SKU 6006

2 DVD SET: PETER THE GREAT (Pyotr Pervyy) (1937/38) * with switchable English subtitles *

Nikolai Simonov ... Tsar Pyotr I Mikhail Zharov Mikhail Zharov ... Alexander Danilovich Menshikov Nikolay Cherkasov Nikolay Cherkasov ... Prince Alexei Mikhail Tarkhanov Mikhail Tarkhanov ... Field Marshal Sheremetyev Viktor Dobrovolsky Viktor Dobrovolsky ... Yaguzhinsky, an officer / Fedka, a debtor Alla Tarasova Alla Tarasova ... Catherine, a peasant girl Konstantin Gibshman Konstantin Gibshman ... Buinosov, the boyar (as K. Gibshman) Nikolai Orlov Nikolai Orlov ... Yemov Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Fyodor Bogdanov Fyodor Bogdanov ... Foundry Owner (as P. Bogdanov) Vladimir Garin Vladimir Garin K. Korsakpayev K. Korsakpayev ... Abdurakhman, the Buinosov lackey Pyotr Kuznetsov Pyotr Kuznetsov ... Vlazemsky Aleksandr Larikov Aleksandr Larikov ... Old Soldier (as A. Larikov) Nina Latonina Nina Latonina ... Olga Buinosova Nikolay Litvinov Nikolay Litvinov ... Shafirov (as Nikolai Litvinov)

Made at the height of the terrible Stalinist purges and only a few years after more than 7,000,000 people had been starved to death in the Ukraine through a man-made famine, this film has none of the obvious and heavy-handed Stalinist propaganda of the films of the 1930s. There is, however, not-too-subtle "hints" about Russia's constantly having to be on guard against foreign interventionists, internal treason, and the threat of their neighbors (in this film, that extends to almost every country in Europe). It is these threats that cause Peter the Great to be wild, terribly cruel, loud and unbearably ferocious to both his enemies and his own people. The two parts of this film (with each part on its own disc) show the struggle of a Russia trying to Europeanize itself while at the same time having to defend its survival from their arch foe, the Swedes. Annihilated at his first attempt to gain a foothold on the Narva and to build a new city eventually to be called "Petersburg", Peter rebuilds his army; melts down the churches' bells for cannons and makes the clergy and the nobility his implacable enemies. Even his son Aleksei is against all his works and is manipulated by the European powers to weaken Russia from within and return it to its humble and non-threatening state. In the end, Peter's attempts to bring Russia into the 18th Century as a major power will come about ... but at what price to Russia and to the Tsar himself?

DVD-R is in Russian with switchable English subtitles. Approx. 215 mins. See film sample for audio and video quality!

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