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Ruslan and Ludmila (1973)

Cast: Valery Kozinets, Natalya Petrova, Oleg Mokshantsev, more...
Director: Alexander Ptushko
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Ruscico
Genre: Foreign, Russia, Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Myths, Sword & Sorcery
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The warrior-hero Ruslan rescues his princess bride Ludmila from the evil white-bearded dwarf Tchernomor in this spectacular Soviet retelling of Alexander Pushkin's famous poem (which also inspired an opera). The dwarf gains uncanny physical strength from his long white beard. Ruslan must also battle sorcerers and witches, as well as his bride's other suitor, in order to win through to Ludmila. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Ruslan and Ludmila (Disc 1 of 2) (1973)
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7.17 (12 votes)
Ruslan and Ludmila (Disc 2 of 2) (1973)
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7.40 (10 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

A Standing Ovation in My Living Room by ZenBones March 7, 2005 - 9:43 AM PST
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
If I described this as say, "Die Nibelungun" directed by George Pal with special effects by Ray Harryhausen, it still wouldn't quite capture the romance and zaniness of this gorgeously kitschy Russian epic. The story follows the perilous search by a bold and noble knight for his fair princess bride. She has been abducted by a midget king with a 30-foot beard, who has all sorts of magical powers and a palace that has to be seen to be believed. The film is also loaded with witches, sorcerers, imps, wild animals, barbarian invaders, gigantic bodybuilders in chains, and my favorite; a gargantuan, talking decapitated head of a giant who had been slayed by the midget king (it kind of reminded me of the giant head in "Zardoz"). This is a classic Russian fairy tale with unlimited imagination, and special effects that produce feelings of humor and awe rather than "look how real that looks!" (I hate CGI!). It also has a romantic and powerful score that's reminiscent of Prokofiev's most rousing and ambrosial music. To sum it up succinctly: I think if I'd seen this on a forty-foot screen I would have crawled in and never come out. The only bad thing about this movie is that it's quite unnecessarily on 2 DVDs (the 225 minute running time includes the extras. The film itself is just over 2 hours), but it's definitely worth the hassle of two separate rentals. And yep, I actually did give this a standing ovation in my living room!

More reviews for titles in this product:

Russian Fairytales
The dazzlingly imaginative, colorful fantasy films of Alexander Ptushko and Alexander Row have begun to reach Western viewers in their intended form via Rusico's Russian Cinema Council Collection.

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