Song of Russia (1944) Movie Script

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
This is John Nesbitt speaking
from historic Manhattan Hall.
Members of the orchestra have
taken their places on the stage ..
And the great auditorium
is rapidly filling.
This is certainly a
brilliant assemblage.
If there is a great feeling
of anticipation here tonight ..
There is little reason to wonder why.
For the orchestra, as you know ..
Will be under the direction of the
world-famous American conductor ..
Our own John Meredith.
It was to Russia in 1941 that
fate sent John Meredith.
It was in Russia the he heard
and saw and felt and suffered ..
The appalling horrors
of the Nazi invasion.
It was in Russia.
That John Meredith remained during the
long, terrifying months that followed.
One may expect then, that tonight ..
He will bring a new brilliance,
an even deeper understanding.
To the works of the great
Russian composers.
For as he lifts the baton.
His thoughts must inevitably
be carried back ..
To his own intense and
dramatic experiences.
In the heart of fighting Russia.
Ladies and gentlemen,
the lights are dimming.
And now Mister Meredith is making
his way to the conductor's stand.
And presently we shall
hear our national anthem.
Her at the Dynamo Airport in Moscow
excitement has reached a high pitch.
The plane bringing John Meredith the
famous American conductor has landed.
Mister Meredith.
How do you do? We are so happy.
My name is Petrov. I am a member of the
Central Art Committee of the government.
On behalf of our 190 million citizens.
I welcome you, John Meredith.
To Moscow and to our country.
Henry Higgins.
Yes. And many greeting
also to your manager.
Mister Henry Higgins.
We want to tell you that
although the sky is overcast.
To us it is a proud
and a beautiful day ..
That you Mister John Meredith, one
of the greatest conductors of our time.
Has come here.
To share the brilliance
of your music with us.
This fills our hearts with
warmth and gratitude.
All hail.
The cultural achievements
of our free people.
Mister Meredith, may I speak to you?
Mister Meredith, what are your
impressions of Moscow?
Mister Meredith, have you any
statement for Pravda, please?
Please. Please, quiet.
Just for one minute.
Mister Meredith, would
you like to be interviewed?
He is tired. Tell him you'll talk to
them in the language of music.
Yes, yes. Mister Meredith
will talk to you later.
Mister Meredith.
I must talk to you.
It is very important.
Gentlemen, I think we should
take it just a little faster.
Right, let's try it from letter G.
Our people will love him.
Well, love won't get him through
a schedule like that, I'll tell you.
Alright gentlemen. Thank you very much.
We'll meet in the morning at 8 o'clock.
Meanwhile look over the piano concerto.
Is there anything you would like me
to take care of Mister Meredith?
Would you like me to show you Moscow?
Thank you very much, Miss Orlova.
Perhaps some other time.
Well Mister Meredith, everything is
arranged. We have reached a compromise.
We have agreed to cancel 17 of the
concerts leaving a total of only 38.
And no lectures.
Yes, we have also agreed
to cancel 8 lectures.
It is a pity.
- What do you think?
Now, is everything
alright, Mister Meredith?
What? You want us to reduce it further?
No, it's alright.
You are wonderful. Who are you?
I want to talk to you.
You said you wanted to talk to me.
Alright. Talk.
Since you arrived at the airport.
I've been trying to reach you.
I followed you all over Moscow.
Now when I am face to face with you ..
I don't know where to start.
You wanted me to hear you
play the piano? Isn't that it?
Oh no. Not for my own sake.
Only as a way to attract your attention.
I had heard that ..
In America they liked people who
use bold and ingenious methods.
To capture someone's interest.
Well, you certainly captured
my interest alright.
Do you realize how good you are?
Where do you come from?
Where did you study?
I come from a little village.
It is name in honor
of our great composer.
We have there a very
fine school of music.
Every August after the
harvest is completed.
We have there a musical festival.
That is what I came to
Moscow to see you about.
I'm very glad that you have
a festival in Tschaikowskoye.
I'm very glad you came to Moscow.
Mister Meredith.
Would it be possible for you
to be our guest of honor?
Did you ask the Central Art Committee?
They're in charge of all my appearances.
Yes, we did.
Professor Meschkov asked for you when
he heard you were coming to our country.
And ..
Who is Meschkov?
He is the head of our school.
He asked for you but the
Central Art Committee said no.
Meschkov was heartbroken
and all of the students.
So, I told them that.
I will travel to Moscow
and invite you personally.
Oh, I see.
Will you come?
You make it very appealing.
Please .. say yes.
Let's talk about this later.
Do you know any good place around
here where we could have dinner?
But you haven't answered
my question yet.
I am starved. You must be too.
You must introduce me to all
the most famous Russian dishes.
But I have to send word
to Professor Meschkov.
I hate to eat alone.
I get to talking to myself,
and I get on my nerves.
I know. But I must have
an answer, please.
Good evening, Mister Meredith.
- Hello.
Right this way please.
That's John Meredith.
Mister Meredith.
Could I have your autograph please?
Thank you so much.
