Battle of Moscow (film)

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Battle of Moscow
Moscow 1985.jpg
A poster of the film.
Directed by Yuri Ozerov
Produced by Anatoly Raskazov
Screenplay by Yuri Ozerov
Starring Mikhail Ulyanov
Narrated by Vyacheslav Tikhonov
Music by Aleksandra Pakhmutova
Cinematography Igor Chernykh, Vladimir Gusev
Edited by Svetlana Metelitsa
Production
  company
Mosfilm
DEFA-Babelsberg
Barrandov Studios
Fafim
Release date(s) 1 November 1985
Running time 358 minutes (combined)
Film I(1): 91 minutes
Film I(2): 88 minutes
Film II(1): 90 minutes
Film II(2): 89 minutes
Country Soviet Union
East Germany
Czechoslovakia
Vietnam
Language Russian, German.

The Battle of Moscow (Russian: Битва за Москву, Bitva za Moskvu) is a 1985 Soviet two-part film, presenting a dramatized account of the 1941 Battle of Moscow and the events preceding it. The films were a Soviet-East German-Czechoslovak-Vietnamese co-production directed by Yuri Ozerov who also wrote the script.[1] It was made in time for the 40th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany and the 20th anniversary of the proclamation of the Victory Day holiday and Moscow's declaration as a Hero City.

Plot[edit]

Film I: Aggression[edit]

Part 1[edit]

In the aftermath of the victory in France, Hitler decides to attack the Soviet Union and selects Marshal von Bock in charge of leading Army Group Center of the Wehrmacht into Russia. Ilse Stöbe, Rudolf von Scheliha and Richard Sorge inform of the danger, but the Soviet intelligence dismisses their warnings. Zhukov is concerned that the army is ill-prepared; Pavlov decries him as a fear-monger. The Red Army officers are convinced that in the event of an invasion, they would immediately counter-attack. On 22 June 1941 Germany launches Operation Barbarossa, overwhelming the Soviets.

Part 2[edit]

The Red Army tries to counter the assault with a string of hasty operations, while the Brest Fortress is desperately defended. The Soviets manages to recapture Yelnya but having Lieutenant General L.G. Petrovsky killed in action. Stalin insists on defending Kiev, and his forces suffer immense losses.

Film II: Typhoon[edit]

Part 1[edit]

The Wehrmacht enacts to attack Moscow in which Hitler decides to call it Operation Typhoon. Richard Sorge finds out that Japan won't attack the USSR in 1941. The Germans approach the Soviet capital, winning the Battle at Borodino Field and breaching the Mozhaisk line. Stalin decides to remain in Moscow.

Part 2[edit]

The enemy is at the outskirts of the city, yet the traditional 7 November parade takes place as always. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya is captured and executed, and Panfilov's men fight to the last. Rokossovsky begs Zhukov to allow retreat but is refused. After all seems lost, the Germans grind to a halt since because of the harsh winter. On 6 December, the Soviets launch a successful counter-offensive by using the air force, the cavalry, tanks, and ski troops. Forcing the Germans to retreat, causing Hitler to blame his generals.

Production[edit]

Battle of Moscow was director Ozerov's third film dealing with the Second World War, after the five-part Liberation and the TV mini-series Soldiers of Freedom. Ozerov was not allowed to deal with the early, dark chapters of the war in Liberation due to political pressure, and Soldiers of Freedom revolved around the battles outside the Soviet Union. For the 40th year to the victory over Germany, Ozerov intended to create a film about the first stages on the war, from the beginning of the invasion on 22 June 1941 until the Wehrmacht's defeat near Moscow.[2]

Unlike Liberation, Ozerov's most acclaimed work, Battle of Moscow was a purely historical film, with no fictional characters included in the plot. The actors selected to portray the main roles were mostly ones who already appeared as such in the director's earlier works, especially Mikhail Ulyanov who depicted Zhukov in all of Ozerov's films. Eventually, the production involved a crew of some six thousand people.[3]

The German-speaking actors were contacted through DEFA, while the scenes involving Richard Sorge were shot in Vietnam with the assistance of the Fafim studio.[4] Marshal Sergei Rudenko served as the chief military consultant of the movie; the battle scenes involved troops from the Red Army as extras.[5] The filming of the open-door battle scenes took place in Czechoslovakia, but the urban combat was shot Moscow itself: buildings in the wrecked parts of the city were demolished with explosives to simulate bomber attacks.[6]

The film premiered in the Moscow Film Festival.[7]

Reception[edit]

Yuri Ozerov won the Grand Prize in the 1986 Alma Ata All-Union Film Festival for his work on the film, as well as the Alexander Dovzhenko Golden Medal.[8]

Russian film critic Alexander Fedorov called the movie "a large-scale war production typical to Yuri Ozerov" which presents Stalin as a wise leader, and depicts Zhukov as a brilliant general. Fedorov also commented on the battle scenes, describing them as "impressive... involving tanks, airplanes and artillery."[9]

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Aleksandra Pakhmutova made the music and the movie soundtrack. The movie's theme song "You're my hope, you're my joy" was composed by her and Nikolai Dobronranov, and was sung by Lev Leshchenko.

References[edit]

External links[edit]