Directed by : Friedrich ERMLER
Writing credits : Boris CHIRSKOV
Mikhail DERZHAVIN (sen.)
Cinematography : Arkadi KOLTSATY
Production design : Nikolay SUVOROV
Music : Gavriil POPOV
Sound : Nikolay KOSAREV, Aleksandr OSTROVSKY
Companies : Lenfilm
Restauration : Mosfilm (1967)
Release date in Russia : 29/01/1946
Awards: Cannes 1946
World War II. German high command accumulates enormous forces for the assault. Soviet troops commanded by General Muravyov repulse the enemy attacks. Soviet army scouts find out the exact day and time of the decisive offensive. Muravyov is determined to forestall the Nazis and plasters the enemy with fire. All is quiet. Will the fascist troops weakened by the surprise fire begin their offensive or put off the attack?
National Grand Prix and Award for Best Script at the 1st IFF in Cannes, France (1946). For this film, the main members of the crew and cast received the Stalin Prize (first class) of 1945: F. Ermler, B. Chirskov, A. Koltsaty, N. Suvorov, M. Derzhavin, A. Zrazhevsky (1946).
Born: 13 May 1898 (Rechitsa, Russia, now Rezekna, Latvia)
Died: 12 July 1967 (Leningrad, Soviet Union, now Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Friedrich Ermler, one of the Soviet most undervalued directors of late silent and early sound film era, needs, by many critics nowdays a serious re-evaluation. Originally studied to be a pharmacist, his honest believe in the ideas of Bolshevik's led him to be a member of Red Army during the Russian Civil War, right after which he formally joined the Communist Party. His film career started in 1923, firstly taking screenwriting and acting classes at the Institute of Screen Arts in St. Petersburg and then continued as a director at Lenfilm Studios, where he spent practically his entire career (between 1939 and 1943, Ermler served as an artistic director of Lenfilm Studios). His feature film debut "Scarlet Fever/ Skarlatina" (1924) was a comedy. One of the most outstanding and celebrated works are a remarkably accurate portrayal of everyday life in 1920s Leningrad "Katka's Reinette Apples/Katka-bumazhny ranyet" (1926, co-directed with Edouard Ioganson), and "House in the Snow Drifts/Dom vsogrobakh" (1927), which was based on the short story The Cave by Yevgeny Zamatkin. In 1932, in conjuction with director Sergey Yutkevich, he completed his first sound film "Counterplan/Vstrechnyy/". Among others Elmer's best-known films count "Great Citizen/Veliky Grazhdanin" (1938), the two-part biography of Stalin's slain enemy Sergei Kirov and "Turning Point/Veliky Perelom" (1946), which won Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival in 1946. Friedrich Ermler is considered a master of psychological realism, treatment of his characters is remarkably evenhanded, their weaknesses and even deceptions understood against a backdrop of fear and deprivation. The interest in elemental things: people's faces in two-shots, the way men put on their pants and boots, houses and bridges at night are the signature marks in all Ermler's work. Over his career, Ermler traveled to Europe (in 1929) and Hollywood (1935) as an ambassador for Soviet films.