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
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 »
Iakin, bearded schoolmaster:
It is not my custom to start your vacation with a lecture, but this is the summer of 1941 - a solemn time. No one of knows what will happen. I don't have to remind you that we are people with a noble history. You are expected to carry on that history with complete devotion and self-sacrifice. I think you'll do that. And now, have a happy summer.
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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 film was encouraged by the U.S. Government in the early days of WW II following the German invasion of Russia. It is a propaganda masterpiece centered around the former "freedoms" of prewar Soviet Russia life and the changes brought about abruptly by the invasion. Communism was not very popular in the United States even then, so this film was engineered to achieve widespread visibility in the early war years and to engender public approval for our "allies." At that it may be said to have achieved its purpose. Americans did not wish to be identified with any kind of comrade-bashing. Maybe subconsciously Americans desired Soviet victory so as to avoid a three-front War should the Russians have been subdued.
Historically, the Russians have been able to avoid loss of Moscow to invaders but doubtless this would not have been the case without all of the materials we sent them. Most do not know that over 6,000 fighter aircraft were sent to the Russians, nor do many Americans remember that the four or more B-29s that were badly damaged in combat over Japan and who later sought refuge in Russia, remember that these were seized by Stalin. They were never returned and in fact, they were copied rivet-for-rivet; screw-for-screw as the TU-4 and later turned into long range atomic bomb delivery aircraft whose purpose was to carry atomic weapons to the former ally, the United States. And this (the Cold War) was the only pay-back ever received for our shipments of billions of dollars of armaments. Still, our economic policies and GNP were the very things that brought about the demise of the Communist system.
With these facts in mind, it is entertaining to view this film and to identify the propaganda pronouncements and the truisms it contains.
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