8.1/10
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66 user 81 critic

Ivan's Childhood (1962)

Ivanovo detstvo (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 27 June 1963 (USA)
In WW2, twelve year old Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev works for the Soviet army as a scout behind the German lines and strikes a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers.

Directors:

Andrei Tarkovsky (as Andrey Tarkovskiy), Eduard Abalov (uncredited)

Writers:

Vladimir Bogomolov (story "Ivan") (as V. Bogomolov), Vladimir Bogomolov (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nikolay Burlyaev ... Ivan Bondarev (as Kolya Burlyaev)
Valentin Zubkov ... Leonid Kholin (as V. Zubkov)
Evgeniy Zharikov ... Galtsev (as Ye. Zharikov)
Stepan Krylov ... Katasonov (as S. Krylov)
Nikolay Grinko ... Gryaznov (as N. Grinko)
Dmitri Milyutenko ... Old Man (as D. Milyutenko)
Valentina Malyavina ... Masha (as V. Malyavina)
Irina Tarkovskaya ... Ivan's Mother (as I. Tarkovskaya)
Andrey Konchalovskiy ... Soldier with glasses (as A. Konchalovskiy)
Ivan Savkin ... (as I. Savkin)
Vladimir Marenkov ... (as V. Marenkov)
Vera Miturich ... Girl
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Storyline

During World War II, 12-year old Ivan works as a spy on the eastern front. The small Ivan can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information. Three Soviet officers try to take care of this boy-child. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian | German

Release Date:

27 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ivan's Childhood See more »

Filming Locations:

Dnieper River, Kanev, Ukraine

Company Credits

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

This film has a 100% rating based on 21 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »

Goofs

When Kholin and Galtsev take Ivan across the river in the boat, a tree into the water falls near them. It is supposed to be because of the military action taking place, but it can be seen that the base of the tree has been sawn across in a straight line. See more »

Quotes

Ivan's Mother: If a well is really deep, you can see a star down there even in the middle of a sunny day.
See more »


Soundtracks

Ne velyat Mashe
[Song played on the gramophone. English translation: "Masha is not allowed beyond the river".]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Probably the best Russian World War II drama you will ever see.
22 August 2002 | by simonaproSee all my reviews

(***** out of *****)

Ivan's Childhood is Tarkovsky's debut feature film about a 12 year old boy who volunteers to fight in the front lines against the German invasion because his family where murdered by Nazis. His size and height make him the perfect spy for the Russians as he slides his way across muck and swamp to bring back vital information about the German offence that no other man can achieve. At the same time his commanding officers object to this boy being used as a tool of war but have no control over the matter because of Ivan's convictions to bring down those that killed his parents.

Shot in beautiful monochrome the camera never ceases to capture nature, religion, dreams and love - all of which are major elements in any Tarkovsky film. This motion picture is one of the most stunning independent movies you will ever see.

Sometimes Ivan cries like the child he is but this is not because of the burden of war but because he can not do what he wants most - to avenge the death of his family. Other times he is like a General in the making - standing up to his commanders, spitting orders back at them, making other soldiers look pale in comparison and walking into the fray without any fear attached. The dichotomy of his fractured personality is evident the most when he is alone. One moment he is dreaming of his mother, the next he is stalking the ghost of a Nazi murderer in the room where he sleeps (which is one of the most disturbing scenes in this film).

The final sequence in the ruins of Berlin fully brings home the impact of the film's premise. This is a story about Ivan's Childhood and that is exactly what you get. Heart wrenching from the first frame to the last and never equalled. To think this was all made in 1962! Shocking cinema at its very best.


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