Would you care to order
now, Mister Meredith?
Why don't you order for both of us, huh.
But I don't know what you would like.
- Anything. Everything you say.
Are you really very hungry?
- I'm starved.
We would like some Zakuskis ..
Borsch Peroski Lucasina.
And beef Stroganoff, cutlet Jarski,
and Chachlick Kanjai, please.
Anything else?
Yes. Perok and Marjony.
Now I know I'm in Russia.
I can't get over it.
Well everybody seems to be
having such a good time.
Well, is that wrong?
No except that I always thought
that Russians were sad ..
Melancholy people. You know, sitting
around brooding about their souls.
This is such a surprise.
You are a surprise too.
I am?
If I didn't know that I'd
met you in Moscow, you ..
You might be an American girl.
An American?
- Yes.
But I've never even met
an American before.
You mean I'm the first one?
- Yes.
What's your name?
Nadya Ivanov Stepanova.
I beg your pardon?
Nadya Ivanov Stepanova.
Wait. You must have
a shorter name that that.
Do people go round calling
you that all the time?
No Mister Meredith. They call me Nadya.
They call me John.
Will you come to Tschaikowskoye?
Let me talk to my business manager.
I'll see if we can arrange it.
Meanwhile, what would you say if
I asked you to show me Moscow?
Yes. You know, in the interest
of Russian/American friendship.
I don't know Moscow.
This is my first visit here.
Alright. I'll tell you what.
I'll show you Moscow.
I'll make a deal with you.
- What kind?
Give me a chance to catch my breath
and I'll tell you some good news.
Well, it's all arranged.
I'm coming to your village in August.
What's the matter?
Isn't that what you wanted?
Yes .. yes, very much.
Only .. I feel guilty.
Guilty about what?
You are coming because of me.
I feel that I owe it to you for making
this interlude in Moscow so charming.
Yes .. it has been charming, hasn't it.
I suppose for a famous man.
Each new country he visits
has a charm all its own.
You speak of my fame as though it
were a barbed-wire fence between us.
I thought with you I'd escaped all that.
Is fame then like a prison?
Something to escape from?
When it separates us, yes.
Tell me more about yourself.
What made you come here?
- To Russia?
I've adored your music since I first
heard Tchaikovsky's symphony pathtique.
I remember the concert well.
I was fourteen years old.
I'd never heard his music before and ..
I don't know. It did something
to me way down inside.
I closed my eyes and tried to
imagine the land and the ..
People from which such sad
and beautiful music came.
I decided if I ever had the opportunity
I would go and see for myself.
And did you find everything
as you imagined it?
Oh yes. Even more.
I found you.
You've been wonderful, Nadya. I don't
know how I'll ever be able to leave.
You may have to leave
sooner than you think.
You will be running out
of American cigarettes.
I do smoke too much, don't I.
I'm always threatening to give it up.
Oh no. Smoke a pipe.
It would become you.
If only for your Russian interlude.
Have you your breath back now?
Now we can go and dance.
If you want to.
If I want to?
Come on.
[ Singing: ]
"When I was very young."
"I gave my heart away."
"Her cheeks were all like
cherry trees that bloom in May."
"Her eyes were stars that lit the
darkness with a sliver flame."
"And she is still my love."
"And Russia is her name."
"She stood beside my plow."
"She kissed away my tears."
"And warmed my empty hands
throughout the empty years."
"And when she smiled .."
"The heartbreak vanished
and the day break came."
"And she is still my own."
"And Russia is her name."
"I heard her sing."
"I heard her sing for me."
"And there was love."
"A love that set my
hungry heart aflame."
"And now that love is mine."
"And Russia is her name."
Confidentially I was assured this is the
most romantic spot in the whole city.
Is that why you brought me here?
Why certainly. You see.
In Russia, I feel a little ..
Handicapped. Out of my
element, so to speak.
No, you are doing very well.
If we were in America and I were
asked to describe you, I'd say ..
What a girl.
That would be very nice to hear.
Even in Moscow.
No. No.
In Moscow I feel I
should say it differently.
For instance, I'd ask ..
Where did you get that
light in your eyes?
Or, where did you get that
voice that makes me think ..
Words are music.
That's very good.
Go on.
No, no.
You're not being fair.
You see I can't really describe you
unless you tell me more about yourself.
But .. what do you want me to tell you?
I'm just an ordinary Russian
girl from a little village.
Who should have stayed
there if she had any sense.
Why, don't you like Moscow?
Yes. I like it very much.
It must be me.
I'm afraid it is both.
We have known each other only four days.
What are you talking about?
We've known each other for ever.
I love you, Nadya.
I love you.
These are very convenient words.
They mean different things
to different people.
Look, darling.
I don't know the words.
I don't care about them.
"I love you" means I want
you and I'm crazy about you.
"Forever" means ..
It means now and all the years
I've wasted without you.
And all the years we'll be together.
No, John.
What do you mean "no"?
I'm the guy it happened to.
I haven't been able to think of
anything else since I first saw you.
You are in the music as I rehearse it.
