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Alexander Nevsky

119 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Director Sergei Eisenstein's epic ALEXANDER NEVSKY features some of the most beautiful imagery ever put on film, a majestic music score by Prokifiev and a dazzling, climactic battle on a frozen lake. In 1242, Russia in being invaded by two sides: from the orient by the Mongols and from Europe by the Germans Teutonic Knights of the Holy Roman Empire. The last free city in Russia, Novgorod, calls the Prince Aleksandr Nevsky, who had defeated the Swedish in a previous battle, to defend the city.

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Sergei Eisenstein's landmark tale of Russia thwarting the German invasion of the 13th century was wildly popular and quite intentional, given the prevailing Nazi geopolitical advancement and destruction at the time. It can still be viewed as a masterful use of imagery and music, with the Battle on the Ice sequence as the obvious highlight. Unfortunately, the rest of the film pales in comparison. A great score by Prokofiev was effectively integrated by the Russian filmmaker, but stands on its own merit as well. --Bill Desowitz

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Nikolai Cherkassov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov, Dmitri Orlov
  • Directors: Sergei M. Eisenstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Russian (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 1998
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630513104X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,089 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Alexander Nevsky" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

219 of 238 people found the following review helpful By a movie fan on November 1, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is certainly the most remarkable collection of films to come out in one DVD package. And I would really like to thank Criterion for overpricing their DVDs so much that I had very little overlap with my existing library, having passed on most of their editions of these films. Here are a few observations that might be of use to potential buyers:

1) the widescreen movies are anamorphic

2) Haxen is 104 min, substantially longer than the 77 min version that has shown on premium cable.

3) I compared the Janus versions of two films, Wages of Fear and Seven Samurai, with the Criterion versions I had. I expected them to be identical (figuring that Criterion probably did the work for Janus) but they were considerably different. In both cases, the Janus copies were amazingly superior: much better (and louder)sound, crisper images with fewer defects, much better definition in shadowy areas, and a much more stable image. I never realized how poor the Criterion prints were until I saw the comparison. It's amazing the psychological effect of all that. In both cases, I was strongly tempted to continue watching the whole film with Janus, and found the Criterion copy 'tiring'. The translations also differed, with Janus having fewer errors (e.g. Samurai's "the rice we're eating now" v.s. "the rice we're eating, how"). I cannot wait to watch the rest of these films.

3. I could detect no difference between Anchor Bay's and Janus's Kind Hearts and Coronets.

4. The print of Lady Vanishes is the clearest I've seen. The el cheapo Brentwood print, in their Hitchcock collection, is unwatchable.

5. The one really bad aspect of the collection is that the DVDs are wedged tightly into paper slots.
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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Criterion Collector on November 7, 2006
Format: DVD
Re: The previous reviewer's points: The product info is somewhat vague on this, but this set is put out by Criterion. As the comment on that review says, any differences vs. earlier Criterion releases are attributable to upgrades made in later editions. Seven Samurai and M have been upgraded since their original Criterion release, and there may be other cases among the films collected here. On another point, it's true that individual Criterion releases are expensive, but they usually include many extras of interest to cinephiles. If price is your main consideration, this package is a great way to get Criterion quality at a lower price per disc (although without the extras). I will be ordering one at some point, even though I already have about a dozen of the films, just because it looks to be a gorgeous package. FYI, there is a review in the NY Times today (11/7/2006) that provides some historical background on Janus and Criterion.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By BkEuRrGaMsAaNwa on February 4, 2007
Format: DVD
I would like to notify everyone who got scared about this set when they heard the dvds came in outrageoulsy tight slots that either this has been changed, it never was true, or i have an exeptionally awsome set because mine is not that way at all. In my set every page of the DVD book has 4 dvds that are in slots that are not too tight or loose. You do not have to induvidually unwrap the dvds or anything, just open up the book, and pull a dvd out. I have been pulling these discs out and putting back in and have seen absolutely no damage done. Not one of the movies has skipped yet. I have seen no "flecks of paper" and none of my DVDs "felt like they were glued to the page" like -a movie fan's-. I strongly suggest everyone with a film appretiation to buy this set, even if you already have a few from the set. It is definatally worth it. And about the special features, I would like to inform anyone turned off by the fact that there are none that there is a 200 page book that comes with the set. That book has rare posters, photographs, the history of revolutionary JANUS and a page description of every film - the context of time and place the film came out, a little about the director and actors, the impact the film had, the meaning behind the film, etc. If that is not enough for you, then...sorry. I personally dont mind, considering the internet exists for any other information about the film I want to know.
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89 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Dan Sherman VINE VOICE on January 14, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although I truly love the film (and the video tranfer is great), this DVD has the horrible 1930's recording of the soundtrack. Prokofiev's great score sounds like it is playing from an AM radio placed undera mattress. Unless you are truly wedded to DVD format, get the BMG video which includes an excellent re-recording of the score in modern stereo (along with a great video). We can only hope that the BMG version gets to DVD soon.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By B. Pytlinski on December 11, 2006
Format: DVD
The DVD video and audio presentation is excellent. I can live without the commentaries and special features but did they have to omit them, really? Fine, one star.

The book is very nice, one star.

The price is great, one star.

The case is nice on display, but the DVD packaging is tight and can scratch the DVDs, I'm not happy but I can deal, half a star. I will try to be gentle anyway with a set this valuable, so hopefully there won't be too many scratches I have deal with.

Selection of films, half a star bringing us to four total. I disagree with Janus' choice to split the Criterion box sets, especially the ones that are out of print or where individual titles are unavailable. The collector who owns the Criterion WRONG MEN, NOTORIOUS WOMEN box and the ESSENTIAL JANUS set now has two copies of THE 39 STEPS and THE LADY VANISHES. Even worse are selections such as ASHES AND DIAMONDS, which comes in the Criterion ANDRZEJ WAJDA: THREE WAR FILMS box set where the other titles in the box, A GENERATION and KANAL aren't available from Janus individually. The Criterion Box SERGEI EISENSTEIN: THE SOUND YEARS has been broken up as well, with ALEXANDER NEVSKY and IVAN THE TERRIBLE PART II included in the ESSENTIAL JANUS set with no decent copy of IVAN THE TERRIBLE PART I on DVD individually available anywhere. I could go on... In my opinion, this set should have been an official numbered Criterion release. There are many excellent films in the Criterion library which are available individual releases that could have easily been in this set. My two cents, BOB THE GAMBLER, CHILDREN OF PARADISE, NANOOK OF THE NORTH, NIGHTS OF CABIRIA, PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, RIFIFI, THE BLOB, THE LADY EVE, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, etc.
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