Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Aleksey Sidorov|
|Written by||Aleksey Sidorov|
Mars Media Entertainment
|Distributed by||Central Partnership|
|Budget||600 million rubles |
|Box office||2,225,624,380 rubles |
T-34 (Russian: Т-34) is a 2019 Russian war film directed by Aleksey Sidorov. The film tells about the cadet Nikolay Ivushkin, who is captured and plans to make an escape. For this, he collects the crew and challenges the Nazis. The T-34 is a World War II-era Soviet medium tank used during the invasion of the Soviet Union. It stars Alexander Petrov as Nikolay Ivushkin, with Viktor Dobronravov, Irina Starshenbaum, Anton Bogdanov, Yuriy Borisov, Semyon Treskunov and Artyom Bystrov, army of the Soviet Union.
The film received mixed to positive reviews, with critics praising the quality of production and effects. It has also been successful commercially by grossing 2.2 billion rubles (about $ 26 million), against a production budget of only 600 million, after a week in cinemas. It is in second place on Russia's biggest blockbusters list with over 8.5 million viewers and 2 billion rubles.
In 1941, a Nikolay Ivushkin, junior lieutenant (Alexander Petrov) is driving with a subordinate when they encounter a German Panzer III Tank. Through some courageous driving they manage to escape unscathed and get back to their men. At the village Nikolay is shown to be a tank commander of a damaged T-34 tank. His men and him attempt to delay a major German advance. They withstand withering fire and the T-34 takes many hits but manages to take out a number of German tanks. Finally at the end of the battle with most of the Russian defenders killed, Nikolay is captured.
Nikolay is sent to a concentration camp. The Camp Commander Klaus Jager (Vinzenz Kiefer) realises Nikolay is a somewhat talented tank commander gets his beautiful interpreter Anya (Irina Starshenbaum), a Russian prisoner in the camp) to convince Nikolay to take up Jager's challenge. Jager wants to use Nikolay as a pawn in war games that his own tank crews can use for target practise. Nikolay accepts the challenge but with a cunning plan of escape in mind.
Nikolay selects from the camp 4 other men who he will train to crew the damaged T-34-85. The men resist initially, viewing Nikolay a traitor and collaborator. As they encounter the tank the Germans request the Russians to clear out the dead bodies of its former crew. It is then the men realise that Nioklay is not a traitor. As they remove each body from the tank, Nikolay hides shells in with the body. The Russians bury the crew outside of the camp on the tank range. After a period of days the crew are unleashed into the tank ground where Nikolay heads directly for the burial ground and retrieves the 6 shells.
Back at the camp as Jager is giving a presentation to members of the high command and extolling the virtues of what his exercise will provide, Anya is shown sneaking into his office and stole the maps for escaping to Czech. In this guise it is shown she has certain permissions and is allowed leave the camp.
Meanwhile as the exercise commences, the Germans watch as one of their tanks advances on the "unarmed" T-34-85. The Russian fire and destroy the German tank and quickly fire their second shell at the German observation post before escaping from the camp damaging a number of vehicles. The Russians rejoice as the Germans plot how to capture and destroy the T-34-85. Anya meanwhile is collected outside of the camp by a grateful Nikolay and his men. They realise they are trapped deep in German territory and plot a course to bring them back to the German lines.
Jager meanwhile gets some planes to find the missing T-34-85 and locates them. He then takes command of 4 German Panther tanks and sets a trap for Nikolay in a small hamlet. Nikolay and his crew burn their clothes and liberate fresh clothing and food and enjoy their night of freedom. As it comes to a close Nikolay and Anya make love. Nikolay later sends her on her way, knowing that the Germans will hunt them down and most likely kill them.
