THE DEATH OF IVAN THE TERRIBLE / SMERT' IVANA GROZNOGO
Russian Empire, Gloria Trading House, 1909, 14 minutes
Scriptwriter and director: Vasily Goncharov
Cameraman: Antonio Serrano
Designers: Ignatiev, G. Benes
Cast: A. Slavin, Elizaveta Uvarova, S. Tarasov, Nikolay Vekov, Yakov Protazanov.
Pre-revolutionary screenings often ended with a serious or even tragic film. This program ends with the screening of the film "The Death of Ivan the Terrible" based on the tragedy of Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy: another costume, “boyar” film on a historical theme, filmed in a “lubok” fashion, filled with ornate props.
The owners of “Gloria”, Pavel (Paul) Thiemann and Friedrich Reinhardt, the future creators of the famous “Russian Golden Series”, were previously engaged in film distribution. "The Death of Ivan the Terrible" is the first film released by their trading house. The reception of the film was mixed; it was accused of week directing and acting, of the absence of understanding "of the entire complex nature of Ivan the Terrible". Yakov Protazanov in his memoirs called the film "an outlandish mixture of false Russian style with decadence". (Protazanov Y. Na zare kinematografa [At the dawn of cinema] // Kino. 1935. 51/52. S. 4.)
Nevertheless, this film is of certain interest to the modern viewer as well; it will help to experience the atmosphere of the first Russian film screenings.
Based on the eponymous tragedy by Aleksey Tolstoy.