Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (Robert Duvall) rises from his rejection as being physically unfit in the Czar's Army during World War I to undisputed head of the huge Soviet empire of the 1950s. After the success of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, he vies with archrival Leon Trotsky (Daniel Massey) for power under the acknowledged leader, Vladimir Lenin (Maximilian Schell). After Lenin's stroke, the merciless Georgian's ruthless methods soon eliminates all rivals and his cruel paranoia and overt sadism help him maintain power by eliminating every possible rival, including many former comrades.Written by
I could watch this film over and over again - why It was a TV Movie rather than a box-office smash I will never know. Robert Duvall Is absolutely flawless In his portrayal of Stalin - we're talking Oscar-deserving acting here! Roshan Seth as the creepy,selfish, arrogant Laventy Beria Is superb;Colin Jeavons as Yagoda;Jim Carter as Sergo;the great Maximilian Schell as Lenin (what fantastic make-up;I thought Lenin had been reincarnated)!The list goes on,a marvellous mix of International actors who blend beautifully to recreate the lives,times and crimes of Stalin,his entourage and his enemies,both real and Imagined. I've studied Stalin a lot over the years and this film Is about as historically accurate as one could get. This piece of pure genius Is a must-see. Absolutely fantastic In every respect!
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