In everything I see and feel.
And you feel the same way about me.
I can see it in the way you look at me.
And I can see it in the way
you refuse to look at me.
No, John. Please, no.
- Why not? Tell me.
It is not practical.
We are being.
Isn't that the way to be?
Sentimental? Perhaps.
We can never.
We have serious differences.
We have not even discussed ..
- We will discuss them tomorrow.
Or the day after.
But ..
- Nadya, I love you.
I will never let you go.
Father. Stop the tractor.
Stop it.
Nadya, he is coming.
He sent a telegram.
His train will be here at three.
Meschkov wants you to come
to the station immediately.
Who is coming?
- John Meredith.
We are all going to welcome him
and I'm going to lead my band.
Why do you sit there, Nadya? Don't
you understand what Peter is saying?
Yes father, I understand.
Well get down and go with Peter.
Father, I think it would be better if
Professor Meschkov received him.
I would rather see him later.
Then I will go.
Someone from our family should
be there to do him honor.
Oh .. don't cry, Golubchik.
I'll be right back. You'll see.
Before you know it.
Come on my son, come.
Where is Nadya? What is the matter?
Nadya said she wouldn't come.
- What?
I am to represent her.
I think it is terrible
that Nadya isn't here.
But she must.
Now Meschkov, the girl
is working like a horse.
She is busy.
She is busy, but you have time.
Mister Meredith.
I am Alexander Meschkov.
- How do you do, sir?
I cannot express to you how ..
How honored I am ..
Let me take these.
These are my students.
All prodigies.
This is Faber.
Professor of harmony.
Also a prodigy.
A great honor.
I was looking forward to
it with great anticipation.
This is Karklev.
Professor of history of music.
Also a prodigy.
I'm very glad to meet
you, Mister Meredith.
And this is Ivan Stepanov.
He is not a prodigy.
Nadya's father?
- Yes.
The same.
Very glad to know you, sir.
Mister Meredith.
On behalf of the Tschaikowskoye
Music School and ..
Of the entire student
body, I welcome you.
Here, culture is always ..
Here .. cult ..
Here, with the music of all the world.
I forgot.
Don't you worry about it.
I heard all the speeches in Moscow.
Nevertheless, I have to say, something.
Not a speech. Just a few words.
On behalf of my daughter Nadya
Stepanova and my whole family.
Including my other daughter
Anna, her husband Maxim ..
And my little granddaughter Stasha.
I invite you while you are
here to live at our house.
Thank you very much.
We have already arranged for
Mister Meredith to stay at my house.
Who persuaded him to
come here? You or Nadya?
But he's the guest of the entire school.
- But Nadya is the president.
Stepanov, I accept your
invitation with pleasure.
The pleasure is mine.
And that's a fact.
Pardon me, Mister Meredith.
My name is Yanovich.
How do you do.
I want to ask you, Mister Meredith ..
- Not now. Later.
Later. This way please, Mister Meredith.
Thank you.
We didn't expect you, Mister Meredith.
Nadya told us that you might
come in August for the festival.
But we had no idea that you would
suddenly pop up in the middle of May.
May, June, July, August.
John Meredith is always welcome.
I remember my speech
now, Mister Meredith.
Never mind. Never mind.
Don't bother him.
Hiya, kids.
- Hi. - Hi.
Now look here, Louis,
please don't bother him.
I'm not bothering. I only
want to ask a question.
I want to ask him now.
Wait a second. Don't push me.
Alright, wait a second.
Who is she, Peter?
- She is my sister, Sonia.
We live next door.
My name is Stasha Bulganov.
Old man Stepanov's granddaughter.
Then Nadya should be your auntie, yes?
- Yes.
Time to come home, children.
- Mama, it is John Meredith.
He is going to stay here
father, with the Stepanovs.
Mister Meredith.
This is our mother and father.
Boris and Natasha Bulganov.
How do you do.
Have our children been
driving you crazy?
No, not at all. They are fine kids.
We like them too but
they drive us crazy.
Oh, it is not true.
We grow many fine things in our country
but the finest crop of all is this.
We have to go now.
- Alright.
We'll come back later.
- Goodbye.
Here is your watch.
- Thank you, Peter.
It's a fine watch.
- I'm glad you like it.
They are coming home now.
My mummy and my auntie Nadya too.
Hello, Nadya.
Sorry I couldn't leave my work to meet
you at the station, Mister Meredith.
This is a very busy time of year for us.
So I see.
I understand you've been
out driving a tractor.
We did not expect you so ..
I did not expect you quite so soon.
Your father insisted I
must stay in your house.
We will try to make your
stay very enjoyable.
I like him, Nadya.
I like you too, Stasha.
But I must be careful not
to like you too much.
Otherwise you might run off and leave
me someday without any reason.
See you at dinner, Mister Meredith.
In my country that's
known as a brush-off.
Come on. We can see
him through the window.
But maybe we shouldn't, Peter.
- Shush, I just want to look at him.
Maybe someday he'll let me be his pupil.
So Mister Meredith, here you are
at a simple peasant farm table.
