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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.

Director:

Grigoriy Chukhray

Writers:

Grigoriy Chukhray (as G. Chukhraj), Valentin Ezhov (as V. Yezhov)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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)
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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:

From the very pages of life itself! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »
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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 Ballada o bombere (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Clutching at your heart-strings
29 April 2005 | by mik-19See all my reviews

Alyosha, a 19-year old private in the Soviet army, more or less by accident neutralizes three German tanks and is allowed to return home to see his mother and fix her roof on a six-day leave. On a train he meets another stow-away, the timid Shura, and falls in love. The movie depicts the people he meets on his way home through war-torn Russia.

This is an amazing film, a kind of shaggy-dog story and one you are not liable to forget. It is so extremely well-paced in a natural, flowing rhythm with a smooth, unassuming camera and lovely lighting. Be that all is it may, whatever the film's affinities with Pudovkin masterpieces such as 'Earth' and 'Deserter', 'Ballad of a Soldier' is all heart, empathy and sincerity, and it will clutch at your heart-strings.

The boy is not yet jaded in the grown-up fashion, and the people he meets stir him into immediate sympathy, Alyosha is simply one of the most likable characters you will encounter in a film, without being trite or cutesy. And the people he meets are hardly ever as sympathetic as he is, witness private Pavlov's girlfriend, whom Alyosha promised to bring the soap as a gift. When he gets there, she has a lover visiting her, and although Alyosha judges her, the film itself does not. Its description of budding young love is enchanting, but it has, finally, its own bitter irony.

Watch this whenever you get the chance. Do not let prejudice about what you think Soviet cinema is like detain you.


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