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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic representative of great film-making in the 50s, 2 Nov 2008
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Mr. S. J. Robson "sleepytimegorillaboy" (Truro, Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ballad Of A Soldier (Region 2) [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
I've literally just finished watching it and I must say I'm a little choked for words.

It's incredible to think that Hollywood was pumping out so many films at the time and so few of which truly shine from every perspective. Then along comes another great film from the East ticking every box:
> Strong realistic performances.
> Camera work of extraordinarily high standard for the time.
> Wonderful editing (notably the last time on the train).
> Excellent sound ... I agree with another review here that the sound in places was perhaps slightly off (I'm referring to the original Russian audio track, screw dubbings!) but to no disturbing degree. What I loved the most about the sound was the use of it. In places where Hollywood would have blasted out some soppy orchestral piece in this film they chose silence, or maybe some odd sort of (David) Lynch-style noise, adding a depth to the film that was rare in this era.

If you enjoy old films then this is about as good as it gets. A true landmark in world cinema.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars trains, 10 July 2011
This review is from: Ballad Of A Soldier (Region 2) [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen many films set against the background of trains. But this is one of the best. The rumbling along the tracks, the scenic countryside, the suspense in catching the train in time. It is the link between the young soldier and his mother which stretches across the vast Soviet steppe. If he misses the train, the whole story falls apart. Comparable is the train sequence in 'Destiny of a Man' where Sokolov is transported across Germany. But in that film the train does not dominate as here. The only other film which matches the suspense is the Burt Lancaster vehicle, 'The Train'. Though not as emotional as its Russian counterpart 'The Train' is brilliant for the sheer devastation centred around railway yards, an absolute must for train buffs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting watch, 3 Oct 2011
By 
A. Roberts "aenr" (northeast england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ballad Of A Soldier (Region 2) [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
The start of the film is fairly ridiculous with the protagonist destroying two tanks single handedly but the rest of the film is excellent viewing. The story of a soldier struggling to get back to his home village for a couple of days leave is rivetting and must be an accurate picture of life in Soviet Russia during the great patriotic war.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soviet Cinema at its best, 21 Aug 2007
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T. Jarvis - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ballad Of A Soldier (Region 2) [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
In my Oppinion the Russians know how to make a great movie (War & Peace,The End of ST Petersburg,Battleship Potemkin,Waterloo)
Being a bit of a russian film nut i learned of this film and got it straight away this movie is set in world war 2 a young russian soldier
Pvt. Alyosha Skvortsov who manages to get rid of 2 enemy tanks and is offered a medla but instead decides to take a 4 day leave to go and visit his mother the story is about he's journey there in which he encounters Love,Lyes,and lots of train journeys.
This is a new restored print of the movie and with optional English dub the dub is perfect it takes nothing away from the movie all so on the dvd is an Interview from the people behind the movie.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballad of a Soldier, 1 May 2005
This is one of the finest propaganda films ever released by the Soviet Film Industry, and one which will have you feeling every possible emotion. A triumph in cinematography and a must for any serious enthusiast of WW2 or the Great Patriotic War as its known to millions of former Soviet Citizens. This is not your average war film, in fact the war merely serves as a back drop for a story of courage, determination and sorrow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The (in)human face of satanic violence (war), 12 July 2013
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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Grigori Chukhray's movie is still highly topical. It is one of the best anti-war films ever made. It reveals in a most outspoken way the human faces behind the bloodshed. It shows how war violence is not limited to the battlefield, but provokes also physical and mental havoc everywhere in the countries involved. People lose their homes, their possessions and even their country. People bleed also psychologically through broken or strained relationships and family ties. Women have to do a man's work at home.
As a contrast to the satanic war machinery, Grigori Chukhray scripted a pure love encounter. But, it also didn't last very long.
Ideologically, this movie is a perfect example of Marxist art: it has a positive hero, who is also a type, a representative of a particular class (a soldier, a `Russian' soldier).
`Ballad of a Soldier' stands in sharp contrast to the actual avalanche of so-called blockbusters preaching an unacceptable and shameful gospel of violence. `Ballad of a Soldier' in its way is also a blockbuster, but with `big' sentiments, preaching love instead of hate, respect instead of inhumanity and family ties instead of random killings.
`Ballad of a Soldier' is a `big' movie. A must see.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ballad of a soldier, 22 Feb 2005
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If you do not cry at least once and laugh out loud at least once when you see this film, you have no heart.
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Ballad Of A Soldier (Region 2) [1959] [DVD]
Ballad Of A Soldier (Region 2) [1959] [DVD] by Grigory Chukhrai (DVD - 2007)
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