Where we have nothing to
offer you but our company.
And the country food we eat ourselves.
It's wonderful to be in the
middle of a family again.
Mister Meredith, what does
it mean, "a brush-off"?
You'd better ask your
aunt Nadya about that.
Say, this food is wonderful. Who
cooked all these delicious things?
Who else could cook for you but Nadya?
Did you cook this dinner?
I did.
But you are a pianist.
How can you let her do such work?
How can I let her?
The question is how can I stop her.
I would not be happy here on the farm
if I did not do my share of the work.
No. But is it necessary
that you drive a tractor?
It is a privilege to drive the tractor.
Our tractor, my Golubchik, is a beauty.
Wait until I show it to you.
Father, Mister Meredith is a musician.
Such things are of no interest to him.
What do you mean, of no interest?
I was born and raised on a farm.
You were raised on a farm?
You did not tell me this.
There are lots of things
I haven't told you.
But I will.
What kind of a farm was it? Was it big?
How good was the soil?
Not so big. About forty acres.
Soil was good.
We had a tractor too but we did
not call it Golubchik. We called it ..
"Big John".
How long did you live there?
- Until I finished college.
What was your crop?
- Wheat?
Nadya, did you hear that?
A farmer comes to see us and we
don't even show him our farm.
The man raises wheat and we
don't even show him our grain.
Come. You've never
seen anything like it.
The kernels are as big as grapes.
That's a fact.
Not big grapes, you understand.
Little grapes.
And that's a fact.
He should have taught
you a little politeness.
Or the courage to face your
problems without running away.
Just look at that.
And now tell me the truth.
Have you ever seen anything like this?
What did I tell you.
- It's beautiful.
What variety is it?
What variety?
Ordinary grain.
That's wonderful. It really is.
What did I tell you?
And now I'll show you the farm itself.
Father .. at night?
With this grain, night-time is alright.
Also, you have to see the tractor.
Here she is.
She has changed our lives.
Mister Meredith.
- Father.
Leave them alone.
I want you to answer my question.
Why did you run away?
I left because ..
I didn't feel our ..
Our relationship held
any promise for the future.
Why, that's a lot of nonsense.
I love you and you love me.
You are a wonderful man.
You believe that a declaration of
love overcomes all obstacles?
I do not.
- You do.
To every problem I posed in
Moscow your only answer was ..
"But I love you".
- But I love you.
You believe only in emotion.
Perhaps that's why you
conduct so well Tchaikovsky.
What do you believe in?
I believe that reason and
emotion cannot be separated.
I believe that ..
That we must face the obstacles
between us realistically.
And that's why you ran away?
That night when I sat in the box.
I watched you conduct.
I realised there were a
thousand miles between us.
That .. I had made a mistake in
forcing my way into your life.
And that the only way to
correct that mistake was ..
Was to go away.
And never see you again.
But didn't you care what
that would do to me?
After you left, I couldn't
go ahead with my tour.
No, John.
Your work should be important.
What there was between us was ..
Was only for the moment.
Not to me, Nadya.
You've become the most
important thing in my life.
I want you to marry me.
Is that why you came down here?
I've wanted to marry you
from the very beginning.
If I tried to explain to you.
What I am thinking.
Will you promise not to interrupt ..
And say "but I love you"?
It's kind of tough, but I promise.
I have a great responsibility.
To my family and to my village.
To the way which I have lived.
I don't quite see how I can
build a life with you and ..
And then also help to build a better
and better life for my country.
Oh, I see.
But I love you.
And I don't quite see how anything
so beautiful could hurt my country.
So, what I should like is ..
Is a little time in
which to think it over.
And perhaps to discuss
it with my family.
Of course. Sure.
So you don't like the way I
conduct Tchaikovsky, huh?
0kay, so your name is Yanovich.
Where is John Meredith?
That's what I must know.
I am taking you. I am taking you.
That's a short-cut.
See that little mound over there.
That's their little house.
What is going on here, Peter?
- Civilian defence.
Does everybody do this?
- Everybody.
Everybody except me.
I'm too young.
Commence firing!
Cease firing!
Good morning.
- Good morning.
Good morning.
- Want to try?
Did you speak to your family?
Keep your eye on the gun.
Put your thumbs on the trigger, so.
- Yep.
What's this thing down here?
- The wheel is for elevation.
Commence firing!
Mister. Mister!
Are you hurt?
Are you hurt?
What goes on here? What goes on?
You ditched the tour,
you ditched Moscow.
You leave me holding the bag
and then you shoot at me.
What are you trying to do?
If I were to tell you Hank,
you'd shoot at me.
Oh, very funny. Very, very
funny, I'm sure. Ha ha ha.
I pronounce you man and wife and
wish you many, many happy years.
Now you may kiss each other.
He's making a big mistake.
You are insulting my
daughter and that is a fact.
She is making a big mistake too.
Attention please!
Mister Meredith.
We, the Musical School
of Tschaikowskoye.
Are giving you our Nadya.
Take good care of her.
She is our treasure.
