Ballad of a Soldier
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The award-winning Ballad of a Soldier was the first Russian film to score an American success during the Cold War era. It is a relatively simple, uncomplicated story of a callow young Russian conscript (Vladimir Ivashov) who yearns for home and hearth during World War II. Unfortunately, only those who have committed a conspicuously heroic act are being honored with liberty. Almost in spite of himself, the boy becomes a battlefield hero, and as a result is allowed to visit his family. En route to his home, the boy uses up much of his valuable leave time through his efforts to help others. He… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"One of those "universal" tales that are so often vague and sticky, but the simplicity and restraint of director Grigori Chukhrai lift it above the run."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Deceptively simple, heartfelt."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"...a simple, genuine, and non-dogmatic meditation on the incalculably tragic cost of war."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"Perfectly crafted."
‑ Christopher Null,
"It's fairly standard stuff, made into something more by a sense of humanity and a knack for avoiding outright schmaltz."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"At once particular and universal, this lyrically poetic, emotionally touching anti-war movie is one of the most honored and popular Russian films ever made, achieving an instant status of a classic."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Had Ballad of a Soldier received wider play in 1960, more Americans would have realized that individual Russians are real human beings"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"... a simple, poetic tale where the sentimental streak and patriotic idealism common to the Soviet formula is humanized with vivid characters and tender direction."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"It's a lyrical humanistic black and white film that's simply told and its universal anti-war message is easily understood."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Almost awkwardly idealistic, instead of brimming with socialist rhetoric, the film celebrates the individual human spirit and the power of good deeds."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
More reviews for Ballad of a Soldier on Rotten Tomatoes