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Ivan the Terrible (Criterion Collection) (1944-1946)

Cast: Nikolai Cherkasov, Nikolai Cherkasov, Serafima Birman, more...
Director: Sergei Eisenstein, Sergei Eisenstein
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Classics, Foreign, Biopics, Russia, Criterion Collection
Languages: Russian
Subtitles: English
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Ivan the Terrible I (Criterion Collection) (Disc 1 of 2) (1944)
Sergei Eisenstein's operatic saga of the 16th-century Russian hero Czar Ivan IV is given a charismatic performance by Nikolai Cherkasov and a brilliant score by Sergei Prokofiev. Part One deals with Czar Ivan's beginnings as the ruler of Russia, Ivan's coronation, and his marriage to Anastasia Romanovna (Lyudmila Tselikovskaya). Ivan suddenly becomes gravely ill and then mysteriously recovers. When a group of conspirators poison his wife, Ivan becomes more wary of his retainers and announces that the will of the people demands his return from Alexandrov to Moscow. Ivan endeavors to preserve his country in the face of all the internal and external conspiracies. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

Ivan the Terrible II (Criterion Collection) (Disc 2 of 2) (1946)
The second part of Sergei Eisenstein's baroque chronicle of the legendary Russian czar was originally planned as a three-part epic. But Eisenstein had battles with Russian censors over the second part of his trilogy, ostensibly because of a negative depiction of Ivan's secret police force (Stalin feared that Eisenstein was making a veiled reference to himself). Although filmed shortly after Part One in 1946, the film was suppressed and was not released until 1958. In the meantime, Eisenstein, who died in 1948, never completed his project, spending most of his time defending himself before Stalin and his censor boards. Part Two takes up the story of Ivan the Terrible (Nikolai Cherkasov) upon his return to Moscow from Alexandrov. Ivan must deal with a group of unfriendly boyars and becomes even more insulated after his mother is poisoned and an assassination plot is uncovered. The black-and-white film ends with a luminous color banquet scene. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Multimedia essay on the history of Ivan the Terrible by Joan Neuberger, director of the Center for Soviet Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Drawings and Production Stills

GreenCine Member Ratings

Ivan the Terrible I (Criterion Collection) (Disc 1 of 2) (1944)
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8.14 (64 votes)
Ivan the Terrible II (Criterion Collection) (Disc 2 of 2) (1946)
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8.29 (52 votes)

Vitallia's Rental Favs
Some of these films are not as fresh in my mind as when I first viewed them. This is my first list and these are some of the highlights.
A List of Good Movies

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