The historical and biographic movie about the glorified Russian naval commander Ushakov. France begins aggressive wars. The Russian and allied troops freeing Italy are headed by A. V. ... See full summary »
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Nikolay P. Cherkasov,
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Virtually unknown in the West, Admiral Ushakov was Rusia's great naval hero. In the late 18th. century he helped to defeat the Sultan of Turkey's fleet in the Black Sea to expand Russian influence in that area. Later on he co-operated with the British in the Mediterrean Sea to help organize and defeat Naploeon's advancing fleet until the combined French and Spanish fleet were defeated at Trafalgar by Nelson in 1805. This film, made at the end of the Stalinist era glorifies Russia's past much in the same way that Eisenstein's Alexander Nevski and the Ivan The Terrible films did some 16 to 10 years before this. Even though I have only seen this film once -and it was some time ago, it deserves to be better known. As with most Russian epics, it doesn't go cheap and scrimp on the sets,action scenes or on the politics of its era. It is quite epic in scope with well done sets and impressive crowd scenes .Figures like Catherine the Great, Horatio Nelson, and Prince Potemkin are accurately drawn. Where this movie really shines is in the naval battles with very accurate full size recreations of 18th century Russian fighting ships that do not look too different from the British, Spanish and French ships of the era.The sea battles are well staged and the miniature-model ships are very realistic looking. No expenses were spared in the making of this color film, and it shows. I really can't say too much about the acting because I saw it in the Russian language version, so I guess it's OK. The musical score was also excellent.From what I understand, it was composed by Khachaturian. All in all, I wish somebody would release it in the USA in either Russian or in an English dubbed version. It is an exciting film and it should please history buffs or fans of naval epics set in the days of sail. The present day Russian navy has an aircraft carrier named after Ushakov. It's a fitting tribute. Fine movie. PS-you can find snippets of this on You Tube, but it is in Cyrilic. Well worth the search.
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