The Battle of Stalingrad (film)
|The Battle of Stalingrad|
A poster of the film.
|Directed by||Vladimir Petrov|
|Produced by||Nikolai Dostal|
|Screenplay by||Nikolai Virta|
|Narrated by||Yuri Levitan|
|Music by||Aram Khachaturian|
|Edited by||Klavdiya Moskvina|
|192 minutes (combined)
In the Kremlin, Stalin analyzes the Wehrmacht's movements and concludes that the Germans aim to capture Stalingrad. Hitler, who believes the city is the key to final victory, orders his generals take it at all costs.
As the enemy approaches Stalingrad, the Red Army and the local population rally to defend it in bitter house-to-house combat, stalling the German advance. In Moscow, Stalin plans the counter-offensive.
The Wehrmacht launches a last, massive assault, intended to overwhelm the defenders of Stalingrad. As the Red Army is pushed back to the Volga, Stalin orders the commencement of Operation Uranus. The German 6th Army is encircled, and efforts to relieve the Stalingrad pocket fail. General Friedrich Paulus, ordered by Hitler to hold to the end, refuses to surrender while his soldiers starve. The Soviets close on the city, battering the German forces as they advance. After Red Army soldiers enter his command post, Paulus orders his remaining troops to surrender. The Soviets hold a victory rally in liberated Stalingrad; In Moscow, Stalin looks at a map, setting his eyes on Berlin.
The film is the last of the 'Artistic Documentaries', a series of propaganda epics that recreated the history of the Second World War with a Stalinist interpretation of the events. Like all of the other films in the genre, The Battle of Stalingrad consists mainly of battle scenes and staff meetings, reconstructing the campaign from the point of view of the soldiers and the generals, in a heroic manner fitting the state's ideology.
The movie won the Crystal Globe in the 1949 Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Aleksei Dikiy, who portrayed Stalin, received the 1949 Gottwaldov Film Festival's prize, and director Vladimir Petrov won the Czechoslovak Workers' Film Festival Best Director Award. Petrov, cinematographer Yuri Yekelchik and four actors – Aleksei Dikiy, Nikolai Simonov, Yuri Shumski and Vladimir Gaidarov – were awarded the Stalin Prize at 1950 for their role in the film.
French critic André Bazin wrote that the film portrayed Stalin as a super-human leader, showing him planning the Soviet war effort almost on his own: "Even if we grant Stalin a hyper-Napoleonic military genius... It would be childish to think that events in the Kremlin unfolded as they are seen here." Richard Taylor listed The Battle of Stalingrad as "a personality cult film".
- Aleksei Dikiy as Joseph Stalin
- Nikolai Ryzhov as Lazar Kaganovich
- Maxim Schtrauch as Vyacheslav Molotov
- Viktor Khokhryakov as Georgi Malenkov
- Yuri Tolubeyev as Andrei Zhdanov
- Yuri Shumski as General Alexander Vasilevsky
- Boris Livanov as General Konstantin Rokossovsky
- Vladimir Golovin as General Nikolai Vatutin
- Vasili Merkuryevas General Nikolay Voronov
- Nikolai Simonov as General Vasily Chuikov
- Nikolai Kryuchkov as Colonel Ivanov
- Mikhail Nazvanov as Colonel Ivan Lyudnikov
- Alexander Antonov as Colonel Popov
- Leonid Kniazev as Sergeant Yakov Pavlov
- Viktor Stanitsyn as Winston Churchill/General Fedor Tolbukhin
- Nikolay Cherkasov as Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- Konstantin Mikhailov as W. Averell Harriman
- Mikhail Astangov as Adolf Hitler
- Nikolai Komissarov as Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel
- Boris Svoboda as General Alfred Jodl
- Nikolai Rybnikov as Field Marshal Maximilian von Weichs
- Rostislav Plyatt as General Hermann Hoth
- Vladimir Gaidarov as Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus
- Vladimir Vsevolodov as General Arthur Schmidt
- Yevgeni Kaluzhski as General Wilhelm Adam (first film)
- Nikolai Nikolaievski as General Wilhelm Adam (second film)
- Mira and Antonin Liehm, The Most Important Art, ISBN 0-520-03157-1. Pages 58-61.
- An essay by Michal Barrett.
- An essay by James von Geldryn. Archived December 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- The 4th Karlovy Vary Film Festival – 1949.
- The Battle of Stalingrad in the Soviet Encyclopedia of Cinema. (in Russian)
- Bazin at Work, ISBN 0415900174. Page 28.
- Film Propaganda, ISBN 1860641679, page 48.
- Part I and Part II on the IMDb.
- The Battle of Stalingrad on Kino-teatr.ru.
- The Battle of Stalingrad original East German posters on ostfilm.de.