The Cranes are Flying (Letyat zhuravli)
The Cranes are Flying (Letyat zhuravli) (1960)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: March 21, 1960
DVD Release Date: August 13, 2002
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Critic Score: 95% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

It's exactly what you'd expect: tepid, artsy, and grayish.

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Cole Smithey

[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...

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Moving melodramatic war movie.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

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.

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Fernando F. Croce

A film of thunderbolts, volcanic partings and reunions, eyes that flash at the viewer

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TV Guide

A beautiful performance is given by the gorgeous Samoilova, the great-niece of Stanislavsky and daughter of an actor father, Yevgeni Samoilov.

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Scott Tobias
AV Club

A key post-war effort, both for its cinematic audacity and for its frank, moving depiction of families and lovers torn apart by violence.

Cole Smithey


Jay Antani
Cinema Writer

dazzling, magnificently made

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Flixster Audience Score: 94% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
Exceptional and literally glorious filmaking. The story was perhaps a bit simple: young love interrupted by the great war - three cheers for us and war is… More
Tim Sigur
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,… More
Ken Stachnik
The only Russian film to ever win the Palm'dor. A beautifully photographed love in the time of war movie that's well worth your time (if you're… More
Bruce Bruce
Growing up we are led to beleive that other countries are backward and behind the USA, that is so untrue. This Russina film was made in 1957 and will match any… More
Stefanie C
simple, melodramatic plot. this is one of the first films to venture beyond stalinist restrictions and is quite personal. amazing editing and hand-held camera… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic][color=red]"Come and See" takes place in Byelorussia, 1943. Young Flor is ready and eager to join up with the partisans to fight… More