Josef Stalin 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 arch-rival Leon Trotsky for power under the acknowledged leader, Vladimir Lenin. 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.
Did You Know?
The film was premiered in Russia on the 75th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. See more
Very obvious wig worn by Robert Duvall throughout the film. See more
[Seeing his son, Yakov, has tried shooting himself, but will survive
Idiot - can't even shoot straight!
from "Carnival of the Animals"
by Camille Saint-Saëns
Used as background music for archive footage See more