Our pride.
And as long as we have to lose her.
We are glad we lost her to you.
To your happiness.
To the happiness of your great country.
To the happiness of our great country.
To Nadya and John. God bless you both.
To Nadya and John.
To Nadya and John!
To Nadya and John.
To Nadya and John.
No, no.
Drink, drink.
You can't win me over this way.
I just can't see it, that's all.
He's an American. It's unpatriotic.
You will see it. You will see it.
Pardon me, Mr Meredith. My name is ..
- Yanovich, yes.
You know Washington, DC?
- Yes, been there many times.
Really? Possibly you know my brother?
What's your brother's name?
Yanovich, Boris. He is a baker.
No, I'm afraid I don't know him.
- You don't know him?
Thank you.
He says he knows Washington DC but
he doesn't know my brother Boris.
Mister Meredith.
- Yes, Peter?
On behalf of my orchestra and myself.
I wish you and Nadya all
the happiness in the world.
Thank you very much.
- Thank you, Peter.
Do you think we play hard enough?
Oh, in the groove, Jackson.
In the groove.
This .. this means good?
- Oh yes. Very good.
Seriously, Peter.
I didn't have a chance to tell you the
other night but you've a lot of ability.
Thank you.
But I also have the opportunity.
That's very important.
Oh yes.
By the way.
A wedding present.
For me?
- Sure.
Take it. I can get another one.
Thank you, sir.
Oh, thank you. Thank you.
Look. He gave me his watch.
It's mine. Look, it's mine.
The American. A fine fellow.
My son.
And now.
The traditional wedding dance.
Clear the tables!
Can you imagine that?
He says he knows Washington DC
but he doesn't know my brother. Ha.
My present to you.
The world at dawn.
I used to come up here in
the mornings and dream.
Dream that ..
Someday I would be
married to a man like ..
John Meredith.
Only I.
I didn't think he would be an American.
I was sure he'd be an American
from the moment I first saw you.
And now I have a little present for you.
It is not as nice as the world at dawn.
It's an engagement ring.
But, we are already married.
So much the better.
Now we can always be sure that our
engagement will never be broken.
How was it?
You were wonderful.
You get better every day.
I'll be right with you.
So he's getting better every day?
I wonder how he ever managed to
conduct before you came along.
How was I really?
Oh, in the groove, Jackson.
In the groove.
Tell me about it.
About what?
- America.
What does it look like?
Oh, it's wonderful.
Well .. what makes it wonderful?
I don't know.
What makes you wonderful?
What will we do there?
Be happy.
Ah happy as we've been here?
Who says we've been happy here?
Be serious.
What kind of a life will it be?
I want to be working. Doing something.
I'll put you to work alright.
You will?
- Yep.
You're going to sell newspapers.
Got the corner picked out.
42nd Street and Broadway.
The best location in the world.
John, I am serious.
So am I.
Alright. I'll tell you.
You are going to practice and
study just as you have been doing.
Then one day you are going to give a
concert at Carnegie Hall as my soloist.
Oh no.
I won't be good enough.
Sure you will. You're good enough now.
How about it?
How about playing the concerto
with me Saturday night?
You are joking.
- I am not.
Sevastopol is as good a place
for a dbut as New York.
Even better. Fewer people.
Yes, but .. it is being broadcast.
So much the better. More people.
You stick with me, honey.
I've got influence.
Come on, come on. They're waiting.
Well, Nadya is a little nervous, Hank.
What's she nervous about?
What are you nervous about?
Nothing at all.
I am a soloist for
John Meredith every day.
I am used to it.
- Alright, Hank. We'll see you later.
Now darling, forget about it.
You know it backwards and forwards.
Do you think I'd ask you to go on
if I didn't know you were ready?
Think of it as a rehearsal.
Forget about those people out there.
You talk to me as if I were a child.
It is not a rehearsal.
How can I forget people are
there when they are there?
It is being broadcast
all over the country.
To millions of people I don't even know.
And I am scared.
Nadya Ivanov Stepanova.
When was the last time
you wore that dress?
When I married an American.
Did you ever regret it?
Good luck, darling. Come on.
Grandpa, is everybody listening?
Everybody who loves music.
Millions of people?
Oh .. even more.
Even more than millions?
All over the country they are
listening to our Nadya and John.
From the Eastern Pacific
to the Western frontier.
The newspapers aren't out yet.
Any more news on the radio?
Has the call to your father
come through yet?
I have to go home.
My people will be needing me.
Darling, why don't we wait until
we've talked to your father?
Maybe we can decide that later.
No, we can decide now.
I can ride, I can shoot.
And with the men going off,
women will have to do more.
My place is at home.
I'll go with you.
Oh darling, I would give anything in
the world if you could go with me.
You can help more by
continuing with your tour.
To us, your music is more important
now than it has ever been.
What about your own music?
Didn't you prove last night ..
- Last night was only a promise.
A beginning.
But I shall someday be
able to do with music ..
That we can find out after the war.
But what I can do at home now.
That I know.
Please don't be angry with me.
