Ivan's Childhood (Ivanovo detstvo)
Ivan's Childhood (Ivanovo detstvo) (1962)

A 12-year-old Russian orphan, because of his small size and ability to evade Nazi troops, works as a spy and a scout doing reconnaissance work for Soviet troops.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: April 6, 1962
DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Ostensibly an atypical Tarkovsky work (less than 100 minutes!), Ivan's Childhood carries the poetry and passion that would characterize the director from here on.

Tom Huddleston
Time Out

No other director is simultaneously so precise and so otherworldly.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Beauty, poetry and sadness are certainly lodged in its brief dramatic span, to be seized and embraced by anybody who will give a compassionate mind to it.

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MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher

[A] subdued depiction of warfare as mostly a lot of waiting around for brief explosive action... The orphan kid - who several times describes himself as 'jittery' - is a more openly shell-shocked version of all the adults around him.

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TIME Magazine

Director Andrei Tarkovsky has mixed daring with poetry in making this film: he shows the Soviet hero as an individual troubled with the doubts and complexities of other humans.

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Stephen Kelly
Total Film

No one paints a stark landscape like Tarkovsky, but we're not just talking surface beauty; the director shows a rare understanding of the consequences of combat.

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Geoffrey Macnab
Independent (UK)

Tarkovsky pays full attention to the squalor and pity of war but never loses his sense of poetry.

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Mark Chalon Smith
Los Angeles Times

While the emotional weight of Ivan is clear from the first frames -- Tarkovsky doesn't stray from making us feel the pain of Ivan's world -- there is that sense of music the director is so intent on conveying.

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Tom Birchenough
The Arts Desk

The work in which the remarkable nature of [Tarkovsky's] talent first shone through.

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Peter Bradshaw


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Flixster Audience Score: 94% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
Tarkovsky's first major film is this wonderful drama about the loss of innocence and the horrors of war as seen through the eyes of a Russian orphan boy,… More
Greg S
A 12-year old orphan boy works as a scout for the Russian army during WWII, journeying alone into Nazi territory to gather intel on troop positions. Beautifully… More
Alex roy
Ivan's Childhood is a fine, well crafted picture that showcases the subtlety of Andrei Tarkovsky's work. The film is brilliantly crafted with a… More
Bruce Bruce
From the Criterion Collection Spine Number 397, this is a excellent Russian film about a young boy who is actually a spy for the Russians against the Germans in… More
danny d
without question one of the most beautifully shot films in history. realizing that this is tarkovsky's debut only adds to its lure, first time directors… More
Randy Tippy
Tarkovsky's near masterpiece of lost innocence. The story of a young Russian boy who, having lost his family, serves as a spy behind the German front.… More

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