mother: [helping the wounded Buslai walk] You've shamed your mother. I wanted to celebrate your wedding.
Vasili Buslai: And so you shall.
Amelfa Timoferevna - Buslai's Mother: [grumbling] Why couldn't you have been first in battle?
Vasili Buslai: Well, I wasn't the last.
[he reaches out and takes Vasilisa by the hand, pulling her to him]
Vasili Buslai: Accept as your daughter-in-law this maiden in armor.
Amelfa Timoferevna - Buslai's Mother: [looks Vasilisa over, then smiles broadly] Eh! A beautiful maiden!
Vasili Buslai: We've always been able to take care of our own.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A new edition appeared on video in 1995 with the entire Prokofiev score newly recorded in hi-fi stereo, using the same 1938 orchestrations and perfectly synchronized to the original 1938 dialogue and sound effects tracks, so that it is now possible to see and hear the film exactly as it always was, with the exception being that the music is now heard in hi-fi sound, rather than the tinny 1938 recording. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

One of Eisenstein's best...
26 April 2001 | by CaptainRozSee all my reviews

Like many of Eisenstein's other works, "Aleksandr Nevsky" is a beautifully made and well-written propaganda piece. Even today, it stands on its own with a solid story and incredible action scenes. No one did an epic battle better than Eisenstein ("October" and "Ivan the Terrible"), and the giant battle on the frozen lake in "Nevsky" ranks up there as one of his best.

Just as important to the film as Eisenstein's script and visuals is the masterful score by Prokofiev. Fortunately, it has been rerecorded for the most recent video release and the new soundtrack adds incalcuable depth and power to the story on the screen. In my opinion, the film's score is simply the best ever composed for a film. It fits the film perfectly, both during the film's intense action scenes and the lingering moments of reflection. If for no other reason, one should see this film to hear one of the 20th century's greatest composer's best works.

The story is true (well, as true as events from the 1200s can be accurately recreated) and simple, but powerful. Despite its heavy-handed Russian/Soviet patriotism, the film succeeds in telling a compelling story. When one looks at the events unfolding when the film was made, it becomes even more of a masterpiece.

No, "Nevsky" doesn't have the flashy visuals or super-handsome stars of a modern war epic, but it still ranks of one of the most interesting films in my book. For fans of Eisenstein or classic cinema, it is an absolute must-see. And for people who want to see the Soviet propaganda machine firing on all cylinders, check it out as well.


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