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Maria's Lovers Reviews

Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky's first American film is a weird conglomeration of things American and things Eastern European in this post-WW II drama that takes place in a small Pennsylvania steel town. Ivan Bibic (John Savage) is a veteran who is glad to return home. His father (Robert Mitchum) gives him a matter-of-fact welcome in what seems to be an effort to quickly reassimilate his son back into the community. During his tour of duty, Ivan dreamed only of his girl back home, Maria Bosic (Nastassja Kinski), and painted an idealized picture of her virginal womanhood. When he returns, however, he finds that she has been lusted after by most of the men in town and is now dating another returned GI, Al Griselli (Vincent Spano). Maria and Ivan's love for each other eventually wins out, and a traditional Slavic wedding soon follows. But their joy is halted when Ivan finds himself incapable of performing sexually with the nervous Maria who, much to his surprise, has remained a virgin. Konchalovsky gets some wonderful performances out of his strong cast. Savage, however, is allowed to take the tortured soul act too far. There are some remarkable scenes, but these are nearly outweighed by some heavy-handed symbolism and some deadly dull spots where the narrative seems to be in a holding pattern.