You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ivan Grozni

Despite usual good Russian photography, a powerful score, a couple of nice performances and flashes of original direction, Ivan the Terrible has so much that is tiresome, has so little action, and becomes so involved that the average history student hardly will recognize this glorified Ivan. Additionally, it has the ususal quota of Soviet propaganda. These heavy-handed propaganda slugs include bows to the common folks, the merchants and tradesmen, pleas for a strong Russia, united to face the world and halt foreign intrigue.

With:
Nikolai Cherkasov Lyudmila Tselikovskaya Serafima Birman Pavel Kadochnikov Mikhail Nazvanov Vsevolod Pudovkin

Despite usual good Russian photography, a powerful score, a couple of nice performances and flashes of original direction, Ivan the Terrible has so much that is tiresome, has so little action, and becomes so involved that the average history student hardly will recognize this glorified Ivan. Additionally, it has the ususal quota of Soviet propaganda. These heavy-handed propaganda slugs include bows to the common folks, the merchants and tradesmen, pleas for a strong Russia, united to face the world and halt foreign intrigue.

Yarn makes Ivan virtually a saint, and at least the final saviour of his people. Story hardly depicts him as the man known in history, and seldom as one of action. It never measures up to its initial premise or even its opening colorful coronation scene.

There’s an impressive final scene where thousands of Ivan’s friends follow him in the snow away from Moscow and his scheming enemies. But that sequence, like the battle scene and several others, never quite rises to its potentialities because of flighty direction or cutting, or a combination of both. Prinicpal fault seems to lie in the fact that the producers fail to make up their minds as to whether it is a spectacle, a historical opus or a character study of Ivan.

On the credit side is a splendid score by Sergei Prokofiev, fairly good if spotty direction by Sergei Eisenstein, fine camerawork, and the superb character portrayal of Ivan by Nikolai Cherkasov.

Ivan Grozni

USSR

Production: Central Cinema. Director Sergei Eisenstein; Screenplay Sergei Eisenstein; Camera Eduard Tisse, Andrei Moskvin; Editor Sergei Eisenstein; Music Sergei Prokofiev; Art Director Isaak Shpinel, L. Naumova

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1944. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: Nikolai Cherkasov Lyudmila Tselikovskaya Serafima Birman Pavel Kadochnikov Mikhail Nazvanov Vsevolod Pudovkin

More Film

  • ‘Guilty Men’ Sweeps Colombia's 6th Macondo

    ‘Guilty Men’ Sweeps Colombia's 6th Macondo Awards

    Despite usual good Russian photography, a powerful score, a couple of nice performances and flashes of original direction, Ivan the Terrible has so much that is tiresome, has so little action, and becomes so involved that the average history student hardly will recognize this glorified Ivan. Additionally, it has the ususal quota of Soviet propaganda. […]

  • Madrid’s ECAM Pacts With Torino, Rotterdam

    ECAM Pacts with Torino, Rotterdam on First Incubator Projects

    Despite usual good Russian photography, a powerful score, a couple of nice performances and flashes of original direction, Ivan the Terrible has so much that is tiresome, has so little action, and becomes so involved that the average history student hardly will recognize this glorified Ivan. Additionally, it has the ususal quota of Soviet propaganda. […]

  • Andrew DuncanMomentum Pictures with The Cinema

    'Florida Project' Producer Steps Down Amid Harassment Claims

    Despite usual good Russian photography, a powerful score, a couple of nice performances and flashes of original direction, Ivan the Terrible has so much that is tiresome, has so little action, and becomes so involved that the average history student hardly will recognize this glorified Ivan. Additionally, it has the ususal quota of Soviet propaganda. […]

  • 'Antiporno' Review

    Film Review: 'Antiporno'

    Despite usual good Russian photography, a powerful score, a couple of nice performances and flashes of original direction, Ivan the Terrible has so much that is tiresome, has so little action, and becomes so involved that the average history student hardly will recognize this glorified Ivan. Additionally, it has the ususal quota of Soviet propaganda. […]

  • Nicholas Hoult Current War

    Film News Roundup: Shooting Wraps on Nicholas Hoult's 'Tolkien' Biopic

    Despite usual good Russian photography, a powerful score, a couple of nice performances and flashes of original direction, Ivan the Terrible has so much that is tiresome, has so little action, and becomes so involved that the average history student hardly will recognize this glorified Ivan. Additionally, it has the ususal quota of Soviet propaganda. […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Casts Future of Fox

    Disney-Fox Deal Casts Future of Fox Studio Lot Into Doubt

    Despite usual good Russian photography, a powerful score, a couple of nice performances and flashes of original direction, Ivan the Terrible has so much that is tiresome, has so little action, and becomes so involved that the average history student hardly will recognize this glorified Ivan. Additionally, it has the ususal quota of Soviet propaganda. […]

  • Loveless Movie Wild Bunch

    Oscars: Nine Films Advance in Foreign-Language Race

    Despite usual good Russian photography, a powerful score, a couple of nice performances and flashes of original direction, Ivan the Terrible has so much that is tiresome, has so little action, and becomes so involved that the average history student hardly will recognize this glorified Ivan. Additionally, it has the ususal quota of Soviet propaganda. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content