Ballad Of A Soldier (Ballada O Soldate)


(out of 5)

Despite a few moments that over strain their desire to jerk tears out of you, this is a heartfelt film that packs more than a few emotional punches. A Russian World War II soldier scores a double header when he takes out two tanks in a freak act of bravery and is awarded with a decoration. Rather than accept it from his commanding officer, he insists that he would rather be given leave to go to his village and see his mother for a few days. The journey home ends up being fraught with distractions, diversions and even a few dangers, giving the soldier a close-up view of the war-scarred landscape of his nation, gradually eroding his naive existence.  Magnificently shot, with a smooth, even pace and solid performances from the entire ensemble cast.

USSR, 1959

Directed by

Screenplay by Grigoriy Chukhray,

Cinematography by ,

Produced by M. Chenova

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  Cannes 1960

The Criterion Collection

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Award Nomination
Best Writing (Story and Screenplay–written directly for the screen) (Valentin Yoshov, Grigori Chukhrai)

British Academy Award
Best Film From Any Source (tie)

Best Foreign Actor (Vladimir Ivashov)



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