Medieval Russia

Legenda o knyagine Olge (The Legend of Princess Olga) (1983) – one of the founders of Christianity in Russia

Rus iznachalnaya (1986)  --   VI century Russian tribes unite to repel the Khazar invaders & the Byzantine empire collaborators

Thirteenth Warrior (1999)  --  10th century Arab shocked by Viking behavior in Russia

I Tartari (Tartars) (1961)  -- Burundai, head of Tartar invasion of Volga River area

Didgori: Land of Sacrificed Knights (2009) – 1121 AD, 56,000 Georgian warriors under King Davit IV battle 500,000 Seljuk Turks on the Didgori battlefield

Aleksandr Nevskiy (Alexander Nevskey) (1938) -- 13th century attack of the Teutonic Knights on Russia (Sergei M. Eisenstein director)

Aleksandr. Nevskaya bitva (aka Alexander: The Neva Battle) (2008)  --  Battle of Neva, 1240; Swedes invade Novgorod controlled territory

Grand Princes of Moscow, Rurik Dynasty  (1283-1547):

Andrei Rublev (1969)  --  15th century Russian icon painter (1360?-1430?)

Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1943) -- 1533-1584; Ottoman Empire troubles, among others; by Sergei Eisenstein

Ivan the Terrible, Part II (1946) -- Sergei Eisenstein

Tsar Ivan Grozny (Tsar Ivan the Terrible) (1993)  --  Ivan the Terrible

Tsar (2009)  --  Ivan the Terrible



Tsars of Russia (1547-1721):

Rurik Dynasty (1547-1598):  second part of Ivan the Terrible's reign & reign of Feodor I

Borus Godunov (1986)  --  de facto regent of Russia , 1584-1598, and then the first non-Rurikid tsar, 1598 to 1605

Mest shuta (A Fool's Revenge) (1993)  -- 1500s Russia

Times of Troubles (1598-1613):

Gudonov Dynasty (1598-1605):  Boris Gudonov & Feodor II

Usurper I:  False Dmitry I (1605-1606)

1612: Khroniki smutnogo vremeni (aka 1612) (2007) – Russian film set in the Time of Troubles and the Polish-Muscovite War (1605-1618)

Shuysky Dynasty (1606-1610):  Vasily IV Shuysky

Usurper II:  False Dmitry II (1607-1610)

Council of Seven Boyars (27 July 1610 – 4 November 1612)

House of Vasa  --  Włladysłlaw IV Vasa (1595-1610)

Council of All the Land (17 April 1611 – 26 July 1613)

House of Romanov (1613-1721):

X  September Eleven, 1683  --  siege of Vienna by the Turks

Peter the Great (1689-1725):

Peter the Great (1986)-- 1689-1725, Russian Czar; 1710-11 war with Ottoman Empire

X  Yunost' Petra (Peter's youth)  -- young Peter the Great

V nachale slavnykh del (At the Beginning of Glorious Days) (1981)  --  Peter the Great and the build up of the Russian Navy

Sluga Gosudarev (The Sovereign's Servant) (2007)  --  1709 during war between Russian and Sweden (The Great Northern War, 1700-1721)  --  (currently unavailable)

X Epitaph für einen König (1969) – epitaph for a king; Karl XII of Sweden (1697-1718)

Isoviha (1939) – story set in 18th century Finland when the country was occupied twice by Russia, during the Great Northern War (1700-1721) and the Lesser Wrath (1741–1742)

Catherine the Great (1762-1796):

Young Catherine (1991) 1762-1796, Catherine the Great of Russia; 1768 war with Turkey ($46)

The Scarlet Empress (1934) -- Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great (1934) --  with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Flora Robeson

Caterina di Russia (Catherine of Russia) (1963) -- Italian film (currently unavailable)

Catherine the Great (1995)  --  with Catherine Zeta-Jones

A Royal Scandal (1945)   --  love life of Russian Czarina Catherine the Great (with Tallulah Bankhead)

Tempest (1959)  --  Pugachev peasant uprising during the reign of Catherine the Great

Russkiy bunt (Captain's Daughter) (2000) --  during the Pugachev uprising, the love of Masha Mironova and Pyotr Grinev is threatened

