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The Fall of Berlin (USSR, 1949)

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 May 2005, 15:47
Pioneer
Post 19 Jul 2005, 15:38
I've just downloaded Part 1 of this soviet movie that tells the story of soviet rush to the west and the taking of Berlin, portraying Stalin himself getting there by plane after the victory.

But it is in russian, a language I can just read a little (for instance I do know what SMERT FASHISTAM written on a soviet tank means). I can't understand it when I hear it.

Does anybody know if there are any english/french/spanish subtitles for it? Best in SRT or SSA formats. I don't know how to handle SUB subtitles.

I'll search but if you could help that'd be great.

Thank you!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2003, 23:58
Ancient Communist
Post 20 Jul 2005, 01:16
With limited Russian ....

"Death to Facism"?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 May 2005, 15:47
Pioneer
Post 20 Jul 2005, 19:08
Er... Precisely that's the only thing I understand...


I can read a little russian but no way will I understand a movie, not even a short speech. That's why I need subtitles. It's a pity that such a great movie doesn't have any in spanish/english/french. Seems impossible.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
Politburo
Post 20 Jul 2005, 19:30
The problem 'The Fall of Berlin' has is that it's one of the major films from the period of High Stalinism. It's regarded now, both in Russia and the West, as a meretricious piece of Stalinist propaganda. And it doesn't even have the aesthetic cachet of being a Soviet montage film like Eisenstein's or Pudovkin's. It's a Socialist Realist film. This means that it's deeply unfashionable on both political and aesthetic grounds. For these reasons, you're unlikely to be able to find a subtitled version of this film.
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 May 2005, 15:47
Pioneer
Post 20 Jul 2005, 23:26
That's quite right but I have found subtitles in chinese and japanese and I guess there must be editions of this film subtitled in english, even if only for anticommunist purposes (Library of Congress, Harvard, etc.).

And it won a "Crystal Globe" award in 1950 in the Karlovy Vary International Festival. Not that this is going to convince the guys at Amazon to launch it but...
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
Politburo
Post 21 Jul 2005, 00:57
Yes, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you, waiting for the DVD release with English subtitles. Chiaureli is not exactly a fashionable film director these days....
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 May 2005, 15:47
Pioneer
Post 21 Jul 2005, 13:42
I've found this: http://www.ihffilm.com/22149.html.

Seems as interesting as the movie itself.

There are other not too bad reasons for a DVD to be released, or at least the film be passed on TV:

1.- The 60th Anniversary of the event described in the film (1945-2005)

2.- Its music is by Dmitri Shostakovich. You can buy the corresponding CD.

I'll do a crazy attempt: I'll write to the Spanish Public Broadcasting Company to see if they are kind enough to pass it (subtitled in english or in spanish, french, whatever) even late at night, just for the sake of it and as a "pleasure for cinephiles" and a "historical document".

Here on TVE (our PBC) you can see bizarre things like this movie from time to time! Wish me good luck!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
Politburo
Post 21 Jul 2005, 14:32
Quote:
I've found this: http://www.ihffilm.com/22149.html.

Seems as interesting as the movie itself.

Thanks for that link, Asti. It's a fascinating archive.


Quote:
There are other not too bad reasons for a DVD to be released, or at least the film be passed on TV:

1.- The 60th Anniversary of the event described in the film (1945-2005)

2.- Its music is by Dmitri Shostakovich. You can buy the corresponding CD.

I agree. It's an historically very significant film. When you think of the kind of Hollywood TV-movie crap which is broadcast every week on television, you'd think they'd at least give films like this a chance.

Quote:
I'll do a crazy attempt: I'll write to the Spanish Public Broadcasting Company to see if they are kind enough to pass it (subtitled in english or in spanish, french, whatever) even late at night, just for the sake of it and as a "pleasure for cinephiles" and a "historical document".

Here on TVE (our PBC) you can see bizarre things like this movie from time to time! Wish me good luck!

