Director: Fridrikh Ermler.
Writers: Boris Chirskov.
Stars: Mikhail Derzhavin, Pyotr Andriyevsky, Yuri Tolubeyev.
Runtime: 108 minutes
Plot: An absorbing account of the Battle of Stalingrad and the trying circumstances in which the soldiers fought, setting stage for the battle with the highest bloodshed in the history of warfare.
Review: The film tells about the fates of those who participated in the Stalingrad battle in 1942, which became a large break in the Eastern theatre of World War II and also the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. In the course of five months the city resisted Fascist offensive. To return Stalingrad to the enemy meant losing the war, but also to hold city it seemed almost impossible as the casualties reach unimaginable heights.
The story is an exhilarating and ardent tale about the struggles of the Russian army to hold on to Stalingrad while the German offensive rained down with all they had to cripple Stalin's stronghold. A critical depiction of the struggles of war, it is a harrowing portrayal of the lives of soldiers away from home, fighting under command in ruthless conditions of the cold Russian front, unsure of how the encounters will be benefitting either side. The panoramic views of the landscapes and the dark, melancholy sequences of the dialogues as Ermler's signature are wonderfully executed and almost complete the expressions and performances of the actors. It is a wonderful film to watch for classic movie enthusiasts, and war movie fans will find it a particularly unique experience.
Reviewed by Mohaiminul Islam