Ivan the Terrible

IVAN THE TERRIBLE, PART II twe-ussR). partial color. Directed by Sergei eisenstein,
music by PROKOFIEV. The great Soviet director intended (hat each part of his monumental epic be seen and
understood separately, although the whole would offer a comprehensive view of Ivan’s personality. Pan il be
gins with highlights from Part I, summarizing the events leading to the Czar’s self-imposed exile from Moscow.
When Ivan returns, he is weary of war and internal strife, Philip, one of his closest friends, denounces him
unjustly for having murdered a group of boyars. Ivan is outraged, and cries out that he will in fact become
what Philip has named him: “Ivan the Terrible.” He immediately has Philip arrested, and, learning of his
aunt’s plot to have him murdered, devises a scheme (hat results in her slaying her own son. The banquet
scene, during which the slaying occurs, is a delirious, overpowering combination of spectacular staging, rapid
editing, histrionic acting, and wild music. It was filmed in color, and remains (he only color sequence of Ei.
senstein’5 career. Eisenstein had planned to continue Ivan’s story in Part Hi, entirely in color, but he died
shortly after filming on (hat part had begun. In the meantime, the Soviet Government, considering Part II a
disguised attack on Slalin, caHed It “anti-historical and anti-artistic,” and banned the film from exhibitionÑa
ban that was finally lifted in 1958. Whether viewed together with Part I or separately, Part II is a magnificent,
incomparable experience. As Sight and Sound magazine said, it is “a thrilling film, showing Eisenstein at the
height of his powers, a film artist in unequalled control of his medium,” In Russian with English subtitles.
82 minutes, $24.95