Kapitanskaya dochka (The Captain's Daughter) (1959)  --   Pugachev uprising of Cossacks and peasants in 1774-1745 under Empress Catherine II (aka Catherine the Great)


Napoleon in Russia:

War and Peace  (1956) -- Napoleon's invasion of Russia, 1812  (from Tolstoy's great novel)

War and Peace (1972)  --  ditto, but with Anthony Hopkins

Война и мир; Vojna i mir (War and Peace) (1968) --  expensive Russian version of War and Peace

Pushkin: Poslednyaya duel (2006) – Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), considered greatest Russian poet

Poslednyaya doroga (The Last Road) (1986) – death and the 'last road' of Aleksandr Pushkin

 1814 (2007)  --  mystery story in the time of Pushkin

Nezrimyy puteshestvennik (1999) – December of 1825, last days of the Russian Emperor Aleksandr I (known for the victory over Napoleon in 1812)


CRIMEAN WAR  --  Russia (under Nicholas I & Alexander II) vs. Turkey (Ottoman Empire), England and France (under Napoleon III)   

Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)  -- Crimea, 1854-1856

Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) -- love triangle in India solved by British involvement in the Crimean War

Charge of  the Lancers (1954)   --  affairs set against the Crimean War

Florence Nightingale (1986)  -- the great nurse at work during the Crimean War fighting against prejudice to be of service to the soldiers

 Lady with a Lamp (1951) -- nurse-crusader Florence Nightingale

The White Angel (1936) --  Florence Nightingale ($45)

Bronte (1983) -- Irish film

Les Soeurs Bronte (Bronte Sisters) (1979) French film

Devotion (1946) -- Bronte sisters

The Brontes of Haworth (1973)  --  TV mini-series about the Brontes



Alexander II (1855-1881):

Nas venchali ne v tserkvi (We Weren’t Married in Church) (1982) – love story of young woman wanting to get away from her small town and join a revolutionary group (as the one in Petersburg named "chaikovtsy", 1869-1874)

Geroite na Shipka (Heroes of Shipka) (1955)  --   Bulgarian/Soviet Union film about the Battle of Shipka Pass during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78)

X Yuliya Vrevskaya (1978) –  for reasons of love Russian nurse Yuliya Vrevskaya follows the troops in the war between Russia and Turkey (1877-1878)

The Turkish Gambit (2005)  --  spy story set in the War between Russia and Turkey (1877-1878); no English subtitles

V nachale slavnykh del (At the Beginning of Glorious Days) (1981) --  Russo-Turkish War

Pervye radosti (1977) – life in Saratov, Russia before the Bolshevik revolution

Pervye radosti (No Ordinary Summer) (1956)  --  intellectual joins a revolt and then becomes a professional revolutionary

X  I Demoni di San Pietroburgo (The Demons of St. Petersburg)  --   Russian writer Dostoevsky just finished 10 years hard labor in Siberia; he wants to stop a plot to kill the imperial family;  the problem is that the young terrorists were inspired mainly by his writings 



Russian Ark (2002)  --  time-traveling journey through 300 years of Russian history

The Cossacks (1959) -- 1850s Russia; Cossack and son clash in loyalties to Czar Alexander II

Il figlio di Aquila Nera (1968) – Cossacks plan an uprising against Gen. Volkonsky, governor of the Caucasus

Dauriya (Dauria) (1971)  --  love story set among the Cossacks of Siberia at the time of the Russian Revolution

Yermak (1996)  --  Cossack leader Yermak Timofeyevich explored Siberia (starting 1579 or 1581) which opened that land to Russian expansion

Dersu Uzala  (1975)  --  19th century Russian expedition to Siberia

Mat (Mother) (1926)  --  a woman struggles against Tsarist rule during the 1905 Russian Revolution  (new for $55)

Sveaborg (1972)  --  1906 bloody revolt by Russian garrison (in Finland)

Sibirskiy tsiryulnik (Barber of Siberia) (1998)  -- Czar Alexander III 

Bronenosets Goyokin (Battleship Potemkin) (1925) -- classic Eisenstein silent film about revolt in Russia of sailors on the battleship Potemkin