Good luck!


Seriously, I think it's time to re-evaluate the Socialist Realist films of the Stalin era, just as the Socialist Realist paintings have recently been re-evaluated. They now command high prices on the art market, after being vilified during the Cold War as 'hack work'. I think the films of Chiaureli are due for a similar re-think. They are not actually bad films, despite being Stalinist propaganda. After all, Eisenstein's films were propaganda films, and no-one thinks any the worse of them for that.
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 23 Jun 2006, 01:04
Komsomol
Post 09 Sep 2006, 01:35
I have missed so much from the forum this summer ... Hey Asti, where did you download the movie from ?! I can't seem to find it anywhere
За Родину, За СТАЛИН !

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 25 Mar 2009, 22:19
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 27 Mar 2009, 00:34
From International Historic Films:

"The Fall of Berlin":The Restored Soviet epic, directed by Mikhail Chiaureli is now available on DVD. Long Notorious, Rarely seen: Soviet cinema's definitive Stalinist recreation of World War 2 also serves as the crowning moment in Stalin's postwar deification. Stalin himself worked on the screenplay for this blockbuster epic, fine-tuning its portrayal of the dictator as father-hero to his people. No expense was spared in production: 5 artillery and infantry divisions, 4 tank battalions, 193 planes, and 45 German trophy Panzers, as well as 1.5 million liters of fuel, were used in staging its panoramic battle scenes. The film's remarkable recreations of the battle for Berlin, climaxing in the bitter struggle over the Reichstag, impressed even the film's Western critics with their gritty realism and sheer spectacle. Equally memorable is the film's depiction of Hitler and his inner circle, whose folly and intrigues play out on sets that recreate the grandiosity of the Fueher's Chancellory and the claustrophobia of his bunker with surrealistic intensity.
Reflecting the emerging antagonisms of the Cold War, the film also serves up a caustic polemic against Stalin's British and American wartime allies, depicting FDR and (especially) Churchill as closeted Nazi sympathizers, capable of any treachery against the Soviet state. Wildly ambitious in its geopolitical sweep, The Fall of Berlin also manages to throw in a romantic subplot involving a leaden Stakhanovite, while settling any number of domestic political scores - General Georgy Zhukov, for example, appears as a gullible fool, saved from his errors only by Stalin's timely intervention.

Indeed, Stalin's timely interventions provide this film its organizing principle, and it is he who pulls together all the threads of its wildly spinning narrative. Whether directing the Red Army to brilliant victory or anticipating Churchill's treachery or providing sage advice to lovelorn Stakhanovites, he remains unflappable, avuncular, uncannily prescient and wise. Stalin is always with us, one character proclaims to his comrades on the battlefront; the propagandistic function of this film is to make us feel this god-like presence in every scene. Presented to Stalin as a gift on his seventieth birthday, viewed by some 38 million Soviet filmgoers upon its initial release, winner of every conceivable Soviet prize, The Fall of Berlin was abruptly pulled from circulation during the "de-Stalinization" campaigns that began after Stalin's death in 1953. Having recently gained rights to the original negative, International Historic Films offers this long-suppressed epic in a digitally-restored version, with historical commentaries and supplements."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Jan 2007, 06:03
Party Bureaucrat
Post 27 Apr 2009, 01:25
I just watched the first part of this movie too.

The acting seems horrible, with the exaggerated movements and the pushing and shoving in place of close-combat fighting, but the actual movie itself doesn't suffer too much from anything too horrible. In fact, any scenes with any politicians in it is absolutely hilarious.

The film, especially the ending, is hilarious. I mean, who wouldn't laugh at this?
Erichs_Pastry_Chef wrote:
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
Politburo
Post 27 Apr 2009, 13:19
Actually, I thought it was deeply moving....

