8.1/10
8,348
60 user 40 critic

Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

Ballada o soldate (original title)
Young Russian soldier Alyosha earns a medal, but asks to visit his mother instead. His journey recounts various kinds of love during wartime.

Director:

Grigoriy Chukhray

Writers:

Grigoriy Chukhray (as G. Chukhraj), Valentin Ezhov (as V. Yezhov)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Veronica plans a rendezvous with her lover, Boris, at the bank of river, only for him to be drafted into World War II shortly thereafter.

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Stars: Tatyana Samoylova, Aleksey Batalov, Vasiliy Merkurev
Fate of a Man (1959)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of a man (Andrey Sokolov) whose life was ruthlessly crippled by World War II. His wife and daughters were killed during the bombing of his village, he spent some time as a ... See full summary »

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk
Stars: Sergey Bondarchuk, Pavel Boriskin, Zinaida Kirienko
War | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An unexpected romance occurs for a female Red Army sniper and a White Army officer.

Director: Grigoriy Chukhray
Stars: Izolda Izvitskaya, Oleg Strizhenov, Nikolay Kryuchkov
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Four geologists search for diamonds in the wilderness of Siberia.

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Stars: Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy, Tatyana Samoylova, Vasiliy Livanov
The Ascent (1977)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a freezing cold World War II winter, two pro-Soviet partisans - Sotnikov and Rybak - head off to find food for themselves and their compatriots. They find a goat at the home of a German ... See full summary »

Director: Larisa Shepitko
Stars: Boris Plotnikov, Vladimir Gostyukhin, Sergey Yakovlev
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In July 1942, in the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating soviet troops cross the bridge. ... See full summary »

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk
Stars: Vasiliy Shukshin, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Sergey Bondarchuk
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

During WWII in a small village outpost, a commander has his troop replaced by an all female unit. As they finally begin to appreciate one another, German paratroopers are spotted nearby and the realities of war emerge.

Director: Stanislav Rostotskiy
Stars: Andrey Martynov, Irina Dolganova, Elena Drapeko
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

This is a life story of three girlfriends from youth to autumn ages. Their dreams and wishes, love, disillusions. Different careers. And big late love.

Director: Vladimir Menshov
Stars: Vera Alentova, Aleksey Batalov, Irina Muravyova
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Stunning WWII flying sequences as the Soviet Air Force battles the Luftwaffe. Veteran Russian pilots teach their new recruits about life, death & love. When the older men fly into battle, ... See full summary »

Director: Leonid Bykov
Stars: Leonid Bykov, Sergei Podgornyj, Sergei Ivanov
Soy Cuba (1964)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Four vignettes about the lives of the Cuban people set during the pre-revolutionary era.

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Stars: Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, José Gallardo
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The Russian POW joins the partisan guerrillas and proves his loyalty fighting the Nazis.

Director: Aleksey German
Stars: Rolan Bykov, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Vladimir Zamanskiy
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The families of 18 soldiers who heroically died in 1944 are meeting at the place of the squad last battle.

Director: Leonid Bykov
Stars: Leonid Bykov, Vladimir Konkin, Elena Shanina
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vladimir Ivashov ... Pvt. Alyosha Skvortsov (as Volodya Ivashov)
Zhanna Prokhorenko ... Shura
Antonina Maksimova ... The mother
Nikolay Kryuchkov ... The general
Evgeniy Urbanskiy ... Vasya (the invalid)
Elza Lezhdey ... The invalid's wife (as E. Lezhdej)
Aleksandr Kuznetsov ... Gavrilkin (the train sentry) (as A. Kuznetsov)
Evgeniy Teterin ... The lieutenant ('A terrible beast') (as Ye. Teterin)
Valentina Markova Valentina Markova ... Liza (Pavlov's wife) (as V. Markova)
Marina Kremnyova ... Zoya (neighbor girl) (as M. Kremnnyova)
Vladimir Pokrovskiy ... Pavlov's invalid father (as V. Pokrovsky)
Georgiy Yumatov ... Sergeant giving bars of soap (as G. Yumatov)
Gennadiy Yukhtin ... Pvt. Seryozha Pavlov (as G. Yukhtin)
Valentina Telegina ... Old woman truck driver (as V. Telegina)
Lev Borisov ... Joking soldier on train (as L. Borisov)
Edit

Storyline

During World War II, 19 year old soldier Alyosha gets a medal as a reward for a heroic act at the front. Instead of this medal he asks for a few days leave to visit his mother and repair the roof of their home. On the train eastwards he meets Shura who is on her way to her aunt. In those few days traveling together they fall in love. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Critics All Agree It's Great...And So Will You! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

26 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ballad of a Soldier See more »

Filming Locations:

Moscow, Russia See more »

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The can of meat the train guard is eating from was clearly marked: "U.S. Meat". This would have been correct in actual life due the United States' Lend Lease with the Soviet Union. See more »

Connections

Referenced in (500) Days of Summer (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."
5 March 2007 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic" is the famous quote by Stalin. In this movie we see a marvellous illustration of the sentiment.

Don't worry; I didn't spoil anything. We learn from the opening narration that this is the story of a fallen hero. With that in mind, the atmosphere of impending tragedy colours the entire film despite the film's rather charming presentation. It's a wonderful irony, because the director opens with such a powerful & nihilistic statement, but then he follows with a sweet and inspiring presentation which you might even call "innocent".

I'm not exactly a fan of war movies, but I don't consider this to be one at all. There are very few details about the war, no politics, no propaganda. Essentially you can replace the Russian uniforms with British, German or Japanese, and the story would remain the same--"The Ballad of a Soldier". Oddly enough, it's the compelling portrayal of rustic life (which he encounters along his journey) that provides the backbone and theme of this film, a very human story.

It reminds me of the Italian classic "Bicycle Thieves" as well as the Japanese masterpiece "Ikuru" by Kurosawa. Each scene packs a lot of heart, and the grand finale brings it all together poetically and artistically. I won't mention any names, but I sure wish certain other artsy Russian directors could be as lucid and authentic in their presentations.

One more thing... I can't end this review without mentioning the SUPERB MUSIC. The composer is listed as Mihkail Ziv, but IMDb offers no biographical info on him. The melody is powerful and epic while being traditional and intimate at the same time. It really mirrors the theme of the film perfectly: things of great importance come in simple packages.

This movie gets 9 stars from me, which is about the highest rating I ever give. See it if you ever get the chance.


28 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 60 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed