Letyat zhuravli (The Cranes are Flying)
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Letyat zhuravli (The Cranes are Flying)
Based on a play by V. Rusov, the Russian The Cranes are Flying is a love story set during the early years of World War II. With her boyfriend Boris (Alexei Batalov) on the front lines - and no sign of life from him for eons - Veronica (Tatiana Samoilova, Constantin Stanislavsky's grandniece) is raped by Boris's cousin, Fyodor (Vasily Merkuryev), during an air raid, and later accepts his marriage proposal, despite her lack of love for him - hoping that he'll eventually be able to replace her boyfriend. Several subsequent events (both joyous and melancholy) enable the heroine to… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's exactly what you'd expect: tepid, artsy, and grayish."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"[VIDEO ESSAY] The visual simplicity that Kalatozov uses to establish the story allows the filmmaker to gradually - painstakingly - develop the film's thematic complexity toward a psychological and emotional crescendo..."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Moving melodramatic war movie."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"...these lyrical visuals (and some splendid performances) transform a story that would otherwise be thin melodrama into a confident and polished film packing an impressive amount of visual and emotional material into its 95 minutes."
‑ Mark Bourne, DVDJournal.com
"In the rich Russian tradition founded by Eisenstein ..., director Mikhail Kalatozov and cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky leave a visually pleasing treasure"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"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."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"A film of thunderbolts, volcanic partings and reunions, eyes that flash at the viewer"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"A beautiful performance is given by the gorgeous Samoilova, the great-niece of Stanislavsky and daughter of an actor father, Yevgeni Samoilov."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Lovely, humane and heartbreaking"
‑ Dan Jardine, Apollo Guide
"tells an old, melodramatic war story in visual terms that are so striking and evocative that you are able to overlook the plot ellipses, contrivances, and cliches"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"A key post-war effort, both for its cinematic audacity and for its frank, moving depiction of families and lovers torn apart by violence."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"Wow!"
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"dazzling, magnificently made"
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"Ranks among the best war movies ever made."
‑ Scott Renshaw, Apollo Guide
"Ultra-realistic"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
More reviews for Letyat zhuravli (The Cranes are Flying) on Rotten Tomatoes