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Quiet Flows the Don (1957)

Tikhiy Don (original title)
PG | | Drama, War | 1 January 1960 (USA)
A six-hour long epic (original director's cut) about the life of Don Cossacs in a village in southern Russia between 1912 and 1922. The leading character Grigori Melekhov is a rugged Cossac... See full summary »

Director:

Sergey Gerasimov
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pyotr Glebov ... Grigori Melekhov
Elina Bystritskaya ... Aksiniya
Zinaida Kirienko ... Natalya
Daniil Ilchenko ... Panteleimon Prokofyevich Melekhov (as Danilo Ilchenko)
Anastasia Filippova Anastasia Filippova ... Iljinicna (as A. Filippova)
Nikolai Smirnov ... Pyotr Melekhov
Lyudmila Khityaeva ... Dariya Melekhova
Natalya Arkhangelskaya ... Dunyashka (as N. Arkhangelskaya)
Aleksandr Blagovestov Aleksandr Blagovestov ... Stepan Lekatov (as A. Blagovestov)
Igor Dmitriev ... Yevgeni Listnitsky
Aleksandr Shatov Aleksandr Shatov ... Listnitsky Father
Boris Novikov ... Mitka Korshunov
Aleksandr Zhukov ... Miron Koshevoy
Gennadi Karyakin Gennadi Karyakin ... Mikhail Koshevoy (as G. Karyakin)
Viliam Shatunovsky Viliam Shatunovsky ... Shtokman (as V. Shatunovsky)
Edit

Storyline

A six-hour long epic (original director's cut) about the life of Don Cossacs in a village in southern Russia between 1912 and 1922. The leading character Grigori Melekhov is a rugged Cossac, who is torn between his first and true love Aksiniya, and his wife Natalya. Grigori Melekhov's personal life is shown as a rough journey through the experience of World War One, the Russian Revolution, and the following Civil War. The Cossacs are shown as traditional farmers and warriors, who are suffering through the most dramatic events in the history of Russia. Written by Steve Shelokhonov

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The epic film based on Mikhail Sholokhov's classic novel in COLOR See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

1 January 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der stille Don See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Sovcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Real Don Cossacks were extras. See more »

Connections

Followed by Tikhiy Don II (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great grabbing and entertaining epic film
25 February 2012 | by Steve ZhangSee all my reviews

The film contains 3 parts, each of which is close to 2 hours.

Here are what I like: 1. This film accurately depicted an agricultural society before the industrial revolution. People used oil lamps. Most people were not well educated. There was no sliced bread. You need to slice bread when you eat. People ate potato, bread, drank milk and soup. There were no in-door plumbing.

2. People's psyches were also very typical of a pre-industrial society. Everyone in the Cossack community were Orthodox Christian. The basic moral fiber was well and strong. Multi-generations lived in a large household. Young people were hooked up by marriage brokers. Young people needed family patriarch's blessing before they could marry.

In other words, you would feel people's psyches and the society at large were very much like the Chinese society before China felt the impact of industrial revolution.

I felt very familiar with the characters and their surroundings. In fact, I felt the men and women were so intimate to me, that I felt really strongly about their joy, anxiety, and anguish.

3. Politics was a central theme in this movie. The novel and the film did a great job in depicting the reality of Russia during the tumultuous years of War World I and the Civil War following the Boshevik revolution.

4. Watching the film, I hated the communists who pretended to be pacifists during War World I, and then showed their ugly face by pushing the country into a 3-year long extremely bloody civil war after War World I ended.

5. Overall, the protagonist, Grigory Melekhov, is a freedom loving, traditionalist with a humanist world view. The communists had the inhumane view of class warfare, and were power mongers.

6. It is amazing that the movie makers were able to make the movie without a single brush of communist propaganda. The movie didn't villanize either side. Nor did it promote, or aggrandize either side.

7. I didn't read the novel. It was said that the adaptation to film lost the richness of the novel. On the basis of the film, I'd say the story structure is a very good epic structure.

8. It is a very dramatic and moving story. With a lot of colorful characters, with rich and interesting characterizations.

9. The 4th DVD contains special features. There were an interview with Ellina Bystritskaya who played Aksinya and an interview with Zinaida Kirienko who played Natalya. Both interviews were done in 2002, I believe. They are quite interesting.

Here are what I felt could be better: 10. There is a soap opera feeling to the film. The characters are not very deep.

11. There were many drinking and eating scenes, which became repetitive.

12. The ending is not satisfactory. The novel was originally circulated in 1928, under Stalin's regime. It would have been banned in Soviet Union if it had a satisfactory ending to my taste. So, I really don't expect more.

13. All characters were quick at saying negative things, and none were good at saying positive things.


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