Ballad of a Soldier Message Board

Richard Podnar posts a message on 2/4/2006 2:59:24 PM This was the first Soviet film I ever saw and it ranks right at the top of my all-time favorite films. I first saw this film on KNBC Channel 4 at 1 o'clock in the morning on a weeknight when I was still in high school (1967). The film was dubbed in English. I saw it again (English dubbed version) in 1976 over PBS. I saw it for the first time in the original Russsian with subtitles at a moview theatre in Venice, California, where a retrospective of Soviet-era films was being shown in 1984. Until the DVD version was issued, I had never seen a complete, uncut version of this movie. Watching the DVD with restored sound and excellent subtitles, it is as if I am watching the film for the first time each time I have seen it. More than any other film I know of, "Ballad of a Soldier" brings home the suffering of ordinary Russian people during World War II. It is also one of the few films I cannot watch through without shedding tears (several scenes in the movie cause this to happen!) Some of the camera work is as moving as the story itself: aptly named, it truly is a "ballad."

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