14 user 1 critic

They Fought for Their Country (1975)

Oni srazhalis za rodinu (original title)
In July 1942, in the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating soviet troops cross the bridge. ... See full summary »


Sergey Bondarchuk
2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Fate of a Man (1959)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of a man (Andrey Sokolov) whose life was ruthlessly crippled by World War II. His wife and daughters were killed during the bombing of his village, he spent some time as a ... See full summary »

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk
Stars: Sergey Bondarchuk, Pavel Boriskin, Zinaida Kirienko
Officers (1971)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Epic Soviet era masterpiece depicting the unshakable bonds of love, friendship & duty amid the horror of war. Two friends-both officers-are in love with the same woman. Through the Russian ... See full summary »

Director: Vladimir Rogovoy
Stars: Georgiy Yumatov, Alina Pokrovskaya, Vasiliy Lanovoy
A zori zdes tikhie (TV Movie 1970)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

TV adaptation based on the eponymous book by 'Boris Vasilyev (I)'. Set in Russia, in 1941, during the Second World War. The Red Army Sergeant Vaskov is stationed at a remote artillery post.... See full summary »

Director: Ivan Rassomakhin
Stars: Petr Shelokhonov, Marina Maltseva
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

During World War II, a Soviet veteran pilot teaches to newcomers that war is transient, and music is eternal.

Director: Leonid Bykov
Stars: Leonid Bykov, Sergei Podgornyj, Sergei Ivanov
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

During WWII in a small village outpost, a commander has his troop replaced by an all female unit. As they finally begin to appreciate one another, German paratroopers are spotted nearby and the realities of war emerge.

Director: Stanislav Rostotskiy
Stars: Andrey Martynov, Irina Dolganova, Elena Drapeko
Seventeen Moments of Spring (TV Mini-Series 1973)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A 1973 Soviet twelve-part television series, directed by Tatyana Lioznova and based on the novel of the same title by Yulian Semyonov. The series portrays the exploits of Maxim Isaev, a ... See full summary »

Stars: Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Yefim Kopelyan, Leonid Bronevoy
Steppe (1978)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A boy in Russia, circa 1900, makes a daunting trip from his home village to a school in the city.

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk
Stars: Oleg Kuznetsov, Nikolay Trofimov, Vladimir Sedov
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The families of 18 soldiers who heroically died in 1944 are meeting at the place of the squad last battle.

Director: Leonid Bykov
Stars: Leonid Bykov, Vladimir Konkin, Elena Shanina
Boris Godunov (1986)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Based on the Alexander Pushkin's play, epic story about Tsar Boris Godunov, who reigned over Russia between 1598 and 1605.

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk
Stars: Sergey Bondarchuk, Alyona Bondarchuk, Gennadi Mitrofanov
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A chronicle of the Russian and Mexican revolutions in the early 20th century.

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk
Stars: Franco Nero, Ursula Andress, Jorge Luke
Tankers (2018)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The movie inspired by real events tells the story of the KV-1 tank's crew heroic deed. Having a losing fight, the crew of Semyon Konovalov destroyed 16 enemy tanks, 2 armored vehicles and 8... See full summary »

Director: Konstantin Maksimov
Stars: Andrey Chernyshov, Vladimir Epifantsev, Oleg Fomin
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The last of a two-part film centered on the life and career of John Reed, the revolutionary communist journalist.

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk
Stars: Franco Nero, Anatoli Ustyzhaninov, Sydne Rome


Cast overview, first billed only:
Vasiliy Shukshin ... Pyotr Lopakhin
Vyacheslav Tikhonov ... Nikolay Streltsov
Sergey Bondarchuk ... Ivan Zvyagintsev
Georgiy Burkov ... Aleksandr Kopytovskij
Yuriy Nikulin ... Nekrasov
Ivan Lapikov ... starshina Poprischenko
Nikolay Gubenko ... Lieutenant Goloshchyokov
Andrey Rostotskiy ... eferytor Kochetygov
Nikolay Volkov ... ryadovoy Nikiforov
Nikolay Shutko ... povar Petro Lisichenko
Evgeniy Samoylov ... Marchenko
Nonna Mordyukova ... Natalya Stepanovna
Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy ... Vrach-khirurg
Angelina Stepanova ... Staraya kazachka
Irina Skobtseva ... Polkovoy vrach


In July 1942, in the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating soviet troops cross the bridge. While they move back to the Russian territory through the countryside, the soldiers show their companionship, sentiments, fears and heroism to defend their motherland. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Soviet Union



Release Date:

12 May 1975 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

They Fought for the Motherland See more »

Filming Locations:

Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Official submission of Soviet Union for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 49th Academy Awards in 1977. See more »


During the first battle, a few of the Germans are carrying MP44 (or STG 44) assault rifles. This film takes place in summer 1942 and those rifles were not in service in the German army (even as prototypes) until over two years later. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Not your standard heroes, not your usual war movie
10 September 2008 | by bwanabrad-1See all my reviews

Russian production. Genre ; WW 2 drama.1975. Based on the novel by Mikhail Sholokhov.

Screenplay and direction by Sergei Bondarchuk with Vasili Shukshin ( as Poitr Lopakhin ), Vyaheslav Tikhonov ( as Nikolay Strltsov ), Sergei Bondarchuk ( as Ivan Zvyagintsev ), Georgi Burkov ( as Alexandr Kopytovskij ), Nikolai Gubenko ( as the Lieutenant ), Yuri Nikulin ( as Nekrasov ), Ivan Lapikov ( as Poprischenko ) & Nonna Mordyukova ( as Natalya Stepanova ).

The film is based on the book by Nobel Prize winning author Mikhail Sholokhov. The action is set in Russia in July of 1942. The exhausted Soviet army was in full retreat against the might of the invading German Panzer divisions. A decision is to hold a ridge with what is left of an infantry regiment near a small village on the banks of the River Don, to allow the exhausted remnants of the army enough time to withdraw across the river and help fortify Stalingrad for the decisive battle that must come.

The loss of Russian life during the campaign was horrific and while there are some impressive set battle pieces, the film concentrates on the exploits of half a dozen or so soldiers from the shattered regiment, who must not retreat even in the face of the Panzers' greater fire power. The film depicts the thoughts and fears of the individual soldiers in the face of the impending battle, and their thoughts of their Mother Russia as well.

While the battles rage, the viewer is not only shown the inhumanity of the conflict, but also the strong personal bonds that develop between comrades in arms in a deadly conflict. There is also plenty of humor in the script, even if it is often grim and tinged with violent overtones. Vasili Shukshin ( as Poitr Lopakhin ) takes the acting honors, with a character that is as much larrikin as it is proletariat.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed