The Dawns Here Are Quiet (1972) Poster

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Almost unknown fine WWII Soviet Film:
Galina_movie_fan26 October 2006
A zori zdes tikhie (1972) ...aka The Dawns Here Are Quiet - is an honest, realistic and very fine Soviet War film which is sadly un-known to the Western audiences. It was directed by a very talented director Stanislav Rostotsky who also made two of my favorite films, Belyy Bim - Chyornoe ukho (1970) ... aka White Bim Black Ear and Dozhivyom do ponedelnika (1969) aka We'll Live Till Monday .

Rostotsky chose perfect cast - the young and unknown performers who all shone in his movie. I also highly recommend the book by Boris Vasilyev of the same title - I still remember the day when I first read that rather short but unforgettable story about five young girls and their corporal Vaskov who was much older and who was not used to deal with the women-soldiers. What started as a comedy, soon became a compelling and gripping drama depicting an unequal fight of the group of five women and their leader against 16 Nazi paratroopers, specially trained and deadly dangerous that penetrated deep beyond the front-line.
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One of the very best movies I have ever watched
fa799916 October 2003
This is arguably one of the very best war movies ever made. The story is touching and poetic. A great ensemble cast shine under the careful and sensitive direction under Stanislav Rostotsky. The use of montage and different coloring schemes for several different periods work nicely and the cinematography is stunning. This is a movie not to be missed by any serious movie buff. Ruscico is gonna release in on DVD sometime in 2004. Keep your fingers crossed.
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A warm and touching tribute to humanity and inhumanity
refdan1 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I approached this film with doubts about its ability to involve and entertain me as an American growing up in the post war era. Happily, I was very pleasantly surprised. This Russian film is blatantly patriotic while at the same time portraying its protagonists with all of their frailties and faults.

This is the story of a male Master Sergeant in the Russian Army during WWII in Northern Russia. He has the duty to command a detachment of female anti-aircraft gunners assigned to protect a railway and supply depot. Although this is a war story, the essence of it describes the developing relationships between the Master Sgt and his soldiers and among the soldiers themselves. There is humor, suspense, pathos, romance, and tragedy as this older man and his very young women charges are assigned the responsibility of tracking and killing or capturing two German paratroopers in the forest near camp.

Unfortunately for the six Russians, the two Germans turn out to be sixteen, armed with submachine guns and explosives. Against the odds, the Master Sgt decides to try to delay and confound the German troops with tricks and finally with weapons. Rather than take the easy and safe route to retreat, the brave Russians ambush the Germans at every turn and start picking them off, one by one.

During the course of the desperate actions by the Russians, the relationship between the male Sgt and the girls changes and grows. He begins the mission wanting to protect the girls and he ends the mission being protected by the girls who use everything they have, including their lives.

The love that these stalwart soldiers share is not of the romantic kind but more that of a brother and sister, but even closer. They share respect, admiration, humor, sadness, and horror together and resolve to help each other to the end.

Although somewhat sentimental, this film does not assume that only Russians will have an interest. The situations, people and emotions it portrays are, I believe, universal. The depiction of the German paratroopers as cowardly and inept is inaccurate, but excusable given the premise of the film.

In summary, I highly recommend this film to anyone interested in war films but also to those who think bravery in combat is only for men. The performances are excellent and credible (except for the Germans) and direction and photography is superb.
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Brilliant !!
OzMovieWatcher19 September 2020
I watched this one on youtube after watching the more recent series of 2015, also on youtube.

I think I enjoyed the latter version better, but I did immensely enjoy both. It is a wonderful story. I do not seek to make my review as a comparison of the two versions, but will go so far as to say I enjoyed the interaction of the characters in this earlier version far better.

The black and white of this movie is very appropriate in presentation.

This is an excellent Russian made film and there really is no politics in it... Just the gritty horror of war. For a 1972 Russian film of such excellence, it is ahead of it's time. Well recommended to see.
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aliandvin29 June 2005
As I was working on a project on Soviet women in WWII, this movie was suggested to me by one of my professors who is a Russian herself. I was totally expecting some elaborate, romantic story, but I found the movie to be very realistic and consistent with my own research. This movie definitely highlights some of the general experiences and emotions felt by Soviet women soldiers at this time. I also enjoyed the many cultural references, for example to the film Tsirk. This film is a great tribute to all those soldiers who died in World War II, especially the women who I will never forget. I highly recommend this movie to anyone with any interest in Soviet history or WWII history.
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Realistic vs unrealistic
valiia21 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I'd like to comment to the words of one of the reviewers here, who says

"In reality 4-5 unexperienced women and one man (even if he is a genial soldier) would have no chance against 16 Gebirgsjäger. "

It's not the point of the film. It's not a fight film that wants to show the valour of soviet soldiers.

