It's June, 1941 in a farming cooperative in the Soviet Socialist Republic of the Ukraine. Although the citizens of the cooperative hear about the atrocities of the war on their radios, they are on the most part not yet directly affected by it. It's the end of the school year, and some of the older youth are excited about their futures. Beyond that, a small group of those youths are looking most forward to their imminent vacation to Kiev, where they are planning to hike for the four or five days it takes to get there above their planned three days in the city itself. They include: Damian Terasa Simonov, who finished top of his class including getting a scholarship to study at the State University of Kiev in the fall; his girlfriend, Marina Pavlov, the two who will be separated for the year as she finishes her schooling and who plan eventually to reunite in Kiev not only for Marina to go to university as well but for the two to get married; Kolya Simonov, Damian's older, more worldly ...Written by
In the severely re-edited, re-titled re-release, all references to the Russian nationality of the participants in the original story was either eliminated or obscured. See more »
When the German fighter plane fires on the truck carrying the guns, the telephone poles on the side of the road are perpendicular to the ground. However, when the truck is shown crashing, the same telephone poles are shown as leaning at various angles. See more »
In 1956, the film was sold to television and re-edited under the title "Armored Attack." 25 minutes were removed, including all references to the word "comrade," and with the help of voice-over narrations, turned the alleged pro-Communist piece into anti-Communist territory. See more »
This is a unique film and you may never see another quite like it!
What a surprise this film was! A film made in America about a small Russian village that stands up and fights the Germans who invade seems rather unique to me. It may not win any awards for recreating a Russian village or impeccably portraying the Russian culture or people but this movie succeeds in the most important area for a film: it gets the story across and it pulls you into the lives of the characters. There certainly can't be very many films like this one. I have to admit, "The North Star" takes a few minutes to get rolling. The cinematography was great from the beginning, but the story lags during the first half hour to forty five minutes of the film and is mired down a bit by portraying the villagers as so sappy and sweet that they seem to have stepped off the stage of a dreamlike 1940's Hollywood musical. Fortunately, the director, the screenwriter or somebody woke up and realized that this film had potential, and boy does it take off! This movie shifts gears from sappy drivel to life and death matters and the characters seem to come to life. The Germans rolling into their village are no laughing matter, and it is a fight to the death! This movie seems to have Part I which could be called ignorance is bliss and Part II which could be called the real story begins. Perhaps the actors revolted against the director! Part II was a revelation. What the Germans do to the children in the village is enough to make anyone mad enough to fight and I found myself rooting wholeheartedly for the Russians resisting the brutality of the Germans. There are some strong performances in this film by some of the most talented actors of the 1940's. Ann Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston, Walter Brennan, Jane Withers, Farley Granger and Erich von Stroeheim all give performances that had my attention glued to the screen. I was absolutely amazed and thrilled to find all of these movie legends in one film. Don't miss this one of a kind story. You may never see a movie quite like it anywhere else. I give it an 86/100.
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