The Classic Film

“Alexander Nevsky” (Russian: Александр Невский) is a 1938 historical action/drama film directed by Sergei Eisenstein, in association with Dmitri Vasilyev and a script co-written with Pyotr Pavlenko, who were assigned to ensure Eisenstein did not stray into “formalism” and to facilitate shooting on a reasonable timetable. It was produced by Goskino via the Mosfilm production unit, with Nikolai Cherkasov in the title role as Nevsky, a statesman and general who defends his country from invading Teutonic knights, and has a musical score by the prolific Sergei Prokofiev. “Alexander Nevsky” was the most popular of Eisenstein’s three sound films. In 1941 Eisenstein, Pavlenko, Cherkasov and Abrikosov were awarded the Stalin Prize for the film’s strong political subtext when the Soviet Union was at war with Nazi Germany. Along with its distinct style, “Alexander Nevsky” featured epic battle scenes and has since been referenced widely in popular culture, helping it to become a classic film.