Song of Russia

Song of Russia

Robert Taylor
Director: Gregory Ratoff Cast: Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor
, Susan Peters
Susan Peters
, John Hodiak
John Hodiak
Gregory Ratoff

DVD (Full Frame)

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One can only imagine the reaction of arch-conservative MGM head Louis B. Mayer when Song of Russia first tumbled over the spools in the studio projection room. It must be remembered, however, that back in 1944 it was politically expedient for Hollywood to offer hosannas to America's Russian allies, and to gloss over the less-attractive aspects of the Stalin regime. Based on Scorched Earth, a story by Leo Mittler, the film stars Robert Taylor as John Meredith, a famous American symphony conductor who is touring Russia just before the war. Meredith falls in love with Russian lass Nadya Stepanova (Susan Peters), who impresses him with her conviviality and charm: why, she's almost like a typical American girl! In the course of their romance, Meredith and Nadya visit a collective farm, where the peasants sing, dance and smile all day. The lovers marry, only to have their honeymoon abruptly halted when the Nazis invade the Soviet Union. Nadya promptly joins the Resistance, solemnly assembling molotov cocktails and shooting down Germans with her comrades. Just before the Nazis swarm into Nadya's village, the peasants set fire to the place so that Hitlers minions will not be able to plunder its resources. All of this is played out against the music of Tschiakovsky and other Russian composers. During the HUAC investigations in the early 1950s, several of the personnel involved in Song of Russia were required to explain why they'd been involved in so blatantly "pro-communist" a project. Louis B. Mayer blithely explained that he "just wanted to make a picture about Russians, not communists," while star Robert Taylor -- likewise a staunch anti-Red -- insisted that he'd been forced to make the film, and that he'd demanded script deletions throughout productions. In the end, the losers were screenwriters Richard Collins and Paul Jarrico, both of whom ended up on the egregious Hollywood Blacklist, simply for adhering to America's wartime pro-Soviet sentiments.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/26/2016
UPC: 0888574389673
Original Release: 1944
Source: Warner Archives
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Time: 1:47:00
Sales rank: 38,870

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Taylor John Meredith
Susan Peters Nadya Stepanova
John Hodiak Boris
Robert Benchley Hank Higgins
Felix Bressart Petrov
Michael Chekhov Stepanov
Darryl Hickman Peter
Jacqueline White Anna
Leo Bulgakov Actor
Joan Lorring Actor
Vladimir Sokoloff Actor

Technical Credits
Gregory Ratoff Director
Albert Coates Musical Direction/Supervision
Richard Collins Screenwriter
Guy Endore Original Story
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Songwriter
George Hively Editor
Paul Jarrico Screenwriter
Jerome Kern Score Composer
David Lichine Choreography
Leo Mittler Original Story
Joe Pasternak Producer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Harry Stradling Cinematographer
Victor Trivas Original Story

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Song of Russia
1. Chapter 1 [6:46]
2. Chapter 2 [6:21]
3. Chapter 3 [8:30]
4. Chapter 4 [6:52]
5. Chapter 5 [6:11]
6. Chapter 6 [7:14]
7. Chapter 7 [8:16]
8. Chapter 8 [7:49]
9. Chapter 9 [7:11]
10. Chapter 10 [6:43]
11. Chapter 11 [6:10]
12. Chapter 12 [7:57]
13. Chapter 13 [6:20]
14. Chapter 14 [7:37]
15. Chapter 15 [6:37]
16. Chapter 16 [:08]

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