Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Original title: Ivan Groznyy I
Soviet Union, 1944. Mosfilm, TsOKS. Screenplay by Sergei M. Eisenstein. Cinematography by Andrei Moskvin, Eduard Tisse. Produced by Sergei M. Eisenstein. Music by Sergei Prokofiev. Production Design by Iosif Shpinel. Costume Design by Leonid Naumov. Film Editing by Sergei M. Eisenstein.
Sergei Eisenstein made this masterpiece in two parts (originally intended to be three), the story of Russia’s great leader who unified many nations into one Motherland. Crowning himself Tsar of the new Russia, Ivan meets with opposition from the Boyars close to him, all of whom feel that his politics do not in the least bit suit their financial and aristocratic purposes. Nikolai Cherkasov delivers a terrifying, deliciously arch performance in the lead role, perfectly blending in with Eisenstein’s terrific framing and excellent dramatic scene work. The first chapter ends with Ivan’s ascending to his throne supported by his people after he has successfully achieved his mission of unifying Russia, then continues in Part II.