19 user 3 critic

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1970)

Ivan Denisovich Shukhov has been sentenced to a camp in the Soviet gulag system. He was accused of becoming a spy after being captured briefly by the Germans as a prisoner of war during ... See full summary »


Casper Wrede (as Caspar Wrede)


Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (novel), Ronald Harwood (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Courtenay ... Ivan Denisovich
Espen Skjønberg Espen Skjønberg ... Tiurin
Alf Malland Alf Malland ... Fetiukov
Frimann Falck Clausen Frimann Falck Clausen ... Senka
Jo Skønberg Jo Skønberg ... Gopchik
Wolfe Morris
Odd Jan Sandsdalen Odd Jan Sandsdalen ... Eino
Torstein Rustdal Torstein Rustdal ... Vaino
James Maxwell ... Captain
Alfred Burke Alfred Burke ... Alyosha
Paul Connell Paul Connell
Eric Thompson Eric Thompson ... Tsetzar
John Cording ... Pavlo
Lars Nordrum Lars Nordrum
Matthew Guinness Matthew Guinness ... Kilgas


Ivan Denisovich Shukhov has been sentenced to a camp in the Soviet gulag system. He was accused of becoming a spy after being captured briefly by the Germans as a prisoner of war during World War II. He is innocent, but is sentenced to ten years in a forced labor camp. The day begins with Shukhov waking up sick. For waking late, he is forced to clean the guardhouse, but this is a comparatively minor punishment. When Shukhov is finally able to leave the guardhouse, he goes to the dispensary to report his illness. It is relatively late in the morning by this time, however, so the orderly is unable to exempt any more workers and Shukhov must work. Based on the life of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


[Ivan is told the Communist Party has decreed the sun reaches zenith one hour after noon]
Ivan Denisovich: Can they even tell the sun what to do?
See more »


Featured in Casper och den förbjudna filmen (2009) See more »

User Reviews

The right to see and appreciate
14 February 2008 | by dlipsteinSee all my reviews

I saw One Day in the theater on its first release. My wife and I were totally enthralled and disturbed by the plotting, realism and impact of this visual story. To this day I recall many scenes: I still get chills, real and literal, when I recall the crunching of the snow and see Nyquist's filming of the boots marching to work in the Siberian cold as the sun rises. Or the prisoner who wears the extra clothes and is punished by having to endure the Siberian night outside.

There may be those who do not not care for this film: Maltin's movie guide describes it as "Another instance where a novel was just too difficult to film," and I could not more strongly disagree. However, sometimes reviews affect decisions on seeing the movie, and, in my opinion, that would be a loss for anyone who appreciates a conscientiously, well made film. So, I recommend that everyone who has not see this film, appreciate its beauty and craftsmanship if you can, but you have the right to judge for yourself, so exercise that right.

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UK | Norway | USA



Release Date:

26 November 1970 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

En dag i Ivan Denisovitsj' liv See more »

Filming Locations:

Røros, Norway See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
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