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Letyat zhuravli (The Cranes are Flying) Reviews

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Bob S

Super Reviewer

April 4, 2007
Exceptional and literally glorious filmaking. The story was perhaps a bit simple: young love interrupted by the great war - three cheers for us and war is bad. But - given the place and time this was created - 1957 USSR, still pretty edgy. Dynamic camerawork sometimes takes lead role and omg beautiful actress Tatyana Smojlova was completely captivating.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

July 3, 2007
The only Russian film to ever win the Palm'dor. A beautifully photographed love in the time of war movie that's well worth your time (if you're into that sort of thing).
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

April 7, 2008
simple, melodramatic plot. this is one of the first films to venture beyond stalinist restrictions and is quite personal. amazing editing and hand-held camera shots adeptly express or underscore emotions of the characters.
Tim S

Super Reviewer

March 6, 2009
SPOILER ALERT (I hate saying that, but I think that a lot of people should see this movie and I don't want to ruin it for anyone). The story was simple, but played out with great technique and a lot of cool surprises along the way that made it original. I love the lead actress, I thought she played the part extremely well and brought a great humanistic quality to the character. The cinematography was outstanding and there are some things done in this film that I have no idea how they did it. I guess my problem with it is (and it's a really petty one) is that if this girl was so in love with this guy who went off to war, why the fuck is she marrying his cousin? I mean, I understand it was a chaotic time, but come on! But like I said, really petty, but I highly recommend this film to everyone.
bbcfloridabound
bbcfloridabound

Super Reviewer

April 7, 2008
Growing up we are led to beleive that other countries are backward and behind the USA, that is so untrue. This Russina film was made in 1957 and will match any film in America. Thanks to Criterion Collection for bringing it to our attention. Its Film Number 146 in this collection. A fantastic love story that invloves war. Like all Criterion Collection Films, if you can find it (Very Expensive), better add it to your collection.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

June 18, 2005
[font=Century Gothic][color=red]"Come and See" takes place in Byelorussia, 1943. Young Flor is ready and eager to join up with the partisans to fight the invading Nazis. But at the partisan camp, he is left behnd to mind the store. And that is where the danger begins for him.[/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000][/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]"Come and See" is a worthy movie because it honestly depicts the horrors of war, specifically those committed by the Nazis. But it could have been better if the movie had been more consistent and if it had been subtle at all. The film's style consists of flowing tracking shots and close-ups, mostly those of Flor who is our witness to what is going on. And occasionally the film seems to be borrowing its style from Tarkovsky and Fellini.[/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000][/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=black][/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Cranes are Flying" starts out in the Soviet Union on the eve of World War II. Boris and Veronica are a young couple, madly in love. War is declared and Boris enlists.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Cranes are Flying" is a simple, well-made story of young love interrupted by larger events, beyond the control of the people involved. It also contrasts life on the front lines as compared to what is going on in the home front. The movie seems to have been made with limited resources but it is clear that the director tried to be innovative whenever possible which leads to quite a few memorable scenes. [/font]
Robert F

Super Reviewer

October 16, 2010
Mostly a work of overimpressive technical virtuosity.
jjb3332003
March 30, 2009
Considering this was made in 50's USSR it's quite stylish, but it feels about 15 years older than what it is and, since I'm not really a fan of that time period, I really didn't find much special here, though the end was poignant.
January 9, 2007
Beautifully shot, and, especially for a Soviet film, very human and warm. But let me reiterate - this is beautiful to look at. Even if you're not a cinephile, or someone who usually notices these sorts of things.
RicC
June 10, 2009
This one struck me pretty hard on an emotional level (Yeah uh shut up already).

Depressing war romance, soapish maybe, but necessary.
artdecaderoo
April 3, 2009
EXCELLENT cinematography! Sad but lovely story. The message is very Russian, and I don't mean that as a bad thing.
August 30, 2007
The most optimistic Russian film I have ever seen, which is funny, because it's still a real downer of a movie. The movie moves at a fantastic pace and keeps you engaged the entire time. What's great about this film is that it doesn't treat the audience like an idiot. While there are noble and less noble characters, all of the parts are three-dimensional. You are angry at Veronica while sympathizing with her. You hate Mark, but in a believable sense. The plot isn't spoon-fed, but is still extremely easy to follow. On top of all of this, the constant chaos and turmoil is shown in such a cool, fluid method that your adrenaline pumps in sync with that frustration.
January 8, 2014
One of the most memorable movies I have ever seen. The crane camera shots are unforgettable. It helps to know a bit about the horror of the Eastern Front in WWII: 20 million people from the Soviet Union died. Makes my 100 greatest movies list. It helps that I have seen the mass graves in Leningrad.
June 8, 2013
Can be seen as counterpart to "Ballad of a Soldier". Filmed around the same time, this film takes the perspective of a young woman during the second world war. Social and moral confusion of the film are added to with social exile and the inability to redeem ones self.
October 24, 2012
My all time favorite!
January 22, 2013
Two young lovers, separated by the war, maintain an impossible dream of seeing each other again. The film is a hopelessly romantic anti war manifesto, though never forgetting to be patriotic and proud as a production of Communist Soviet Union was expected to have been. The film is very dramatic and gripping, and filled with unpredictable and grim plot developments.
November 19, 2012
a melodrama saved by it magnificent cinematography
Virus
November 27, 2008
Just an absolutely beautifully directed film. I really think this underseen and talked about film needs to be seen by a many more people.
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