It's true that in reality these 16 nazi "Gebirgsjäger" would just slay the women in seconds... would it be than less impressive as in the film? they did slay them all, but in a different way...

The film shows women that have to face the violence of war.. have to fight and have to die.. they are longing for love and family happiness, but the time is not on their side...
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Best WWII movie ever
cmonte196414 May 2003
One of the best Russian films ever. It touches one's soul to the very bottom. I wish people watch it and remember those who fought and died in that horrible war. This film is 100% based on a true story. Watch it and you will discover more not only about the mysterious Russian soul but about yourself too.
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Very Russian, very true
lo_ra23 December 2007
"In reality 4-5 unexperienced women and one man (even if he is a genial soldier) would have no chance again 16 Gebirgsjäger."

I very well understand how an implausible script could kill the effort of a good director and fabulous actors. I understand equally well that some would dismiss this film as mostly Soviet propaganda simply because the story of German paratroopers meeting serious resistance from just a few inexperienced girls does not ring true. Well, strangely enough, the film (and the novel) are fact-based. Of course, this is not a documentary and, according to Boris Vasiliev, there were no women in the actual group of militia men stopping 16 Gebirgsjäger on a mission to cause serious discruption to the Murmansk railway. But otherwise the story was true! For me, swapping old militia men and wounded soldiers for young girls is perfectly excusable.

Very touching and very Russian.
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Glory to the girls who fought and died for their Country
richard619 February 2017
Based on the Novel by Boris Vasilyev and written/directed by acclaimed Russian film-maker Stanislav Rostotsky; The Dawns are Quiet Here is a quintessential Soviet war film (nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in 1972). Produced in the 1970's, filmed in black and white, released amongst a fusilladed period of patriotic Soviet war films, The Dawns Are Quiet Here preserves kindred history with dignity and represents female soldiers of the Red Army with merit.

The Dawns is a small Anti-Aircraft company in the Quiet Karelia Soviet district during the Second World War. Browned-off with the Companies ill-disciplined, drunken, fraternising behaviour, the Soviet big-wheels replace this rag-tag company with an all-female company. Warrant Officer Vaskov struggles commanding these teenage-girls. The spirited all-female company; dance, dream, rebel, co-operate and tease like young girls do. Brazenly, in one scene take a fully-naked communal traditional Russian steam-sauna together (you did not get racy scenes like that in: The Longest Day!!) However, when these spirited girls are called into action they are no mitten floppers and seriously kick some Nazi ass with those ack-acks! In one scene mercilessly shooting a descending German fly-boy who has parachuted.

After one of the women discovers two German soldiers in the forest nearby, Vaskov leads five of his female group to go and capture them. Unfortunately this leads them to a larger than expected German Elite Paratrooper platoon. The six under-equipped Russians have to be quick-witted to survive and prevent them from making headway. Demonstratingly, Vaskov learns to respect them as soldiers.

The Dawns Here Are Quiet is a film of two halves. The first sets the scene and introduces us to the girls and their backstories. The backstories are surreal and very noticeably 1970's in cinematic tone(the only segments of the film that are filmed in colour). Bizarrely, it took me several dreamy flash-back scenes to realise they were individual characters back-stories. Disjoined as they were, If I had left the room and returned during one of these scene, I could be excused for thinking I was watching a different film altogether. The second act concerns their mission to hunt for the Hun. Rarely do we venture back to see the rest of the soldiers. There is a hammering shift in tone as the film remorselessly becomes a deadly pursuit in the marsh ridden Forest. The out-numbered girls, baptised under-fire display courage; the Sergeant displays consolation and many of the Elite German Paratroopers, as well as our young heroines are picked off one-by-one.

The Dawns Are Quiet Here is a sterling benevolent period soft-in-tone combat movie. Unsurprisingly, give the date of production it now feels that it belongs in a past era. I would recommend this authentic film to any dedicated Soviet film follower. Recommend it to anyone who is studying Russian history or The Eastern Front. And, recommend it to anyone possessing an interest of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. In addition, there is a fine frame-by-frame modern Russian television re-make of this film aired in 2014.

