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Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1945)

Ivan Groznyy (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 8 March 1947 (USA)
During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.

Director:

(as Sergei Eisenstein)

Writer:

(as Sergei Eisenstein)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Serafima Birman ...
Boyarina Efrosinia Staritskaya
Mikhail Nazvanov ...
Prince Andrei Kurbsky
Mikhail Zharov ...
Czar's Guard Malyuta Skuratov
Amvrosi Buchma ...
Czar's Guard Aleksei Basmanov
Mikhail Kuznetsov ...
Fyodor Basmanov
...
Vladimir Andreyevich Staritsky
Andrei Abrikosov ...
Boyar Fyodor Kolychev
Aleksandr Mgebrov ...
Novgorod's Archbishop Pimen
Maksim Mikhaylov ...
Archdeacon
Vladimir Balashov ...
Piotr Volynetz
...
Nikola, Simpleton Beggar
Semyon Timoshenko ...
Kaspar von Oldenbock, Livonian ambassador
Aleksandr Rumnyov ...
The Stranger
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Storyline

In 1547, Ivan IV (1530-1584), archduke of Moscow, crowns himself Tsar of Russia and sets about reclaiming lost Russian territory. In scenes of his coronation, his wedding to Anastasia, his campaign against the Tartars in Kazan, his illness when all think he will die, recovery, campaigns in the Baltic and Crimea, self-imposed exile in Alexandrov, and the petition of Muscovites that he return, his enemies among the boyars threaten his success. Chief among them are his aunt, who wants to advance the fortunes of her son, a simpleton, and Kurbsky, a warrior prince who wants both power and the hand of Anastasia. Ivan deftly plays to the people to consolidate his power. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 March 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ivan the Terrible, Part I  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the color dancing sequence, the many dances jump and fall in front of the Tsar. At the end of this sequence, one of the falling dancers pushes the wig off the head of Vladimir, as he lays on the floor apparently in a drunken state. See more »

Quotes

Czar Ivan IV: Those who tore down the bells without Czar's permission, those by Czar's command get torn down the heads for not too long.
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Crazy Credits

The movie starts with the words: This movie is about a man who in the 16th century first united our country, about a Moscow prince, who in specific separations and self-interested prince-hoods created one powerful state, about a commander who raised the military honor of our fatherland in the east and in the west, about a leader who first took care of the solution of all these great things himself. Wreath of the czar of whole Russia. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Starye pesni o glavnom 3 (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Terrible Ivan, just terrible.
22 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

Sometimes, I wonder if I've watched the same movie as some of my fellow reviewers. I guess it all comes down to personal taste, but I'm sure there's a certain kind of snobbery involved in appreciation of movies like this; a feeling that praise must be heaped upon it because it is an acknowledged ‘classic', from an acknowledged ‘master' of the medium. Hey, if it's been lavished since its release with fulsome praise by a raft of highbrow critics it has to be good, right? So those endless lingering shots of actors sneering at one another like pantomime witches, or maintaining frozen expressions while casting long sidelong glances at one another aren't evidence of a director employing the outdated techniques of a form of cinema that died a decade-and-a-half before? No, no, no – it's a form of stylised expressionism, the unique and brilliant technique of a deep and thoughtful artist. The actors all speak their lines as if they are making speeches? The director was making superb use of the talent at his disposal, elevating performances above the commonly accepted standard of acting in Russia at the time.

Yeah, right. Let's call a spade a spade shall we, people? This movie is a badly dated, badly acted, leaden-plotted chore to watch, with poorly identified characters and a fatal weakness in the form of Nikolai Cherkasov in the title role (just watch the ‘death' scene to see what I mean – even by this movie's standard his acting in that scene is awful). The only good things about this movie are Prokofiev's superlative score, some occasionally impressive imagery, and the highly-accomplished cinematography – Eisenstein's use of light and shadow is superb.

Nevertheless, if this movie had been made by a lesser director it would have quite rightly been forgotten by now.


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