Zvezda plenitelnogo schastya (Captivating Star of Happiness) (1975)  --  Tsar Nicholas I and rebellion of officers in the Decembrist Revolt, 1825

Strike (1924) --  Sergei Eisenstein; a strike in Czarist Russia, brutally suppressed

Lenin v Parizhe (Lenin in Paris) (1980)  --  Lenin's four years in Paris (1909-1912)

Lenin v Polshe (Lenin in Poland) (1966) --

Lenin v oktyabre (Lenin in October) (1937) -- 

X  Lenin:  the Train  --  on his return trip to Saint-Petersburg Lenin goes from Zurich, through Germany, through Sweden to Saint-Petersburg

Scarlet Dawn (1932)  --  Russian officer caught up in the troop revolts in WWI (includes a love story)

Moonzund (1987)  --  Soviet film is a love story set against the Russian Navy in the 1915-1917 WWI battles at the Moonzund Islands in the Baltic Sea

Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) --  1894-1917 of Russia; fights Germany and Turkey in WWI

120 (2008) – Turkish film about the Battle of Sarikamish between Russia and Ottoman Empire from December 22, 1914 to January 17, 1915

Romanovy: Ventsenosnaya semya (The Romanovs: An Imperial Family) (2000)  --  last year and a half of the life of the royal Romanovs before their execution in 1918 by the Bolsheviks  (currently unavailable)

Rasputin (1996) -- the mad Gypsy adviser to Alexandra; Greta Scacchi, Alan Rickman

Rasputin (1985)

X  Rasputin - Orgien am Zarenhof (1984) -- 

Agoniya (aka Agony: The Life and Death of Rasputin) (1981)  --  very good Russian film on the fall of Rasputin and the Russian monarchy

J'ai tué Raspoutine (I Killed Rasputin) (1967)  -- 

Rasputin  - the Mad Monk (1966) -- the Hammer Studios version of Rasputin

Nights of Rasputin (1960)

Rasputin and the Empress  (1932) --

Fall of Eagles (1974) (TV miniseries)  --  fall of Habsburg, Hohenzollern and Romanov dynasties in WWI

Reds (1981) 1917, Am. reporter Jack Reed, sympathizes with Bolsheviks

Diadi gantiadi (They Wanted Peace; Great Glow) (1938)  --  Lenin and the 1917 Russian Revolution

 Dr. Zhivago (1965)  -- Russian Revolution 1917

October (1928) -- Sergei Eisenstein; Russian Revolution

Tikhly Don (Quiet Flows the Don) (1957)  --  covers Russian history from 1912 to WWI to Bolshevik Revolution, to the Russian Civil War

Sibiriada ( Siberiade) (1979)  --  two families, one wealthy and the other proletariat, through six decades from WWI to Bolshevik Revolution, to WWII and to the era of modernization

X Khleb - imya sushchestvitelnoe (1988)  --  three generations living around the Volga river beginning in 1902 and going through the Russian Revolution, the Russian Civil War and Stalin’s rule

Pod znakom skorpiona (1995) – writer Gorky’s positive, then negative view of the Russian Revolution

The End of St. Petersburg  (1934) --  worker abuse leads to the Russian Revolution

Dauryia (1997)  --  life of Cossacks in Siberia during time of the Russian Revolution

Esperanza (1988)  --  Russian man flees the Russian Revolution and goes to Mexico

Gosudarstvennaya granitsa: My nash, my novyy... (1980) – a Russian and his mother try to flee Russia following the Russian Revolution of 1917

I leoni di Petersburgo (Lions of St. Petersburg) (1972) – Italian film about two brothers who are rivals in the Russian Revolution

Baltiyskaya slava (The Baltic Glory) (1957)  --  Baltic Fleet sailors join in the action in revolutionary Petrograd,  autumn 1917

Anastasia (1956) --  story of the young lady who pretended to be one of the children of the executed family of the Tsar

Anastasia (1997) -- 

Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986)  --  Anastasia is played by Amy Irving\

Animal Farm (1955)  --  animated version of George Orwell's story of the corruption of the communist system in Russia

Animal Farm (1999)  --  uses real animals in the portrayal of the communist dictatorship in the Soviet Union

His Wife's Diary  --  life of Russian writer, Nobel Laureate and critic of the Russian Revolution Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin (1870-1953)  (currently unavailable)