Don't you think our being together is
as precious to me as it is to you?
Yes. I do.
That's why I feel that anything
we do we should do together.
To me it seems obvious even now with ..
The world turning upside down.
But we are each of us an individual.
We have different abilities.
War and ..
No, Nadya. We're one person.
If the tour is more important
for me, then it is for you too.
If it's more important for you to go
home, then I should go with you.
You don't understand me at all, John.
Sure I do. You want to help
your country and you should.
I just don't understand why that means
we have to be separated. That's all.
I'm not asking you to
run away from the war.
I'm not asking you to close your
eyes, to forget your duty, to ..
Forget everyone but us.
We should do whatever is best
but we should do it together.
We shall.
Continue the tour.
I just had a call from Petrov.
He's willing to cancel the tour and let
us out of our contract. What do you say?
You can tell Petrov that's very
nice but that we're going ahead.
With the whole schedule?
- The whole schedule.
Are you crazy?
Down at the Consulate they are saying
the Nazis will win this war in 6 weeks.
No, Hank.
They will not.
"All stations stand by."
"All stations stand by."
"Our Commander in Chief.
Comrade Stalin."
"Comrades. Citizens."
"Men of our Army and Navy."
"I am speaking to you,
one and all, my friends."
"The perfidious military
attack on our fatherland."
"Begun on June 22nd by
Hitler's Germany is continuing."
"Above all."
"Our people must realize the immensity
of the danger threatening our country."
"And should abandon all complacency."
"All those moods of peaceful
constructive work."
"Which were so natural before the
war but which are fatal today."
"The enemy is cruel and implacable."
"He is out to seize our lands."
"Watered with our sweat."
"To seize our grain and oil."
"Secured by our labor."
"Thus the issue is
one of life or death."
"For the peoples of the Soviet Union."
"Whether they shall remain free."
"Or fall into slavery."
"In this war of liberation
we shall not be alone."
"We shall have loyal allies."
"In the peoples of Europe and America."
"Our war."
"For the freedom of our country."
"Will merge with the struggle of
the peoples of Europe and America .."
"For their independence."
"For democratic liberties and against
enslavement by Hitler's fascist armies."
"In case of a forced retreat
of Red Army units .."
"The enemy must not
be left a single engine."
"A single railway car."
"Not a single pound of
grain nor a gallon of fuel."
"All valuable property which
cannot be withdrawn."
"Must without fail be destroyed."
"In areas occupied by the enemy."
"Guerrilla units."
"Mounted, and on foot, must be formed."
"To combat enemy troops everywhere."
"To blow up bridges and roads."
"Damage telephone and telegraph lines."
"And to set fire to forests,
stores and transports."
"The collective farmers must
drive off all their cattle."
"And deliver their grain for
transportation to the rear."
"I call upon you."
"To give your full strength."
"And your full devotion."
"To the defence of our fatherland."
"This does not lie only in the hands
of our valiant soldiers and sailors."
"We are all enlisted in this fight."
"In such an emergency .."
"No-one, young or old."
"Can remain apart from
the common struggle."
"Every pair of hands is needed."
"And I am sure that every
pair of hands will be offered."
"For this great task."
"This war with fascist Germany."
"Cannot be considered an ordinary war."
Be in Gorky tonight.
Take the train for
Tschaikowskoye from there.
"It's a war of the entire Soviet people
against the German fascist forces."
Can I have a minute, please?
- Hank.
I have not much time.
John is waiting for me downstairs.
Just a minute please.
I know what you want to tell me, Hank.
Do you think I am a fool?
Well, the smart thing would be to
come to America with John and me.
You're not doing the smart thing.
Goodbye, Hank.
- Nadya, I want to say that ..
I come from a small town too.
A little place up in New England,
called Lexington.
A lot of fools .. like you.
Fought for that once.
Died for it. Right there
on the village green.
Someday, you'll see
my town, you and John.
I'm sure of it.
It will still be there because, back
home we have a lot of fools like you.
Thank you, Hank.
Here's something for the train.
A little vodka.
It goes well with tea.
Tea goes well with it, I mean.
Thank you.
I am glad that ..
John's friend is my friend.
Ah, these Russians.
Too emotional.
Too Russian.
Sure. After all, how long will it be?
I'll be down there in August for the
festival. That's not so far away.
And you'll be busy and I'll be busy.
The weeks will just fly by.
You are a fine man.
Oh, nonsense. You're doing the
right thing. I'm proud of you.
[ Train hoot! ]
Well. Better leave, darling.
Goodbye, Nadya.
Goodbye, Hank. Take good care of John.
I will. You take care of yourself too.
I'll call you from Penza.
Don't forget to write.
No, I won't.
It was the only thing to do, Hank.
I know.
We are going to learn today
how to make a Molotov cocktail.
It is a home-made grenade.
That is very useful in setting
fire to the enemy tanks.
It was first used by the people of Spain
fighting the invasion of their country.
To make it, you take a bottle.
A vodka bottle or ..
Any other bottle that is not too small.
