Friday, October 1, 2010

Mikhail Doller - Suvorov AKA General Suvorov (1941)

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson

General Suvorov was the third directorial collaboration between the great V. I. Pudovkin and his talented pupil Mikhail Doller. N. P. Cherkasov stars as Suvorov, the Russian general responsible for Russia's victories over the Turks and the French in the late 1700s. The film climaxes with the Suvorov army's dangerous crossing of the Alps. It was clearly the directors' intention to draw propagandistic parallels between Suvorov's victory and the more recent stand against the Nazis during the invasion of 1941. The winner of the Stalin Prize, General Suvorov garnered mostly negative reviews when it was released in the US, with some commentators decrying its "poor direction." When seen today, it stands up as one of Pudovkin's best talkie efforts, and one of the few post- 1933 films which truly lives up to his genius.

Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Васи́льевич Суво́ров) (sometimes transliterated as Aleksandr, Aleksander and Suvarov), Count Suvorov of Rymnik, Prince of Italy, Count of Holy Roman Empire (граф Рымникский, князь Италийский) (November 24, 1729 – May 18, 1800), was the fourth and last Russian generalissimus (not counting Stalin). One of the few great generals in history who never lost a battle, he was famed for his manual The Science of Victory and noted for the sayings "Train hard, fight easy", "The bullet is a fool, the bayonet is a fine chap", "Perish yourself but rescue your comrade!". He taught his soldiers to attack instantly and decisively: 'attack with the cold steel - push hard with the bayonet!' His soldiers adored him. He joked with the men, called the common soldiers 'brother', and shrewdly presented the results of detailed planning and careful strategy as the work of inspiration.[1]
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