Aleksandr Nevskiy (Alexander Nevsky) (1938) - Rotten Tomatoes

Aleksandr Nevskiy (Alexander Nevsky) (1938)

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Movie Info

Like many of Eisenstein's best films, Alexander Nevsky was conceived as a morale-booster, aimed at stirring up Russian patriotism. It is set in the 13th century, but the villainous Teutonic Knights are obviously meant to represent the burgeoning threat of Hitler's hordes. With Russia besieged by both these knights and by the Tartars, only a charismatic leader can save the populace from these barbaric baby killers (yes, we see the villains tossing screaming infants into bonfires!) The hero of the piece is the legendary Prince Alexander Nevsky, portrayed by Nikolai Cherkasov, who bears a striking resemblance to Gary Cooper. The saving turnaround for Nevsky is the battle of ice-covered Lake Peipus in 1242. This bravura sequence is staged in spectacular fashion, underlined by the specially-commissioned music of Sergei Prokofiev.

Cast

Nikolay Cherkasov
as Alexander Nevsky
Nikolai Okhlopkov
as Vassily Buslai
N.N. Arski
as Domash
Dmitri N. Orlov
as Ignat, Master Armourer
V.K. Novikov
as Pavsha, Governor of Pskov
Varvara Massalitinova
as Amefa Timofeyevna
Vladimir Yershov
as Master of the Teutonic Order
Valeria O. Massalitinova
as Amefa Timofeyevna, Mother of Buslai
Valentina Ivashova
as Olga, a Novgorod Girl
Andrei Abrikosov
as Gavrilo Olexich
V.L. Ersbov
as Master of the Teutonic Order
Sergei Blinnikov
as Tverdilo, Traitorous Mayor of Pskov
Sergey Blinnikov
as Tverdillo, Traitorous Mayor of Pskov
Ivan Lagutin
as Anani, a Monk
Lev Fenin
as The Bishop
N.A. Rogozbbin
as The Black-Robed Monk
N.A. Rogozbin
as The Black-robed Monk
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Critic Reviews for Aleksandr Nevskiy (Alexander Nevsky)

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4)

Sergei Eisenstein's mannerist epic about the Russian hero who warded off the invading Teutonic knights is a near-perfect combination of image and sound.

September 22, 2008 | Full Review…
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Edouard Tisse's superb photography and Prokofiev's stirring score contribute to a rhythm that is well-nigh irresistible.

April 9, 2005 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It is impossible... not to marvel at his stylistic insistence that all people walk along a sky-line, and not to wish, in the same breath, that more directors had his talent for doing great things so well and little things so badly.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

A timeless historical epic.

February 18, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Though made in 1938, Eisenstein historical epic, drawing parallels between the thirteenth centure and the late 1930s, is still one of the most rousing sepectacles ever made, rich in imagery and sound.

January 24, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…
EmanuelLevy.Com

Sergei Eisenstein's classic tale of 13th-century Russia is as magnificent today as it must have been in 1938.

August 28, 2006 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for Aleksandr Nevskiy (Alexander Nevsky)

Totally unrelevant to today and simply boring to watch. I'm not doubting the genius of Sergei Eisenstein but I just couldn't watch.

Sophie Burgess
Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

½

Sergei is all about the framing, comrade. One message is clear: the Russians *really* hated the Germans! Interesting piece of cinema history/propaganda as this came out on the brink of WW II recounting the heroics of Alexander of Russia as he repelled the German invaders of 1242. The German helmets and armor designs are not far off from Orc garb, and one religious leader looks like Marty Feldman in "Young Frankenstein," cowled robe and all. The battle scenes are staggering in scope, using hundreds or maybe even a thousand people and horses. Unfortunately they drag on too long, as does the time spent on an uninteresting romantic triangle subplot.

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

Illustrious portrait of a heroic Russian figure demented by a dutiful force in a spiritual defense.The film may display images of pious behavior but haste not,this is an epic drama and the people are who matter most,not ideologies.Magnificent score by Prokofiev.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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