Then you take the cork and ..
And put it in the
bottle tightly. Then ..
Forgive me for interrupting, Nadya.
The news from the front is serious.
We have just come from
regional headquarters.
They have decided that all children
under the age of twelve ..
Must be evacuated from
this region at once.
The Germans are storming Smolensk.
This doesn't mean that the Nazis
will come here right away.
It may be weeks, or never.
But we can't take any chances.
The children will have to go.
Professor Meschkov.
- Yes, Peter?
When you say all children
under the age of twelve ..
Does that include people
who are twelve already?
Up to, but not including twelve.
You will be allowed to stay.
Thank you.
Remember only this.
You who are going, will someday be back.
Music. The culture we have been
building here will never die.
Now Nadya, I think you
had better let them go.
You may go, children.
Will you ask all the brigade leaders
to meet with us right away.
Yes, I will.
I am afraid ..
John will not be allowed
to come here now.
Will not be allowed?
It is for his own safety.
But ..
Moscow is informing John that our
festival is to be cancelled and that ..
That he will not be given
a pass to travel down here.
You see, beginning today, this
whole region is under martial law.
I see.
A call from Nadya.
Relax for a few minutes, kids.
My wife is on the phone.
Ready with your call to Tschaikowskoye.
You have two minutes only.
Hello, Nadya?
Oh darling, it is good to
hear your voice again.
How are you, darling? How do you feel?
I am fine, dear.
How about you?
Were you rehearsing?
Yes. Youngsters. Moscow Conservatory.
You should hear them. Prize
winners from all over the country.
They cannot be as good
as the ones down here.
Well, just as good.
Darling, let's not waste time.
Two minutes goes by so quickly we
never get a chance to say anything.
Talk to me. Tell me what you are doing.
Well, I ..
You know.
The same things.
I've been teaching and ..
Helping with the
anti-parachute work and ..
And .. John ..
Has anyone talked to you about your ..
Your future plans?
Petrov or someone?
What is there to talk about?
I play my last concert here
in Moscow on Saturday.
Then I leave for Tschaikowskoye.
And that's as far as I ever must plan.
Just until the next time I see you.
I know, dear.
I know, John.
I feel the same way.
We will go out to
the fields, to our hill.
And all the things
I've waited to tell you.
All the things I've wanted
to say I'll probably forget.
But it won't make any difference.
We'll be together.
I want it to be that
way with all my heart.
No, John.
That's the way I expect it to be.
But with the war and
everything you can't ..
John, listen, I was talking
to Boris today and ..
He said .. that with the front near ..
No, no. There is no
immediate danger, but ..
John, listen to me.
Boris said today that ..
I'm sorry. Your two minutes are up.
No. Wait a minute operator. Nadya.
Nadya, what did Boris say?
Never mind, darling.
Be well.
Be very well, my darling.
Some people think that I
make too many speeches.
This is true.
I never expected to find an occasion.
Which called so definitely
for a public statement.
As you know.
This is the final concert of
John Meredith's tour of our country.
And I want to thank you publicly
on behalf of our government.
And on behalf of all our people.
For all you have done.
Thank you.
Mister Petrov.
I really feel that it is I
who should thank you.
Before I came to Russia I ..
Knew your country
only through its music.
Now, thanks to this tour I
have been able to meet you.
To talk with you, to get to know you.
In fact, to marry you.
By the way, that reminds me.
Mister Petrov was wrong on one point.
This is not my final concert.
I have one more.
In my wife's village, Tschaikowskoye.
I do want to say that ..
Playing concerts for you is one of the
finest experiences a musician can have.
Your kindness, the warmth
of your appreciation ..
[ Air-raid siren! ]
"Cross over to the shelter in
the subway immediately."
They're really raising
the roof, aren't they.
Could I leave for
Tschaikowskoye tonight?
John, Petrov asked me
to tell you yesterday.
But I've waited until after this last
concert. Tschaikowskoye is out.
You can't go down there.
What are you saying?
- It's true, Mister Meredith.
The festival is cancelled.
Are they in danger?
Well, the war ..
- Tell me the truth.
Well, no. Not at the moment.
But the Germans are getting closer.
The entire region has been
placed under martial law.
Can I get there by plane?
You don't seem to
understand, Mister Meredith.
You can't get down there at all.
It's impossible to get you a pass.
The festival is cancelled.
Do you think I'm going down there
just for the festival? My wife is there.
I'm sorry, Mister Meredith.
Truly. But you see we are
responsible for your safety.
Listen, Mister Petrov.
I appreciate your concern but I
am asking this as a personal favor.
You made a fine speech
tonight. I was very moved.
If you mean a word of what you say
you'll see to it that I get to my wife.
You'll get me a pass immediately.
- It's impossible, Mister Meredith.
Believe me.
There is not a chance in the world.
If I could help you, I would.
But it is out of my hands.
Impossible? Impossible?
How do you know it's impossible?
Well, take it to the War Department.
Alright then, take it to Molotov.
That's what the embassy is for isn't it?
You did, huh?
Alright. Thanks very much.
