Alexander Nevsky

Sergei Eisenstein
The highlight of Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky is certainly the epic thirty minute battle on ice -- at times intense and powerful, other times almost comical with its keystone cop-ish music. We get shots of hundreds (if not thousands) of soldiers flailing about and smashing each other's armor with swords, battle axes and clubs. Then of the organist who accompanied the German Teutonic Knights (along with the make-shift tent church complete with cross bearing monks) followed by the carnival like band the Russians brought along. The tight shots of the battle are incredibly forceful and the sweeping long shots show the stark beauty of the land. A harbinger of dark days to come (World War II) and the propagandistic overtones make the film just that much more interesting to watch. "Those who come with a sword to us will die from that sword!"

Reviews

Reviewed: 2016-07-31
Eisenstein drew on history, Russina folk narratives, and the techniques of Walt Disney to create this broadly painted epic of Russian resilience. The story of Teutonic knights vanquished by Prince Alexander Nevsky's tactical brilliance resonated deeply witha Soviet Union concerned with the risew 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.
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