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Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

Ballada o soldate (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 26 December 1960 (USA)
Young Russian soldier Alyosha earns a medal, but asks to visit his mother instead. His journey recounts various kinds of love during wartime.


Grigoriy Chukhray


Grigoriy Chukhray (as G. Chukhraj), Valentin Ezhov (as V. Yezhov)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Vladimir Ivashov ... Alyosha Skvortsov (as Volodya Ivashov)
Zhanna Prokhorenko ... Shura
Antonina Maksimova ... Katerina (Alyosha's Mother)
Nikolay Kryuchkov ... The General
Evgeniy Urbanskiy ... Vasya (The Invalid)
Elza Lezhdey ... Liza (The Invalid's Wife)
Aleksandr Kuznetsov ... Gavrilkin (The Train Sentry)
Evgeniy Teterin ... The Lieutenant ('A terrible beast')
Valentina Markova Valentina Markova ... Zoya (Skvortsovs' neighbor)
Mariya Kremneva ... Elizaveta Petrovna (Pavlov's Wife) (as M. Kremnnyova)
Vladimir Pokrovskiy ... Vasiliy Egorovich (Pavlov's father)
Georgiy Yumatov ... The Driver
Gennadiy Yukhtin ... Seryozha Pavlov
Valentina Telegina ... Old Woman Truck Driver
Lev Borisov ... The Soldier (Pavlov's Buddy)


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


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


Drama | Romance | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Initially, Oleg Strizhenov and Liliya Aleshnikova were approved for the leading roles, but they were replaced at the insistence of Grigoriy Chukhray. See more »


Alyosha Skvortsov: Comrade General, instead of my decoration, could I go home to see my mother?
See more »


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

User Reviews

This is a most powerful, and positive, statement against war.
29 June 1999 | by CharlieA-2See all my reviews

Gregori Chukhrai makes a very powerful, and poignant protest against the horror and futility of war. There is no whining, no accusing, only a very real, and believable, look at the effect that it has on some very ordinary people. People that each of us can relate to. I have to classify this as my all time favorite war movie. If you have a choice, watch it with the Russian language, and subtitles. The warmth is missing in the overdubbed voices, in the dubbed version. Although my Russian is as limited as possible, the emotion that is portrayed by the vocalizations of the actors, is powerful. One is certain to fall in love with either Vladimir Ivashov, or Zhanna Prokhorenko. This is one of those rare films, that each time one watches it, one gleans more from it, and feels that much closer to the film, the director/writer, and to the actors.

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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


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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