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The Cranes Are Flying [DVD]

Tatyana Samojlova , Aleksey Batalov , Mikhail Kalatozov    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Tatyana Samojlova, Aleksey Batalov, Vasili Merkuryev
  • Directors: Mikhail Kalatozov
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Dec 2011
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005SDDE9S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,843 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

This moving WW2 drama deservedly won the 1958 Cannes Palme d'Or and reintroduced Soviet cinema to the outside world as well as being a huge domestic box office hit. The film looks at the impact of the war on the participants: the lovers who fail to say their farewells prior to Boris's departure through unfortunate circumstances; his surgeon father who has to continue caring for his patients and the shifty cousin trying to avoid the conflict altogether.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars flying high on the cinematic sky in total grace 14 Feb 2009
A high flyer which is a Russian masterpiece;
The movie starts with a beautiful "out door ballet" shot between two lovers on 'river Moskva'as they observe the 'cranes sailing like ships' overhead in the clear blue sky in a metaphor, as their human counterparts glide effortlessly on the banks of the shimmering river in the crystal clear sunshine ,and just like the cranes that fly over the Moscow sky and symbolise natural harmony and joy ,this turns forthwith into a groundbreaking movie as world war two bares it ugly fangs to destoy this heavenly vision .

The cinema here is memorable not in that deals with 'variable human values and spirituality' as mocked by the negativity of war but how it brings out the best in humanity in their worst predicaments .

The idealistic youth and his fiancee struggle to overcome the horrors as WW2 breaks out , he voluntarily goes to the front in a rush of patriotic idealism while she awaits his return in a fragile social milieu where the social fabric is being degraged by the nihilistic event in progress.

The waiting is just as harrowing while the shortfall hits the urban capital and the air raids are horrific as is the exploitation of war torn victims itself by the lesser human dregs who seek to benefit from any event which accentuates human misery and 'Tatiana Seminova' is a victim even though she never faces a German soldier,at the hands of her own compatriots and friends who exploit her loneliness and fear, in a mesmerising cinematic experience where she is sexually abused by a close friend in the midst of an air raid ,which is genius as the audio-visual affects of one assault are juxtaposed on another attack, and sexual violence and the demons of war amalgamate in a moment of true horror .
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 12 April 2010
THis is probably the best Russian film of its time - both in its approach to the tragic and sensitive topic of the WWII, in its casting and acting, in its camera work and director's interpretation. Tatyana Samoylova, who won in Cannes with this role, - is at her absolute best in this film - her character is complex and developing and we can see the changes that are happening to her in front of our own eyes. Brillant work of Alexey Batalov and the rest of the cast.
Cinematographically this film was quite a break through at the time - the camera work is superb - worth watching even just for that.
Overall - it is a timeless classic of Russian cinema - a must for everyone who is interested in Russia, cinema and WWII.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soviet film making of the highest order 1 Feb 2009
Fabulous cinematography from Sergei Urusevsky help to make this a stunning piece of work. The opening scenes are as if one is leafing through some master photographer's album and as the story begins to unfold we are swept away with both the events depicted and the beautiful look. All is well shot but there are several whole sequences that are simply breathtaking. Difficult to describe without `spoiling' but suffice to say there is a very intense scene during an air raid and the lady left behind and her lover's brother are at odds as the sirens whine and the windows shatter. Another superimposes a swirling staircase and a spinning shot of tree tops and even develops into a fantasy sequence. Soviet film making of the highest order.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An overpowering emotional masterpiece. 28 May 2007
By weofme
When I first saw this film in the 50s I stumbled out of the Curzon Cinema in tears and startled an elderly American tourist who wanted directions to Picadilly by sobbing "Go down the street and t-t-t-urn right and your th-th-there"!!! Magnificent camerawork and an outstanding performance from Tatiana Samoilova. This film has stayed in my memory ever since and it is wonderful to finally own it on disc.If you love great cinema and appreciate superb acting---don't hesitate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars totally amazing 23 Mar 2011
By Ushi
I always wanted to see this film ,heared so much about it from my father years ago, and it did not dissapoint to think it was filmed so many years ago with so much details totally amazing, also the acting is superb hats up to the director and cameraman.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Waiting Game 26 April 2012
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Starts off slow but then gradually builds and builds into a cathedral of emotions, as you/me (the viewer) are caught (for moments) with a sense of maybe, perhaps...just around the corner something....

A gradual dawning emotional tour de force, as the director uses the suspense of redemption, forgiveness and happiness to drag the viewer through the film and then gives it a twist by slapping the face...this is it...this is reality...stop dreamming!!! A highly emotionally literate film that appears at first to be a hamfisted love story, but then somewhere, someplace it just drops through a trapdoor and dangles in an existential meaningless, an inability to communicate, idealism turned into vapour all trampling all over that beating patriotic sentiment.

The Germans hardly make an entrance, you never see them. But you feel their effects as this stresses the impact of war oozing through every frame. A war film which depicts the effect through a woman's eyes, (yes they did exist then) who waits for her lover to return...thinking...well you know...perhaps it will be OK.

Meanwhile, as she thinks, her world is slowly torn away piece by piece, all ideals, values, everything she dreams and values, just disappears. The only connection she makes is through the Cranes (big birds) who bring the rhythms of nature back to the real world, shattered by the war. Along with human contact that anchors her to keep on living, these arise as the values that sustain human beings.

The film is a subtle portrayal of emotions linked to Post traumatic stress arising in the people left away from the front line as they await the final telegram. A film without heroics or any final message about patriotism, the Communist regime thawing in 1956 allowed these sparklers to emerge. Again this sweeps over anything equivalent within the West and resonates with Ken Loach rather than Bruckenheimer,
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet Still the Cranes Fly
I, Melachi ibn Amillar, being of unsound mind and body, did watch "The Cranes are Flying" (1957), a Soviet war film by Mikhail Kalatozov, in October 2012. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Melachi ibn Amillar
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece
Coming to this film fifty odd years after it was made, I felt its freshness and power as if the paint on a great artist's canvas had not yet even dried. Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2009 by WSH
3.0 out of 5 stars Russian melodrama
I was disappointed with this film particularly as it had been subtitled (why do they do this!) I had heard so much about it over the years and it was a mystery how I never came to... Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2009 by Mr. A. Campbell-walter
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic of Russian WW2 Cinema
A superb film works on many levels. A classic Russian Great Patriotic War film. Cinematography, although in B&W
is superb. One of Mosfilms great productions. Read more
Published on 8 May 2009 by Mr. W. A. Nuttall
3.0 out of 5 stars The Thaw On Film
This black and white Russian film, considered a popular classic in Russia, was made by Mosfilm in 1957 and reflects the period of the "Thaw", brought in after the death of Stalin... Read more
Published on 14 May 2007 by Ian Millard
5.0 out of 5 stars whats not to like
If you don't cry at the end of this slow burning family-at-war drama of love and loss you don't got a heart in the first place (or you are Adolf Hitler).
Published on 7 Mar 2005 by Grushenko
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