Ballad of a Soldier (1959)
Ballad of a Soldier Photos
as Pvt. Alyosha Skvortsov
as The Mother
as Soldier Gavrilkin
Critic Reviews for Ballad of a Soldier
One of those "universal" tales that are so often vague and sticky, but the simplicity and restraint of director Grigori Chukhrai lift it above the run.
If one wanted to be polite, one could call it idyllic and wholesome. I don't want to be polite and so I call it a contrived exercise in the faux-naif.
The exaltation of a soldier's values is above any other contemporary war film... It is charged with romanticism in the way that it deals with the fundamental scenes and in its vision of ideal and pure love. [Full Review in Spanish]
It is, to me, one of the most beautifully realized meditations on war "time" that I've seen, finding in it a truth and poetic vision in which almost every element works seamlessly in tandem.
It's fairly standard stuff, made into something more by a sense of humanity and a knack for avoiding outright schmaltz.
Audience Reviews for Ballad of a Soldier
A lovely, heartbreaking, somewhat episodic film about the travels of a young Russian soldier who's given a short leave to go home and see his mother. During the erratic journey back to his village, he meets an innocent farm girl and awkwardly falls in love. Beautiful cinematography, affecting leads.
The leave of a young Russian soldier is sidetracked by his own kindness and humanity. A story of human decency set against a backdrop of destruction and devastation. Poignant and sad but still inspirational.
A beautifully-made film from Russia. As a reward for a heroic deed in battle, a young soldier receives six days leave to go home to see his mother. The rest of the film follows him as he tries to make it home and back in the allotted time. For part of his journey, he sneaks aboard a boxcar, and then later a pretty young girl does the same. You can take it from there...up to a point. Like many Russian films, the faces are the main focus. The lighting of this film was particularly impressive, and every face seems to glow from within. There are some very interesting camera angles, especially in the early battle scenes, but also the shots of and from the train. Even the musical score was beautful and dreamy. The only flaw I found in the film was the heavy-handed sentimentality. You can show depth of feeling without being melodramatic about it. Otherwise, this is a touching and beautiful film.
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