The film comes to a climax when the T-34-85 encounters Jager and his squadron of 3 tanks. Nikolay through cunning and guile desposes of 1 tank before sending one of his men armed with a grenade out to take over one of the other Panther. The russian succeeds but is mortally wounded in killing the tank crew. Nikolay crashes through walls before colliding with one of the tanks. The Russians manually turn the damaged turret and manage to get a shot off just as the Panther is about to fire and destroy the tank. Unfortunately Jager has arrived with his tank and he lines up his Panther to destroy Nikolay when out of nowhere Nioklay's mortally wounded soldier manages to get a shell out of the Panther he damaged. Jager's tank is also damaged but he quickly disposes of the captured Panther.
Both Jager and Nikolay emerge from their tanks and Jager lays down a gauntlet. Both tanks move to outside of the town and face off over a narrow bridge leading to an aqueduct. Jager lines his shot up at the T-34-85's tracks, while Nikolay aims for the weakest spot on the Panther. Both shots hit their intended targets and two tanks crashed into each other. The Panther is left hanging dangerously over the aqueduct and Jager emerges just as Nikolay clambers out of his tank. Jager shouts for Nikolay to shoot him but Nikolay offers his foe mercy. Just then the Panther starts to slide off the bridge, Nikolay counter balances the weight by pressing on the tank with his boot. He offers Jager his hand and the German seems to accept it. For a second it seems like Jager intends to pull Nikolay with him but he shakes his foe's hand before releasing it. Nikolay shocked, watches as the Panther tumbles into the water below.
The film ends showing that all remaining members of the Russian crew made it back home and survived the war.
- Alexander Petrov as Nikolay Ivushkin, junior lieutenant
- Vinzenz Kiefer as Klaus Jäger
- Viktor Dobronravov as Stepan Vasilyonok
- Irina Starshenbaum as Anya Yartseva
- Yuriy Borisov as Serafim Ionov, tankman-artillery
- Anton Bogdanov as Demyan Volchok, tankman-machine gunner
- Pyotr Skvortsov as Lykov
- Semyon Treskunov as Vasiliy Teterya
- Guram Bablishvili as Gabuliya, tarshina, commander of the infantry
- Danila Rassomakhin as Vasechkin
- Artyom Bystrov as Korin, captain
- Joshua Grothe as Thielicke
- Wolfgang Cerny as Hein
- Mike Davies as Guderian
- Igor Khripunov as Lapikov
- Yaroslav Shtefanov as Makeev, machine-gunner
- Anton Shurtsov as Chief of Staff
- Aleksandra Torgushnikova as Vasilyonok's Wife
- Danil Tyabin as Radio Operator
- Christoph Urban as Schlozer
- Aleksey Ushakov as Telephonist
- Vladimir Vinogradov as Refueller
- Polina Volkova as Daughter of the Mistress
- Alexandr Zaporozhets as Petya
The shooting process of T-34 started on 23 February and continued for 61 days. Some scenes were shot in Moscow, Kaluga and Moscow regions, others in the Czech Republic, Prague, Loket[disambiguation needed], Rudolfinum and Terezin. For the picture, more than 25 scale scenery was built, among them a Russian village and a prisoner of war camp. Five military-historical consultants took part in the making of the film.
In the film, several real T-34 tanks were destroyed during the war and remade and updated for the film. The film also showed several Nazi and Soviet cars, such as SD.KFZ. 251, simply "Zimmerit" and tank "Panther".
Production designer Konstantin Pagutin spent a whole month building an entire village in a field near the village of Starlkowka, Kluj County, although the houses were destroyed at the beginning of the film, each one was designed in its own particular style, including hand-picked decorations and props.
The film was scheduled to be released on December 27, 2018 in cinemas, but instead the picture was released on January 1, 2019, five days later than the planned date, distributors such as the Central Partnership and for rental converted to IMAX format.
T-34 premiered at Comic-Con Russia 2018, the most attended Russian festival of pop culture, which took place in Moscow from 4 to 7 in October and once again beat attendance records, was held by the Central Partnership company.
On the first day of rental, the Russian box office amounted to 111,335,336 rubles.
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