Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

Ballad of a Soldier (Ballada o soldate)
Directed by Grigoriy Chukhray
Written by Grigoriy Chukhray and Valentin Ezhov
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental


“Every lover is a soldier.” ― Ovid, Amores

I love this sweet and beautiful tribute to the Soviet soldier.

It is a simple story.  Nineteen-year-old signalman Alyosha single handedly takes out two enemy tanks.  His general wants to give him a medal but Alyosha would rather have leave to visit his mother.  The family’s roof needs mending.  He asks for two days but the general gives him six.

His journey is eventful not least because he stops often to help others.  He also finds love in the form of a girl stowed away with him on a train.

The movie is filled with great Russian faces and striking photography.  The actor that plays the soldier is so darned likable that you don’t mind that the character is too good to be true.  Works on me like a tonic.  Warmly recommended.

Ballad of a Soldier was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen.

Montage of clips

2 thoughts on “Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

  1. Glad you got through 1959 and thought so highly of its cinematic achievements – it was the year I was born, so I’m prejudiced.

    I would love to read your review of my beloved “The Nights of Cabiria” – where would I find it? I’d be very keen to read your thoughts. Thanks again for all of your great work and for sharing it with us!

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