(aka "Ballad of a Soldier" or "Ballada o soldate")

directed by Grigori Chukhraj
Soviet Union 1959

Russian soldier Alyosha Skvortsov is granted a visit with his mother after he singlehandedly fends off two enemy tanks. As he journeys home, Alyosha encounters the devastation of his war-torn country, witnesses glimmers of hope among the people, and falls in love. With its poetic visual imagery, Grigori Chukhrai's Ballad of a Soldier is an unconventional meditation on the effects of war, and a milestone in Russian cinema.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1959, Soviet Union

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DVD Comparison:

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman and Ole kofoed for the Screen Caps!

(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Criterion

Region 1 - NTSC

RusCiCo
Region 0 - PAL
RusCiCo
Region 0 - NTSC

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Criterion (without the extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Runtime 1:28:09 1:24:09 (4% PAL speedup) 1:24:09 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.15 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.70 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.22 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

 

RusCiCo (PAL)

 

Bitrate:

 

RusCiCo (NTSC)

 

Audio Russian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1

Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles English or none. English, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Hebrew, Swedish, Chinese or none. English, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Hebrew, Swedish, Chinese or none.
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 15 minute radio interview with Director Grigori Chukhrai and stars Ivashov and Prokhorenko, conducted after a preview screening in New York.
• Liner essay.

DVD Release Date: April 30, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 21
 

Release Information:
Studio: RusCiCo

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 35 min. interview With Director Grigori Chukhrai.
• Wartime newsreel of 1941 parade in Red Square-
• Stills gallery.
• Filmographies.
• Trailers.

DVD Release Date: Summer 2001
Keep case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: RusCiCo

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 35 min. interview With Director Grigori Chukhrai.
• Wartime newsreel of 1941 parade in Red Square-
• Stills gallery.
• Filmographies.
• Trailers.

 

DVD Release Date: Summer 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 20

 

Comments ADDITION: The PAL RusCiCo (Aug -04) - It is sharper than its NTSC  counterpart (as per usual for RusCiCo discs) but still no where near the sharpness of the Criterion. It also show cropping as does the NTSC Russian one. Stick with the Criterion, unless you crave the extras- then get both.

NOTE: If you require the expansive subtitle selection, then get the PAL over the NTSC.

******

Unless you are just about anything but English or Russian, then this is an easy one. The Criterion quality far exceeds the RusCiCo in every capture. The Ruscico disc has, of course, more subtitles as they always do...they have also upgraded the original soundtrack to 5.1 from monaural... purists would not approve, so its a personal choice. Regardless, Criterion wins this one quite easily.

In the RusCiCo we get a 35-minute interview with the late director. He tells some amazing stories about shooting, troubles he had with the government, how he cast the leads and after shooting started, and then changed them. This interview is a fantastic extra. The Criterion interview is stills and a radio segment from the 60's.

 - Gary Tooze

 

 





DVD Menus

(
Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. RusCiCo (PAL) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. RusCiCo (NTSC) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Criterion

Region 1 - NTSC

RusCiCo
Region 0 - PAL
RusCiCo
Region 0 - NTSC

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Criterion (without the extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Runtime 1:28:09 1:24:09 (4% PAL speedup) 1:24:09 (4% PAL speedup)

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Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion

Sound:

Criterion

Extras: RusCiCo
Menu: Criterion



 

 

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Gary Tooze

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