One of the few surviving photographs from the Soviet movie Ivan the Terrible, Part 3.

One of the few surviving photographs from the Soviet movie Ivan the Terrible, Part 3. 4

One of the few surviving photographs from the Soviet movie Ivan the Terrible, Part 3.




  1. After the Soviet state banned Part II in 1946, production ceased on Part III. The director, Sergei Eisenstein, pa**ed away in 1948, and what little that existed of Part III was confiscated and destroyed.

    EDIT: Apparently this might not actually be the case and this post might be wrong. Possible that this is a cut scene from Part I. See this comment:

  2. One of the great lost films, Eisenstein was a fantastic director. [Bezhin Meadow]( sadly never saw the light of day either.

  3. The movie was scored by the famous composer Prokofiev, which still exists mostly complete. I was lucky enough to see it performed by the Chicago Symphony two years ago with Ivan’s dialogue performed in Russian by Gerard Depardieu. Powerful and glorious music, definitely worth a listen. Very sad the accompanying film no longer exists.

  4. I remember being so confused when I saw Ivan the Terrible Parts I and II in Medved’s infamous “50 worst films of all time” book. This was before I knew of its risible reputation.

    Edit: To be clear, the book’s risible reputation, not that of the movies.

  5. hi hello ivan the terrible specialist dropping by because it’s very important for you all to know that, ACTUALLY,

    this is a surviving still from a scene originally filmed for Ivan the Terrible Pt. I! The scene is the initiation of Ivan’s personal guard/a**a**in force/goth twink harem (called *oprichniki*). The young man in the picture is the “first called” *oprichnik* who was widely rumored to be Ivan’s lover. He’s being murdered *symbolically* to prove his devotion to ~~daddy~~ the Great Russian State. (He would later be literally murdered in part III, but only by one knife held by ~~Nazi homophobe~~ German spy Heinrich Staden.) Note Stanislavsky-trained romantic lead actor Mikhail Kuznetsov’s masterful execution of a fanatical gaze equal parts thirst and t****r, angelic innocence being transmuted into demonic ambition and bloodlust. The sheet music for Prokofiev’s music for this scene survives (the oath is sung) and has been recorded — it’s exquisitely, flamboyantly creepy: [](

    Eisenstein was explicit about Ivan and Fedor’s romantic and s*xual relationship in his notes for the film and though he had to tone it down in execution, the homoerotic subtext is extremely there (enough to be a major motivation for the banning of part II). The initiation scene was cut from film for being (and this is very nearly a direct quote from a state official) “too satanic.” An excellent, carefully researched scholarly account of the conflict between Eisenstein and the censors can be found in Joan Neuberger’s *This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible in Stalin’s Russia* (a great book overall, probably the best long-form work on the film to date!)

    sorry if someone already made this correction, i have never used reddit and just read through what showed up when i loaded this page. bonus content for those of you who read this far: when Kuznetsov (as I said, a Stanislavskyian “method” actor) asked Eisenstein (the anti-Stanislavsky) what to do to prepare for the role, the director told him to go to the zoo and observe large cats. Eisenstein invented catbois. I, for one, am grateful.

  6. Look alive! Crème de la Kremlin’s arriving! Try to serve Ivan? No surviving! You’re a Land Rover, I’m a land expander, here to hand you your first loss, Alexander.

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