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Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944)

Ivan Groznyy (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 8 March 1947 (USA)
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During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.

Director:

(as Sergei Eisenstein)

Writer:

(as Sergei Eisenstein)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Czar Ivan IV
... Czarina Anastasia Romanovna
Serafima Birman ... Boyarina Efrosinia Staritskaya
... Prince Andrei Kurbsky
... Czar's Guard Malyuta Skuratov
Amvrosi Buchma ... Czar's Guard Aleksei Basmanov
... Fyodor Basmanov
... Vladimir Andreyevich Staritsky
... Boyar Fyodor Kolychev
Aleksandr Mgebrov ... Novgorod's Archbishop Pimen
Maksim Mikhaylov ... Archdeacon
... Piotr Volynetz
... Nikola, Simpleton Beggar
Semyon Timoshenko ... Kaspar von Oldenbock, Livonian ambassador
Aleksandr Rumnyov ... The Stranger
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Storyline

In 1547, Ivan IV (1530-1584), archduke of Moscow, crowns himself Tsar of Russia and sets about reclaiming lost Russian territory. In scenes of his coronation, his wedding to Anastasia, his campaign against the Tartars in Kazan, his illness when all think he will die, recovery, campaigns in the Baltic and Crimea, self-imposed exile in Alexandrov, and the petition of Muscovites that he return, his enemies among the boyars threaten his success. Chief among them are his aunt, who wants to advance the fortunes of her son, a simpleton, and Kurbsky, a warrior prince who wants both power and the hand of Anastasia. Ivan deftly plays to the people to consolidate his power. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 March 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ivan the Terrible, Part I  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lullabies "Ocean-sea" and "Song about the beaver" were sung by Irma Yaunzem, a well-known Byelorussian folk singer. See more »

Goofs

In one scene Ivan is discussing his plan for the Livonian war, which started in 1558 and once scene later his wife Anastasia is dying from poison. Between these two scenes are two years. See more »

Quotes

Czar Ivan IV: The knife will slice through those who raise the hand over Moscow.
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Crazy Credits

All the credits are showed in front of a fire smoke. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Starye pesni o glavnom 3 (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

A Memorable Filming Of An Interesting Era
12 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

This first part of Eisenstein's filming of the life and times of "Ivan the Terrible" has lots of drama, very good characterizations, fascinating settings, and plenty of action. Nikolai Cherkasov is completely convincing in the lead role, and the rest of the cast complements him well (especially Serafima Birman as his crafty aunt). This period in history is quite interesting and significant in itself, and Eisenstein presents everything in a fashion that is thoughtful and also enjoyable to watch.

Ivan combined a remorseless personal ambition with a genuine desire to strengthen and protect Russia, while the boyars, who opposed him, acted from motives that were almost exclusively personal. Combined with the plans of Russia's neighbors, all of this makes for a complex and interesting series of events, and the movie does a good job of presenting both the events and the possibilities, both on the surface and behind the scenes. Not the least of the reasons why it works so well are the settings. They are always interesting, believable, and atmospheric - and the indoor settings are especially so.

Part One is praiseworthy both in its own right and as the foundation for the outstanding sequel. Eisenstein generally excelled at depicting important periods in his country's history, and his series on Ivan's critical reign demonstrates all of his many skills. His attention to detail (of which there are too many examples even to try to list) and his appreciation for the overall picture make this a memorable film of high quality.


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