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Names Engraved in Marble (2002)

Nimed marmortahvlil (original title)
This movie is about the Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920), specifically the students fighting on the nationalist side, but also shown the conflict between two ideologies (Estonian nationalism and communism).


Elmo Nüganen


Albert Kivikas (novel), Elmo Nüganen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Priit Võigemast Priit Võigemast ... Henn Ahas
Indrek Sammul Indrek Sammul ... Ants Ahas
Hele Kõrve Hele Kõrve ... Marta (as Hele Kõre)
Alo Kõrve Alo Kõrve ... Käsper
Ott Aardam Ott Aardam ... Kohlapuu
Karol Kuntsel Karol Kuntsel ... Martinson
Anti Reinthal Anti Reinthal ... Tääker
Ott Sepp Ott Sepp ... Mugur
Mart Toome Mart Toome ... Miljan
Argo Aadli Argo Aadli ... Konsap
Bert Raudsep Bert Raudsep ... Käämer (as Bert Raudsepp)
Jaan Tätte Jaan Tätte ... Captain
Hannes Kaljujärv Hannes Kaljujärv ... Militia unit leader
Peter Franzén ... Sulo Kallio
Guido Kangur Guido Kangur ... Karakull


Based on a 1935 novel about the Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920) that ensured Estonia's independence, the film tells about a group of students heading to the front to fight the army of Soviet Russia but also to fight alongside their army. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War


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Did You Know?


There's a surfaced road in one scene, but in Tartu in 1918 there were no tarmac roads. See more »


Referenced in Tujurikkuja (2015) See more »

User Reviews

One great Estonian movie, perhaps even one and a half
3 January 2004 | by Jan_See all my reviews

Ladies and gents, the most overrated Estonian movie of all times. Yes - it is at times warm and touching, it boasts splendid cinematography, it lacks the daft, aggressive jingoism painfully present in most patriotic flicks (read: American ones) and is not exaggerated like the aforementioned usually tend to be.

So "Names In Marble" is not a bad movie per se. Having said that, there are things that add up to a heavy reduction in its overall value.

I personally found it irritating how Elmo Nüganen had chosen to ignore Albert Kivikas' novel and write an insipid and even quite cheesy plot riddled with holes. Nüganen obviously failed to decide whether to make a pompous war epic or a minimal, realistic drama. So he chose both. I don't know what my fellow countrymen sought in the movie; I myself found the overdramatized battle scenes (rip-offs from Saving Private Ryan, mind you) to be painfully out of place. As well as the romantic sub-plot which didn't exist in the novel in the first place. But since action and/or romance are the things that mainly appeal to an average moviegoer, you'd simply _have_ to include both - and ruin excellent script material in the process. Quite sad.

The acting is OK, but just that. No, there is nothing tearjerking in this movie, sorry to say so. Yes, the subject matter is extremely personal to us Estonians, but I found the novel a thousand times more touching and thought-provoking than this "blockbuster". And if you think that this is the very defining moment in Estonian cinematography, think again.

Oh, well. Without further ado: if you're an Estonian or a non-Estonian pathologically fascinated with local culture, and haven't yet seen the movie - go and see it, although be warned: you haven't missed anything. Otherwise do this: look up Olli Saarela's "Rukajärven tie", a splendid recent addition to a fine series of Finnish war dramas ("Talvisota", "Tuntematon sotilas"). Because while "Names in Marble's" only significant value stems from its patriotic sting, "Rukajärven tie" is actually a cinematic achievement in the best sense of the term.

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Estonia | Finland


Estonian | German | Finnish

Release Date:

1 November 2002 (Estonia) See more »

Also Known As:

Márványba vésett nevek See more »

Filming Locations:

Tartu, Estonia


Box Office


EEK24,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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