Nah, not really.
Stalin looked as though there was a midget hiding inside him pulling strings to work his arms and legs. And those concentration camp survivors looked remarkably well fed. And wtf was up with the bad dubbing? Everything was spoken about half a second out of synch.
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Apr 2009, 02:31
Unperson
Post 29 Apr 2009, 18:18
I've seen part of the film, and it is truly stunning. The final scene looked so realistic that one feels that one is really watching footage from the war. Captured German tanks were reused and a huge cast was deployed.

As always, Shostakovich's score is fantastic. The actor portrays Stalin accurately with his Georgian accent and mannerisms. This is a brilliant film that shows the heroism of the Russian people that gives messages of peace, social progress, and friendship among nations.
"Mama, I've sworn to myself not to chase girls until we've knocked off the bourgeoisie in the whole world."---Pavel Korchagin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Jan 2007, 06:03
Party Bureaucrat
Post 01 May 2009, 04:09
Actually, what I would say is the best scene would be the one outside Stalin's dacha, where Aleksei meets Stalin.

We literally see Stalin gardening. I mean, come on- a guy in a dinner jacket, gardening? That's fragging epic.


According to KinoKultura, the version on the DVD release had one scene missing, as compared to the original. Can anyone confirm this?
Erichs_Pastry_Chef wrote:
all I can concentrate on is looking at a peen0r.


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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 May 2010, 07:43
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 13 May 2010, 01:56
Oh, wow, I'm glad I've finally found some place where people have at least heard of this movie, if not seen it! I saw this movie when I was in China. I was able to find a site with streaming video and watched it with the original Russian audio and Chinese subtitles. It was... pretty amazing, actually, though often for the wrong reasons. I mean, it's not a terrible movie by any stretch of the imagination, particularly when compared to a lot of pure unadulterated shit Hollywood pumps out on a weekly basis. It's just that I found the whole storyline with the main character and his romance that got interrupted by the war kind of boring, and there were some pretty contrived, uninteresting moments in the film. Plus, it was just so long, and not nearly enough fighting in Berlin. Shit, if I'm watching a movie called The Fall of Berlin, I would expect a lot more fighting in the city and I don't know more of the movie being set in Berlin itself. Overall, the movie just didn't strike me as very special. I will say, though, that when they do have the large battle scenes, they are at least pretty cool to look at, just from the sheer scale of them. The caricatures of Western politicians and capitalists and the Nazis were brilliant and absolutely hilarious, and the wedding scene in the bunker between Hitler and Eva in the midst of the war had an amazingly surreal quality to it.

Richthofen wrote:
Actually, what I would say is the best scene would be the one outside Stalin's dacha, where Aleksei meets Stalin.

We literally see Stalin gardening. I mean, come on- a guy in a dinner jacket, gardening? That's fragging epic.


According to KinoKultura, the version on the DVD release had one scene missing, as compared to the original. Can anyone confirm this?
.

The version that I saw did not have that scene either. It seems like any version containing that scene would be difficult to find.
“Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals” - Mark Twain
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Apr 2012, 20:00
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 02 Apr 2012, 20:11
Очень хороший фильм
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 27 Jan 2014, 21:44
Saw this a couple of years ago. It's not very good, but neither is it as bad as it is cracked up to be. It was interesting to read on Wikipedia what kind of reception the film got at the time, not just in the Soviet Union, but also in the UK and France. I would not watch it again in a hurry though, because it made me a bit sleepy.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Jan 2014, 00:40
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 27 Jan 2014, 23:33
Today this film, along with many other Soviet films, can be viewed on Mosfilm's Youtube channel, complete with English subtitles. The Youtube version contains the scene of 'Stalin's Dacha'.

I particularly enjoyed the battle scenes. The realism is excellent (as you would expect, since they blew up portions of the actual Reichstag ruins!) I also enjoyed the Shostakovich score. It felt a bit like a 'Soviet blockbuster' - parts of the script were not so refined, but the epic nature of the spectacle - especially the visuals - made these forgivable. One of the more memorable works of Socialist Realism.
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