• Soviet Union
  • 1938
  • 112 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • Russian
  •  
  • Spine #87

Eisenstein drew on history, Russian folk narratives, and the techniques of Walt Disney to create this broadly painted epic of Russian resilience. This story of Teutonic knights vanquished by Prince Alexander Nevsky’s tactical brilliance resonated deeply with a Soviet Union concerned with the rise of Nazi Germany. Widely imitated—most notably by Laurence Olivier’s Battle of Agincourt re-creation for Henry V—the Battle on the Ice scene remains one of the most famous audio-visual experiments in film history, perfectly blending action with the rousing score of Sergei Prokofiev.

Cast

Prince Alexander NevskyNikolai Cherkasov
Vasily BuslaiNikolai Okhlopkov
Gavrilo OlexichAndrei Abrikosov
Ignat, Master ArmorerDmitri Orlov
Pavsha, Governor of PskovVasili Novikov
Domash TverdislavichNikolai Arsky
Amelfa Timofeevna, Mother of BuslaiVarvara Massalitinova

Credits

DirectorSergei Eisenstein
with the collaboration ofDmitri Vasilyev
ScreenplaySergei Eisenstein and Pyotr Pavlenko
CinematographyEduard Tisse
EditingSergei Eisenstein and Esfir Tobak
Original music bySergei Prokofiev
LyricistVladimir Lugovskoi
Production designIsaac Shpinel and Nikolai Solovyov
Costume designK. Yeliseev
SoundVladimir Popov and Boris Volsky

Disc Features

  • Gorgeous new digital transfer, with extensive image and sound restoration
  • Audio essay by film scholar David Bordwell, author of The Cinema of Eisenstein
  • Russell Merritt’s multimedia essay on the Eisenstein-Prokofiev collaboration
  • A reconstruction of Eisenstein’s unfinished film Bezhin Meadow by the Eisenstein Museum’s Naum Kleiman, plus scholar Jay Leyda’s photos and documents from the set
  • Drawings and production stills
  • Restoration demonstration
  • New English subtitle translation
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Film Essays

Alexander Nevsky

By J. HobermanApril 23, 2001

Released in late 1938, Alexander Nevsky was not only the first sound film to be directed by . . . Read more »

Film Essays

Alexander Nevsky

By J. HobermanApril 23, 2001

Released in late 1938, Alexander Nevsky was not only the first sound film to be directed by . . . Read more »