Film 186 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1944’s “Ivan the Terrible Part I”. This Sergei M. Eisenstein historical biography is about the life of Ivan IV of Russia, or as he’s better known as Ivan the Terrible. This film is a two parter but I am only watching part one as that is what is listed in the book. Overall, it was OK. Nothing special in my opinion. There were a lot of scenes that seemed to go on and on. It doesn’t help that I can’t make out what people were saying as the subtitles were barely readable. I managed to watch all of this but throughout I was bored and started to lose interest very quickly. Even when Ivan sent his troops to attack Kazan, I lost interest very quickly. Nothing really stood out apart from the outfits. Why are the priest wearing what I can only describe as Vienetta collars? Why does everyone look like they are wearing ten layers of clothing? I didn’t find this film to be interesting but if you’re a history buff who likes this sort of stuff then this film is for you. If you have seen this film, or Part II, then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1944’s “Ivan the Terrible Part I”
Film – Ivan the Terrible Part I
Year – 1944
Director – Sergei M. Eisenstein
Written by – Sergei M. Eisenstein
Staring – Nikolai Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman
IMDb Rating – 7.5/10
My Rating – 5/10
Length – 98 min (1h 98min)
Genre – Biography, History
We open with Russian singing as the camera films a door during the opening credits
It’s the holy hand grenade!
Father, son and the holy ghost – I’ve never known who “The Holy Ghost” is?
Great! Subtitles are barely readable!
How big are them collars?
That woman looked like a man
Does he have Jesus cufflinks?
No one is truly king without a sceptre
Who hired the opera singer to the coronation?
Is this what it will be like when England crowns a new king/queen?
Are they showering Ivan in coins?
Ivan says Russia will now be Soviet
I have no idea what Ivan is rambling on about but it doesn’t sound good
Why does his collar look like a Vienetta
This film really wants me to have some ice cream
Now he’s king, he wants to marry his wife
Ivan decides to visit a church built into his castle and watch a wedding take place
WE NEED WINE!!!!
Let’s celebrate the wedding with a parade
Someone wanders into Ivan’s castle to have a look around
“Marriage sunders friends”
Is this Ivan’s wedding? I can’t tell because all the men look the same
It is Ivan’s wedding! One of his men called him “Your Majesty”
Something’s kicked off! Better hide in the shadows
Are those plates made out of swans?
A bunch of policemen arrrive and try and attack Ivan
One look at Ivan and everyone craps themselves
How can blood light fires?
Better check to see if his head is hollow
Ivan says that whoever cuts his bells off gets beheaded
The Prince tries to get grabby with Ivan’s wife while Ivan is ranting
Here come the Kazan who says he and Ivan are no longer friends
Ivan thinks Kazan wants a war with Russia so Ivan agrees to it
The Russian Army are marching to Kazan to take them all out…. with swords and canons
Do they have to pay to be in the army?
One month has past and Ivan now decides to plan his attack
They caught some of the Kazan and tied them up and demands they surrender
None of them do so Ivan punches one of them
A bunch of archers kill the Kazan with arrows to the neck – Sadly not to the knee
Alexei arrives and says something
Three men hide in a cave and light a candle that’ll ignite the fuses to five exploding barrels
The Russians are now attacking the Kazan after a series of explosions
Kazan is now apart of Russia
Back at the castle and Ivan is seriously ill and on his deathbed
I’m trying to follow along with the plot that is on Wikipedia and reading this part makes no sense
Everyone thinks Ivan is dead as priests take away his crown and other belongings
Priests in Russia bury the dead’s faces with bibles and make them hold a candle
It’s pretty clear Ivan isn’t dead as he’s moving
Everyone decides to make Vladimir the new king
Ivan has some last words to say and says everyone will be damned
Ivan then dies after punching his bed in rage
Wait… When did Ivan and his wife have a kid
The Prince says he and Ivan’s wife will be the new rulers of Russia
Turns out Ivan isn’t dead and tells The Prince to take the army west to defend against the Poles & Livoneans
He then sends Alexei to the south border to win the Crimean border
Now Ivan’s wife is now ill!
Everyone is plotting to kill her!
God this scene seems to be going on forever
Ivan says he needs to take over places before The British do
I know your wife is dying but lets lighten the mood with chess
Ivan’s wife is now dead after drinking poisoned wine
Time for Ivan’s wife’s funeral
Ivan thinks God killed his wife to punish him
He then quickly thinks that can’t happen
Alexei arrives and tells Ivan to get men he can trust
One of those men is Ivan’s son, Fyodor
Ivan decides to lead his army out of Moscow not before telling everyone he will rule with an iron fist when he returns