Russian Civil War

Sorok pervyy (The Forty-First) (1956)  –  Soviet film of the romance of a female Red Army sniper and a White Army officer in the Russian Civil War

Yunost (1937) – 1920, fisherman’s son Andrei recruited on the side of the Whites versus the Reds; he and his father are killed for hiding a Red officer; the family plans revenge

Admiral (2008) --  Russian film about a love story involving the general of the White Army Alexander Kolchak who became the supreme governor of Russia

Lenin v 1918 godu (Lenin in 1918) (1939) – Soviet film giving the background of the Russian Civil War

Vikhri vrazhdebnye (Hostile Whirlwinds) (1953)   – Soviet film about the first years of Soviet government, 1918-1921, as seen by Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Bolshevik Secret Police

Sedmoy sputnik (The Seventh Companion) (1968) – Soviet film dealing with the years following the Russian Revolution  (currently unavailable)

Beloe solntse pustyni (White Sun of the Desert) (1970) – in today's Turkmenistan a Red Army soldier who fought in the Russian Civil War is going home but has to fight some bandits first

The Red and the White (1967)  --  civil war in post-revolutionary Soviet Union

Arsenal (1928)  --  Dovzhenko's "Ukraine Trilogy" (along with Zvenigora and Earth)

 Chapaev  (Chapayev) (1934)  --  Russian movie about Vasili Ivanovich Chapaev (1887 - 1919) Commander of the Red Army's 25th Division

Nenavist (Hatred)  (1975)  --  the Russian civil war tears a family apart

X  The Adjutant of His Excellency – Soviet mini-series set in the Russian civil war where a Soviet secret policeman spies on the White Army

Бумбараш (Bumbarash) (1971) – Russian film about Pvt. Bumbarash as he tries to survive the Russian Civil War to return to his village and his love

Pervaya konnaya (First Cavalry) (1984) – Russian Civil War

Knight Without Armor (1937) – English spy gets caught up in the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War

Nezabyvaemyy god 1919 (The Unforgettable Year 1919) (1951) – Stalin's cruel suppression of the 1919 anti-communist uprising in St. Petersburg, Russia

Sedmaya Pulya (The Seventh Bullet) (1972)   --  set after the Russian Civil War (in the wake of the Basmachi rebellion)

Neobyknovennoye leto (1979) – life in city of Saratov in 1919 during the Russian Civil War

Neobyknovennoye leto (1957)  --  ditto

Бer (The Flight)   (1970) – Russian film about the defeat of the "White Army" in the Russian Civil War of 1918-21 and emigration to Constantinople

Lyubov Yarovaya (1970) – Soviet film about the Russian Civil War

Svoya chuzhaya zhizn (To Live for Another) (2005) – Bolsheviks set up House of Art in Petrogard of 1921 to control the intellectuals


Russian Front:

Katyn (2007)  --  three women search for relatives killed in the spring of 1940 in a Stalin ordered genocide of 15,000 Polish officers and intellectuals in Katyn Forest

Djariskatsis mama (Father of a Soldier) (1964)  --  following Russian soldier Gregory all the way to Berlin during WWII

Idi i smotri (Come and See)  (1985)  --  resistance to the German invasion of the Soviet Union in Byelorussia

The North Star (1943)  --  a Ukrainian village under Nazi invasion, June 1941

Bilyy ptakh z chornoyu vidznakoyu (White Bird with Black Mark) (1971) --  Ukrainian film, set in 1937-1947, where one brother joins the Red Army and another the UPA  (Ukrainian insurgent army)

Shchors (Shors) (1939)  --  Russian/Ukrainian film, commissioned by Stalin, about the partisan leader and Ukrainian Bolshevik Nikolai Shchors

Days of Glory (1944)  --  guerrillas fight back against the 1941 Nazi invasion of Russia

Posledniy bronepoezd (The Last Armored Train) (2006) --  Russian resistance against Nazi attack in the early stages of Operation Barbarossa

Attack on Leningrad (2009)  --  Nazi siege of Leningrad in the winter of 1942

Baltiyskoe nebo - 1 seriya, 2 seriya (Baltic Skies, Part I & II) (1960)  --  fighter pilots fight against the blockade of Leningrad by German army during 1941 -1943

