Criterion Collection: Cranes Are Flying

( 5 )

Overview

Mikhail Kalatozov's Palme D'Or-winning The Cranes are Flying comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The Russian soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. Although there are no supplemental materials of any consequence, the superb picture and sound quality offer plenty of evidence that Criterion may be the most dependable name in home video. This is a great disc for fans of world cinema.
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Overview

Mikhail Kalatozov's Palme D'Or-winning The Cranes are Flying comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The Russian soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. Although there are no supplemental materials of any consequence, the superb picture and sound quality offer plenty of evidence that Criterion may be the most dependable name in home video. This is a great disc for fans of world cinema.
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Special Features

New digital transfer, with restored image and sound; New and improved English subtitle translation
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
It's a love story, it's a story of betrayal; it's a war drama, it's an anti-war diatribe, it's a tribute to the resiliency of Mother Russia, it's a dark and disturbing psychological melodrama of one woman's one bad choice and its consequences. Since its acclaimed appearance at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the Palm D'Or, and its crossover appeal to Cold War American film audiences and subsequent long run in repertory houses into the 1970s, Mikhail Kalatazov's deliriously charged film has somehow been relegated to the status of a curiosity. It deserves a re-examination, if only because it's a movie that, in a mere 90 minutes, manages to convey an amazing amount of personal and public history. The Soviet Union's entry into World War II is foreshadowed by one of the most lyrical courtships ever filmed, with Kalatazov's camera following Boris and his beloved "Squirrel" (Veronica) through the deserted pre-dawn streets. Veronica, played by the luminous Tatyana Samoylova (the grandniece of legendary acting coach Constantin Stanislavsky) misses an opportunity to see off her lover when his troop train leaves for the front, and she spends the rest of the story waiting for him, while relatives are killed, she is seduced by his cousin (during an air raid!), she is evacuated with Boris's family to Siberia, she is implicitly denounced by Boris's doctor father when he tries to cheer up a soldier patient who has just received a Dear John letter, she contemplates suicide, and she adopts an abandoned boy (named Boris!). If there's an overkill of irony at work in the story's machinations, it's neatly papered over by the prowling camera and striking compositions; Kalatazov is one of the few filmmakers who might be called an expressionistic realist. He has never met a crane shot he didn't like and uses every excuse to follow his characters up winding staircases and through crowds of people indifferent to their emotional turmoil. The film's politics may be muddled (it's not entirely clear here if the war really worth fighting), but the filmmaking is bold and rapturous, just as in Kalatazov's next great work, I Am Cuba.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/30/2002
  • UPC: 037429168028
  • Original Release: 1957
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: Russian
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 22,184

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tatiana Samoilova Veronica
Alexei Batalov Boris
Vasily Merkuryev Fyodor Ivanovich
Alexander Shvorin Mark
Svetlana Kharitonova Irina
Konstantin Nikitin Volodya
Valentin Zubkov Stepan
Antonina Bogdanova
Boris Kokovkin
E. Kupriyanova
Valentina Ananina
Valentina Vladimirova
O. Dzisko
Nikolai Smorchkov
Technical Credits
Mikhail Kalatozov Director, Producer
V. Rozov Screenwriter
Y. Svidetelev Set Decoration/Design
M. Timofeyeva Editor
Sergei Urusevsky Cinematographer
M. Vainberg Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Innocence [3:28]
2. Two Families [4:31]
3. War [4:31]
4. Plans & Dreams [6:09]
5. A Birthday Present [6:20]
6. "He Already Left" [8:09]
7. Air Raid [4:21]
8. Mark's Confession [6:32]
9. The Front/Marriage [3:27]
10. An Unfinished Sentence [5:50]
11. Siberia [1:22]
12. Waiting [6:49]
13. Guilt [6:35]
14. Boris [6:40]
15. Antonina [1:58]
16. The Note [2:43]
17. The Price of Exemption [4:02]
18. "That's Me" [4:24]
19. Hope [1:06]
20. Flowers [6:21]
23. Color Bars [:20]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    War is a Melodramatic Love Story finally

    The devices are underlying and anticipating the latest war intense santimential wovies lexicon (like Schindler's List). Stunning cinematography and capturing director's work. High-On-Emotions Style completely proved by matter - long before present-day irony, we recognized at first here the pepresentation of principal and pure items of minimalist modern movie narration with the declaration of major dramatic positions (like eternity and temporapiness, love and betrayal, privacy and violence, mistake and selfidentification etc).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews