Archive for January 5th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(USSR 1944 99m) DVD1/2

The crowning of the master

p/d/w/ed  Sergei M.Eisenstein  ph  Eduard Tisse, Andrei Moskvin  m  Sergei Prokofiev  art/cos  Iosif Shpinel, Leonid Naumov 

Nikolai Cherkassov (Prince Ivan, later Ivan IV), Ludmilla Tselikovskaya (Anastasia Romanovna), Serafima Birman (Euphrosyne Staritsky), Mikhail Nazvanov (Prince Andrei Kurbsky), Pavel Kadochnikov (Vladimir Staritsky), Andrei Abrikosov (Boyar Fyodor Kolychev, later Metropolitan Philip), Mikhail Kuznetsov (Fyodor Bazmanov), Alexei Buma (Alexei Basmanov), Mikhail Zharov (Malyuta Skuratov), Alexander Mgebrov (Pimen, Archbishop of Novgorod), Vsevelod Pudovkin (Nikolai, the fool), A.Balashov (Peter Volynets), Pavel Massalsky (King Sigismund of Poland), Vladimir Balachov (Peter Volynets), S.Timoshenko (Kaspar Von Oldenbock), Maxim Mikhailov (The Archdeacon),

It has always been the subject of much debate whether Sergei Eisenstein could ever have made it in Hollywood.  For certain it would have been interesting to see if he could have made it out there as did Lang and, briefly, Murnau, or whether it would only have been short-lived.  Either way, such conjecture is arbitrary.  The fact is that he didn’t and, after the abortive Que Viva Mexico (later restored by friend and colleague Grigori Alexandrov), he was forced to return to the Soviet Union.  After making the propagandist Alexander Nevsky, it was another four years before he was persuaded, if that’s the right word, by Stalin to make his next film, based on the great first Russian Tsar, Ivan IV of Moscow.  Eisenstein was reluctant for many reasons, not least because he feared a lack of creative freedom, but eventually he relented and began preparing the film in 1942.  It was originally intended to be a three part epic, but though Part One met with approval on its release in 1944, part two did not, getting premiered in 1946 before being banned until it was generally released in 1958, ten years after Eisenstein’s death.  (more…)

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