The Cranes Are Flying (1957)

MIKHAIL KALATOZOV

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

Original title:  Letjat Zhuravli

USSR, 1957.  Mosfilm.  Screenplay by , based on his play.  Cinematography by .  Produced by Mikhail Kalatozov.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 1958.  

Imagine if The Umbrellas of Cherbourg wasn’t a musical and was photographed in dreamy black and white and you’d have this lush Russian melodrama. When her lover goes off to war, a now unhappy young lady weighs the difficult issues that face her while she’s waiting for him to (possibly not) come back. The story is really quite secondary; what matters here is the intense acting and the gorgeous visuals that accompany all the rich displays of emotion. Images will remain in your mind for a long time afterwards.

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