Song Of Russia

  • 1943
  • Movie
  • NR
  • War

Once upon a time, Russia was an ally and Germany was the enemy. Taylor, a longtime anti-Communist, was against making this film and argued with Mayer about it, but finally agreed when he was told that President Roosevelt wanted the picture done to strengthen US sentiment toward the Soviets. He paid the price later by being called to testify in front of...read more

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Once upon a time, Russia was an ally and Germany was the enemy. Taylor, a longtime anti-Communist, was against making this film and argued with Mayer about it, but finally agreed when he was told that President Roosevelt wanted the picture done to strengthen US sentiment toward the

Soviets. He paid the price later by being called to testify in front of a postwar investigating committee that was searching for Communist sympathizers in the movie business. It was Taylor's final film before entering the service and he regretted it all his life. MGM had made two anti-Russian

comedies, NINOTCHKA and COMRADE X, and both were successful, but that was before WW II, so they were called upon to right the ship by doing something pro-Soviet. At best, SONG OF RUSSIA is a yawner. Taylor is a famed US symphony conductor on tour with his manager, Benchley. They go to the town

where Tchaikovsky was born (it's called Tchaikovskoye) and are trapped there when the Nazis unleash their attack on Russia at the start of the war. He meets Peters, a sweet peasant girl with an ear for classical music, and they marry. When war breaks out he is all for leaving in a hurry, but she

wants to remain and fight the Germans alongside her fellow villagers. He departs, but the pair swear their undying love for each other and promise they will meet again after the war. Taylor is unbelievable as the conductor and anyone with any knowledge of what a conductor does will laugh as

Taylor's baton is totally out of synchronization with the music played by Peter Meremblum's California Junior Symphony Orchestra. Former actor Ratoff laid a directorial layer of borscht over the whole thing and the outcome was boiled potatoes. If one removed all of the pro-Soviet propaganda about

the USSR's bravery against Nazi tyranny, the picture would have been much shorter, and much better.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Once upon a time, Russia was an ally and Germany was the enemy. Taylor, a longtime anti-Communist, was against making this film and argued with Mayer about it, but finally agreed when he was told that President Roosevelt wanted the picture done to strength… (more)

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