The Cranes are Flying (Letyat zhuravli)

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96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 24

94%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,348
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Movie Info

Based on a play by V. Rusov, this Russian film is a love story set during the early years of WWII. Widowed by the war, Tatyana Samoylova reluctantly marries her late husband's cousin, hoping that he'll be a surrogate for her fallen spouse.

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News & Interviews for The Cranes are Flying (Letyat zhuravli)

Critic Reviews for The Cranes are Flying (Letyat zhuravli)

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (1)

  • Quote not available.

    January 18, 2008 | Rating: 6/6

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's exactly what you'd expect: tepid, artsy, and grayish.

    January 19, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Thanks to Mr. Kalatozov's direction and the excellent performance Tatyana Samoilova gives as the girl, one absorbs a tremendous feeling of sympathy from this film -- a feeling that has no awareness of geographical or political bounds.

    December 8, 2003 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A key post-war effort, both for its cinematic audacity and for its frank, moving depiction of families and lovers torn apart by violence.

    June 11, 2002

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • A significant Soviet film in that it featured recognizable humans rather than propagandist props.

    April 9, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • We see glimpses of Boris after his deployment but Kalatozov saves the most disquieting glimpses of the war for the homefront where, while Veronika longs for the past, the harsh present sweeps forward in cold blood.

    April 9, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Cranes are Flying (Letyat zhuravli)

  • Jul 10, 2011
    Flawless war masterpiece, mostly captivating and heartbreaking, but honest drama about a doomed romance set in war times. Kalatozov uses powerful ideals of moral, a wonderful photography and ambitious editing techniques to create unforgettable sequences, from the car accident to the brilliant ending, a scene that definitely should be applauded. 100/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 16, 2010
    Mostly a work of overimpressive technical virtuosity.
    Robert F Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2009
    Veronica and Boris are walking in the streets of Moscow and they love each other. Veronica is laughing, cause they are happy together this morning. They see some cranes in the sky, stay and look at them... enjoing the moment and they talk about a rendezvous at the bank of the river. But destiny sometimes is cruel and the 2nd World War begins in Moscow. Boris hasn't got time to speak with Veronica. He has to go to the war and they do not have the chance to say goodbye to each other!!! However, Veronika does not forget Boris, and keeps waiting for him ...What a tragic compination War - Love... I realy fell entranced by the beaty of this movie. Like most great films, is at its heart a love story but not only. Two scenes are still remaning in my mind and I can't forget them!!! A death of a young soldier, an endless moment into a swirling visualization of his last thoughts and spinning trees above with a desperate race up a flight of stairs. In the other Mark confesses his love for Veronika in the midst of a massive air raid, with Verokina's repeatedly slapping his face and screaming "Nyet!" rhythmically syncopated with the dropping of the bombs. That she would turn around in the very next scene and marry him is a bit hard to swallow. Beatiful performance by Samoilova. Her face grounds the story as she reacts to a diatribe against faithless women, and as she falls into despair over whether Boris will ever return. Though Kalatozov goes to the battleground for one key segment of the film, his interest lies mostly with those left behind and damaged by war indirectly. The emotional force of Samoilova?s acting makes that pain as real as a gunshot. The Cranes Are Flying ranks among the best war movies ever made.
    Arianeta L Super Reviewer
  • Mar 06, 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.
    Tim S Super Reviewer

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