Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ivan Groznyy (Ivan the Terrible) (1944)

When I think of Russia,  I mostly think of hilarious dashcam videos.  But Russia actually has a very rich history.  So today we are going way back in time to the Elizabethan Era to watch Ivan the Terrible.

 This film reminded me a lot of old silent films.  There was use of Shadows to create dramatic effect. Also, the actors' faces and especially their eyes were exaggerated a lot the same way silent film actors do.  Especially that guy who had a crush on I van's wife.  That guy had he best eye game of all.  So we learn from this film that Russia used to be many kingdom until Prince Ivan was crowned Tsar of all Russia, uniting the kingdoms.  This made many people unhappy.

 The worst person was the mother of all prince that we will call Big Hat Lady.  She does not like Ivan and wants her son, a giant man-child, to rule.  She really hates the queen, or tsarina, Anastasia.  The Queen supports her husband, Ivan, in everything he does. 

Most of the film is various battles, where Ivan finds new friends friends and supporters, and loses old allies.  The whole film film is peppered with silent film style overacting.  Big hat lady sees bringing down the queen is the key to the throne, so she poisons her.  Having lost the person he loves the most, and the mother of the his child, Ivan becomes more ruthless.  In real life, they had six children together.  Anastasia was the only person that could hold his cruelty in check, and now there's nothing holding him back. Ivan tortured and killed tons of people, and spread out Russia's boundaries.  It is no surprise that this film was endorsed by Stalin himself. I will give this film a 7/10. I didn't like the sudden ending. It seemed too unfinished to me.


  1. Did you watch part two as well? There was supposed to have been a third part as well, but Stalin did not like where this was going.
    Eisenstein never really got out of the silent movie era. This is a silent movie with sound and that makes it look so ridiculous.

  2. Yes I did. I don't know what Stalin was thinking, trying to compare himself to a murderous tyrant and then cancelling the project.