Ballad of a Soldier
Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

A young Russian soldier is awarded a four day pass after destroying two enemy tanks. He plans to visit his mother and fix her roof, but a series of events underscoring the hopeless destruction of war limits his visit to a few minutes. The… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1959
DVD Release Date: April 30, 2002
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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.

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Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies

Deceptively simple, heartfelt.

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Mark Bourne

...a simple, genuine, and non-dogmatic meditation on the incalculably tragic cost of war.

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Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

It's fairly standard stuff, made into something more by a sense of humanity and a knack for avoiding outright schmaltz.

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Emanuel Levy

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.

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John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

Had Ballad of a Soldier received wider play in 1960, more Americans would have realized that individual Russians are real human beings

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Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

... a simple, poetic tale where the sentimental streak and patriotic idealism common to the Soviet formula is humanized with vivid characters and tender direction.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's a lyrical humanistic black and white film that's simply told and its universal anti-war message is easily understood.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

Almost awkwardly idealistic, instead of brimming with socialist rhetoric, the film celebrates the individual human spirit and the power of good deeds.

More reviews for Ballad of a Soldier

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Randy Tippy
The leave of a young Russian soldier is sidetracked by his own kindness and humanity. A story of human decency set against a backdrop of destruction and… More
Eric Broome
A lovely, heartbreaking, somewhat episodic film about the travels of a young Russian soldier who's given a short leave to go home and see his mother.… More
Cindy I
A beautifully-made film from Russia. As a reward for a heroic deed in battle, a young soldier receives six days leave to go home to see his mother. The rest of… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]"Ballad of a Soldier" takes place in the Soviet Union during World War II. A 19-year old soldier, Alexei, cut off from his unit… More
Tim Sigur
A little hokey, but really well made.