Ballad of a Soldier (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ballad of a Soldier (1959)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Ballad of a Soldier Photos

Movie Info

A young Russian soldier is awarded a four day pass after destroying two enemy tanks. He plans to visit his mother and fix her roof, but a series of events underscoring the hopeless destruction of war limits his visit to a few minutes. The young soldier is disillusioned at the rampant infidelity displayed by fun-loving wives while their husbands engage in deadly combat to protect home and country.


Vladimir Ivashov
as Pvt. Alyosha Skvortsov
Anatoly Kuznetsov
as Soldier Gavrilkin
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Critic Reviews for Ballad of a Soldier

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (1)

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.

February 8, 2010 | Full Review…

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.

July 30, 2019 | Full Review…

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]

July 18, 2019 | Full Review…

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.

June 3, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

It's fairly standard stuff, made into something more by a sense of humanity and a knack for avoiding outright schmaltz.

July 6, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

... a simple, poetic tale where the sentimental streak and patriotic idealism common to the Soviet formula is humanized with vivid characters and tender direction.

May 9, 2009 | Full Review…

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.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


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.

Cindy I
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

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