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ALEXANDER NEVSKY, 1938
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  MOVIE POSTERALEXANDER NEVSKY, 1938
Movie Reviews

Director: Sergei Eisenstein

Stars: Nikolai Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov and Andrei Abrikosov

Review by Russell Hill

SYNOPSIS:

Knights from the Roman Empire try to capture a Russian city.

REVIEW:

Historical epics aren't normally celebrated by the masses. Long, overdrawn dialogue can be a bit taxing on the brain, especially when it is in another language which is spoken very quickly. However, Alexander Nevsky is no ordinary film because, as with Battleship Potemkin, a true master of cinema was at the helm. Released at a time when Nazi oppression against Soviet forces was a possibility, Stalin needed films to inspire the Russian people and show that foreign aggressors were not to be tolerated.

Alexander Nevsky is based on the Teutonic Knights and their conquest to control the Russian city of Novgorod. The knights do kill many people in a nearby location and, after hearing of the massacre, Prince Alexander (Cherkasov) is inspired to rally his people and stop murderous villains from taking control of their country. Alexander is the Prince of Novgorod and it is in his best interests to stop the Teutonic Knights from seizing control of his city. What ensues is a dramatic finale between good and evil.

Stalin was the master of propaganda. One would think that without films and posters which painted his evil regime in a positive light, he wouldn't have been able to keep control over millions of citizens. However, it is completely understandable to want to convince Russians that the Nazi's were the bad guys. The Teutonic Knights have a very similar appearance to German soldiers because the bishop's mitre has a swastika. A blatant representation of Hitler's forces, the heroic actions of Prince Alexander aimed to demonstrate that with great will and determination, any invaders could be stopped.

Eisenstein did not have a happy relationship with Stalin; then again, who did? He was called a deserter by Stalin himself because of his relationship with Western countries and it made those in power view him with suspicion. However, after the release of Alexander Nevsky, Eisenstein was applauded. In fact, he was awarded the ‘Stalin Prize' for it.

Nearly two hours long, Alexander Nevsky is a triumph of cinema. Although it is a propaganda piece, it's very difficult not to enjoy this movie.

ACTORSergei M. Eisenstein
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORDmitri Vasilyev
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORNikolai Cherkasov
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORNikolai Okhlopkov
Best of the ARTIST

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ALEXANDER NEVSKY, 1938