Unforgettably, The dawns Are Quiet Here pays merited honour, respect and admiration to the female fighters in the Red Army. In consolable, Many of these brave Russian GI Jane's were in their teens, early twenties or just beginning a family. Woefully, Countless numbers never returned home from the battle fields.
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my grandmom's favorite film
sym4ny16 February 2005
I saw this movie several times. First, I watched this movie when I was a kid. At that time it didn't say much to me. There isn't much war-film stuff in it: except for some air-raid attack-counter-attack scene at the beginning and several shots in the second part of the movie. Last time I watched the movie, I was more knowledgeable about WWII and conscious about the calamities it brought to my country. My grandmom's favorite movie, as my Dad says, "A zori zdes' tihije", conveys more than Soviet propaganda wanted it to do. This movie greatly explores people's lives and destinies in a war period. It asks with passion:"How can we live an everyday life in an extraordinary time, the war proves to be."
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It's not a thriller
Rus_owl10 May 2015
People when rate this film as realistic or not, they try to equate it to a low-grade action movie alike "hit and run" type. You must understand that the movie is not in that category.

Imagine, that bandits broke into your house. Strong, armed, ready to kill. And you realize that will be no negotiations, that you are destined to die, without any questions asked. To die in your own home. The only question is now: how it will happen? You will meet death humbly kneeling, or would resist, maybe even realizing the futility of attempts? To die for to save somebody others.

And such a decision should be made by young girls who lived not so long.
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Morten_520 July 2019
This 1972 war drama by Soviet writer-director Stanislav Rostotskiy follows a small group of female soldiers as they defend their village in Russian Karelia from German paratroopers. Majestic b/w photo. Down-to-earth. Engaging.
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Not your average WWII movie
grendel-2822 June 1999
A rather touching WWII story of a platoon of women volunteers under a command of some invalid deeply in Russian territory on some nonsensical mission who suddenly find themselves in the thick of the war after a surprise dissent of German paratroopers.
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good movie
21-x6 December 2001
It's a very nice story about young Russian women who where in fields of war and touch every soul.I guess it would be good young people to watch this movie about Second World war. I have seen the movie some times and if I had chance I would watch more
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Unusual thing for Soviet WW2-movies
qrbaliyev15 January 2020
This is one of the few Soviet films on WW2 which emphasizes people's emotions, dreams and wishes. Less of usual pseudo-patriotism contained.

As far as I know, Soviet WW2 veterans usually did not watch films about the war they fought at. The reason is that those films were far from the reality. I bet this could be the one they would have preferred to watch.

Worth to watch it.
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[8.3] The bright five stars
cjonesas11 February 2022
A very well made movie for its time, a bit too long, having too many side filler scenes, but with very good acting, gorgeous cinematography in its own merit, a dramatic and thrilling atmosphere showing enormous courage, decisiveness and love for their country.

It's saddening as far as their equipment and weaponry are concerned, having almost nothing in hands, but their will, courage, sometimes temerity and their endless love for the Motherland.

Worth watching and pondering upon. Also, don't miss the 2015 more contemporary version.

  • Screenplay/story: 8
  • Development: 9
  • Realism: 9
  • Entertainment: 8
  • Acting: 9
  • Filming/cinematography: 9
  • Visual/special effects: 8
  • Music/score: 9
  • Depth: 8.5
  • Logic: 7
  • Flow: 8
  • War/drama: 7.5
  • Ending/closure: 8.5.
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Very disappointing
fw-bz17 February 2007
First, I often like Russian/sowjet war movies (for example Idi i smotri). And I expected much of A zori zdes tikhie (German title: Im Morgengrauen ist es noch still), because I had not seen bad Russian war movies before (well I have seen only 5 or 6, but thats not few) and because of the good comments the movie got here in IMDb. But I think this movie is not convincing, even not for the time it was done (1972). For today standards it is even kitschy in some parts - I means the flashback, when they all dream of their men (the colour film parts) - nobody would do this this not subtle way today - but well - that was the time. But many users said the movie would be realistic - hell it is not. The German soldiers (and they are described as elite force) act so stupid it hurts - (everyone who have been some time in the army will see it). In reality 4-5 unexperienced women and one man (even if he is a genial soldier) would have no chance again 16 Gebirgsjäger. Well I accept, that in movies the leading characters act a bit better than their opponent so that it is a little bit unrealistic (like in Die Brücke - which is by the way a far better movie from 1959) but this was to much. I also think that to much patriotic phrases are used in the movie - that the women fought for good reason would have been clear also without this
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