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The Cranes Are Flying (Criterion Collection) (1957)

Cast: Tatiana Samoilova, Alexei Batalov, Vasily Merkuryev, more...
Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Classics, Drama, Foreign, Russia, Classic Drama, Classic Drama, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 95 min.
Languages: Russian
Subtitles: English
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Synopsis
Based on a play by V. Rusov, the Russian The Cranes are Flying is a love story set during the early years of World War II. With her boyfriend Boris (Alexei Batalov) on the front lines - and no sign of life from him for eons - Veronica (Tatiana Samoilova, Constantin Stanislavsky's grandniece) is raped by Boris's cousin, Fyodor (Vasily Merkuryev), during an air raid, and later accepts his marriage proposal, despite her lack of love for him - hoping that he'll eventually be able to replace her boyfriend. Several subsequent events (both joyous and melancholy) enable the heroine to rebuild her life, as well as restore her own sense of self-value; she is eventually told that Boris has died in action. The Cranes Are Flying won several international awards, and became a staple on the American art-house repertory circuit into the 1970s. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Criterion transfer shines as always with Soviet weepie by CHutchings November 21, 2004 - 9:27 AM PST
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2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Most of my Russian/Soviet tastes run toward fantastic cinema,but this romantic wartime sobber is a nice change of pace. Tatiana Samoilova is luminous as a loveswept Russian girl whose burgeoning romance with poet will amount to the proverbial hill of beans as the Great Patriotic War approaches. Wonderful exterior shots and elaborate camera work add levels to what could have been a formulaic "die for the cause" tearjerker. Great characterizations and surprisingly moving ending.

They made movies like this in the 1930 by birchfield February 4, 2003 - 2:44 PM PST
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1 out of 7 members found this review helpful
This black and white film made in the 1960s has the classical lighting style of 1930s films (beautiful, artistic stage lighting with no pretension to reality) and manages to pack in most of the possible cliches of war movies in its tale of two young lovers separated by war. The low for acting is a scene in which the heroine saves a young boy from an onrushing car, but you may find others as well.
I think Criterion must have been seduced by the lighting, not the content.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.78)
74 Votes
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