Wheels of Terror (The Misfit Brigade) (1987)  --  27th Panzer Division fights the Russians on the Eastern Front in 1943

Hong ying tao (Red Cherry) (1995)  --  two Chinese students sent to Russia experience the German invasion of that country

A zori zdes tikhie (The Dawns Here Are Quiet) (1972) – young Russian women up against a larger group of German soldiers in Karelia (North-West of Russia, near Finland) in 1941

Zvezda (The Star) (2002)  --  summer of 1944, facing certain death, a group of seven Russian snipers named "Zvezda" does reconnaissance behind enemy lines to stop a planned Nazi tank offensive

Voskhozhdeniye (Ascent) (1977)  --  two Soviet partisans fight against the Germans

Prikhodi svobodnym (1984) – Russian war film

Letyat zhuravli (The Cranes are Flying) (1957)  --  a girlfriend of a Russian soldier nearly loses her mind desperately waiting for his return



Russia under Stalinism:

Piry Valtasara, ili noch so Stalinym (Baltazar's Feasts or the Night with Stalin) (1989)  --  Stalin and his brutal purges

Prorva (Moscow Parade) (1992) – first Russian, post-Soviet view of Stalinist excesses

Dreszcze (Creeps) (1981)  --  excesses of Stalin and their effect on a man and his two boys

X  Est  - Quest (East-West)  --  Stalin invites Russian émigrés to return home and then double-crosses them

The Assassination of Trotsky (1972)  --  story of the last days of the theorist of the Russian communist revolutionaries, hunted down by his once communist allies 

Frida (2000) --  assassination of Trotsky in Frida's home


Post-War Soviet Union/Russia  Back to Chapter XIII  Back to Contents

Stalin (1922-1953):

Ballada o soldate (Ballad of a Soldier) (1960)  --  A sort of Russian road movie about a young  Russian soldier's four day trip to go home to see his mother

The Chekist  (1992)--  brutal Cheka security forces  (currently unavailable)

Utomlyonnye solntsem (Burnt by the Sun)  (1994)  --  the paranoid era of the evil Stalin

Przesluchanie (Interrogation) (1989) --  Polish film about Stalinist terror in the early 1950s; Tonia, a sleazy cabaret singer, is imprisoned without explanation

Khrushchev (1958-1964):

Serye volki (The Gray Wolves) (1993) – power struggle; Nikita Khrushchev (in position 1958-1964) is ousted by Leonid Brezhnev in 1964 and his goes from 1964 to 1982

The Inner Circle (1991)  --  a true David and Batsheba story in the Soviet Union

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1970) --  Russian gulag penal system  ($119 for new, $27 for used VHS tape)

Gulag (1985)  --  a reporter is framed by the KBG and has to spend time in the gulag penal system

Sakharov (1984)  --  Russian dissident

Leonid Brezhnev (1964-1982):

Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991):

Perestroika (2009)  --  astro-physicist returns after 17 years of exile to the Soviet Union during the period of "restructuring" starting in 1968

Moy luchshiy drug, general Vasiliy, syn Iosifa (My Best Friend, General Vasili, the Son of Joseph Stalin) (1991)   – Lt. Gen. Vasili Stalin commander of Army and Air Force sports teams befriends a sports talent; but what will happen when the general’s father dies?

Boris Yeltsen (1991-1999):

Vladimir Putin (1999-2008):

Chechen Wars:  First Chechen War (Dec. 1994 - August 1996) and Second Chechen War (August 1999 - 2009)

Aleksandra (Alexandra) (2007)  --  a feisty, elderly woman visits her Russian army officer grandson inside Chechnya during Second Russian-Chechen War

Prisoner of the Mountains (1997)  --  drama set in First Russian-Chechen war (1994-1996) 

Dom Durakov (House of Fools) (2002)  --  about psychiatric patients and combatants during the First Chechen War

X  War  --  about the realities of the Second Chechen War

Dmitry Medvedev (2008-present)


Song from the Southern Seas (2009) --  a Russian and a Kazakh couple live in harmony until the white Russian couple have a dark-skinned baby and the fight begins; draws on history of Kazakhstan




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