Aleksandr Nevsky

 (Sergei Eisenstein, USSR, 1938) 108 minutes


Director: Sergei Eisenstein
Screenplay: Sergei Eisenstein, Pyotr Pavlenko
Photography: Eduard Tisse
Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Nikolai Cherkasov (Alexander Nevsky)
Nikolai Okhlopkov (Vasili Buslai)
Alexander Abrikosov (Gavrilo Olexich)
Dmitri Orlov (Ignat)

Reviews and notes

Eisenstein began filming ALEXANDER NEVSKY on June 5 (1938) and completed it on November 7. The film had its premiere a fortnight later. In the process of its rapid editing Eisenstein fell asleep one evening. While the director slept, an incomplete print was removed to the Kremlin and shown to Stalin, who was eager to see it. He liked what he saw, and this made it difficult for Eisenstein to add the missing sequences. Thus his most successful film remains for him the most unsatisfactory - at least from an artistic point of view.

At the time, Eisenstein noted: 'NEVSKY is brazenly effective despite itself. Everyone can see its staginess above all, its length, the rhythmic breaks and failures. Everyone can see them, not just specialists... And it is effective nonetheless. Why?... There's only a single thought. There's not a word, a remark, an episode or a scene are not concerned with the enemy and the need to defeat him'.

The story of the Russian people's successful struggle against the Teutonic Knights was an allegorical warning to the Nazis.
- Richard Taylor, The Movie, No. 17.

Weblink: Review by David Arnold

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