Navigating the deadly waters of Stalinist politics, Eisenstein was able to film two parts of his planned trilogy about the troubled 16th-century tsar who united Russia. Visually stunning and powerfully acted, Ivan the Terrible charts the rise to power and descent into terror of this veritable dictator. Though pleased with the first installment, Stalin detected the portrait in the second film-with its summary executions and secret police-and promptly banned it. Criterion is proud to present Ivan the Terrible, Parts I and II, in new digital transfers with extensive image and sound restoration.
Multimedia essay on the history of Ivan the Terrible by Joan Neuberger, director of the Center for Soviet Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
Drawings and production stills
Multimedia essay on Eisenstein's visual vocabulary by Yuri Tsivian, art history professor at the University of Chicago