Ivan the Terrible - Part I

(1944)

Item #: IE9845


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AKA: "Ivan Groznyy I"
Synopsis: The combination of Russian adventurism in the Near East and Russian Orthodox Christianity, juxtaposed with the terrible fight for survival against the Nazis, produced this masterpiece. Never mind that such understatements as "In Which We Serve" reduce this to it's rightful place in propaganda- that just moves IWWS up towards it's rightful place amongst the Greatest Films Ever Made. This is more along the lines of the wartime production of Harry V- great propaganda, but stuff that tells more about the producers than their erstwhile enemies. Harry lauded the British qualities of beggar thy master, a British Longbowman is as good, and sometimes more worthwhile, than his lord; Ivan says that Comrade Stalin is worth ten divisions, especially if he looks like Jesus Christ (a bird- I am stuffed if I can figure that one out; maybe some people have been reading too much Derrida inspired, Post Structuralist Bovine Excrement). As an ex-seminarian, Comrade Stalin almost certainly had a Messiah Complex; as a Russian, he definitely had no time for any democratic drivel. A Makarov bullet to the back of the brain inspired him, Putin, and every nasty Russian Dictator in between. Americans and Russians have two things in common- they were the last people on earth to outlaw slavery in the 19th Century, and they were the last people on earth to recognise, and fight, the horror of Fascism in the 20th. As propaganda, this is great; as history, it is frightening.
 
Directed by: Sergei M. Eisentstein
Cast: Nikolai Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman, Mikhail Nazvanov