Impossible. That's all anybody knows
what to say round here: it's impossible.
Take it easy, take it easy.
There is your pass.
It's all fixed up.
You can leave for Tschaikowskoye
any time you want.
Hank, you old robber, you.
Who did you have to see, Stalin?
- No, he was too busy.
No, I saw the union of musicians.
They send guys to the front all the time
to entertain the troops and they just ..
Fixed it to count you in.
I'll never forget this, Hank.
Want me to wire ahead and have
them meet you with a band?
No, I think I'll manage this one alone.
Give my love to Nadya, will you.
She's a grand gal.
I'll give her a big advance build-up
when I get back to the USA.
It's been nice knowing you, John.
I'll miss you, Hank.
Everybody out.
Everybody out!
Well, this is where you
turn, Mister Meredith.
Thanks for your company.
Good luck to you.
Thanks. Same to you.
I hope you get to your wife.
Quiet please. Quiet!
Comrades, there is little time
left for further discussion.
With the Nazis coming
closer and closer ..
Our crop is in danger of
falling into enemy hands.
Some of you argued for burning
the wheat immediately.
Others maintain that if
the Nazis are stopped ..
We will regret that so many
thousands of bushels of wheat ..
Have been recklessly destroyed.
Comrade chairman.
There is no need for any recklessness.
Or any regrets.
Only for common sense.
To the north the Nazis have
broken through already.
We cannot wait.
What we must do, we must do now.
Therefore I propose that
we start threshing ..
And get the wheat ready for
transportation to the rear.
I propose further that we begin at once.
Tonight. While we are threshing.
At the same time we will make
provision with gasoline and torches.
So that at a moment's notice
we can burn everything.
As our Commander in Chief told us ..
Anything that cannot be evacuated
must be put to the torch.
We will scorch the earth itself to keep
the enemy from making use of it.
I never met an American before.
That is, almost never.
What do you mean "almost"?
Wasn't he a real American?
That he certainly was.
Straight from Detroit.
- Yes? Who was he?
My best friend.
This truck.
No wonder the bumps feel familiar.
No, that's road. The truck is wonderful.
Someday, after we've beaten the Nazis.
I'm going to go to Detroit and shake
hands with the fellows who built it.
There is another bridge
a few miles downstream.
Or still was yesterday.
I'd better hurry.
Goodbye. Thank you very much.
Goodbye, and good luck to you.
- Thank you.
Are you crazy? Lighting a
match in a blackout sector.
I'm sorry. I didn't know.
What are you doing here anyway?
- Trying to get to Tschaikowskoye.
You are a foreigner?
Yes. My name is John Meredith.
Here are my papers.
- John Meredith?
Papers can be forged.
Well then, how else can I prove it?
Well, tell me.
Where did you play your last concert?
In Moscow. At The Conservatory.
- What was in the program?
Tchaikovsky's fifth.
Romeo and Juliet overture.
Shostakovich's first.
What did you play ..
When the air raid siren rang?
As a matter of fact I wasn't playing.
I was trying to make a speech.
That's right.
A very fine speech it was too.
Well, thanks.
How do you know all this?
- I was there.
Say, if you are going to
Tschaikowskoye you are way off.
I had better take you to the right road.
Well, thanks.
Not so fast, Mister Meredith.
I only got one good leg.
Sorry, I didn't notice in the dark.
How come they let you come
back here in this condition?
Do you see those fires over there?
That is my village burning.
I was born there.
My wife was born there and our children.
When I heard at the hospital
that the Germans were close ..
I begged the doctors to let me go.
They asked: what can
you do with one leg?
I said.
I still got two hands.
My eyes are still as good as ever.
I still can shoot.
I wish I could see your face.
I'd like to remember
what courage looks like.
Oh ..
There is nothing so brave about it.
Thousands of others are
doing the same thing.
Yeah, that's what's so incredible.
You never give up.
What is so incredible about it?
Can you give up your mother's love?
Can you forget the way she sang for you?
The way she nursed you?
Give up our land?
How can we?
It is our mother.
Well. Here we are.
This road will take you
straight into Tschaikowskoye.
I'd like to shake your hand, soldier.
My friend.
The line is still busy.
Very well, Major.
I will try later. Right.
I'm John Meredith, an American. I need
to go to Tschaikowskoye to find my wife.
Just a moment. What is it?
We found this man sneaking through
the fields. Here are his papers.
Wait outside.
This passage is for Smolensk.
What are you doing here?
I just got through telling you.
I'm trying to find my wife.
I am sorry, Mister Meredith. I can only
allow you to go where your pass says.
You can make an exception?
It's only another twenty miles.
I am a soldier.
And when my orders read "Smolensk",
to me it means just that.
Orders? Can't you
think of anything else?
Do you understand what it means to have
your wife out there under German shells?
I'm desperate, I tell you.
You must let me pass.
I know how you feel. I wish I could help
you. But there is nothing I can do.
Yes there is. Close your eyes
a moment and let me pass.
Alright, it is against the rules but
if your own wife were out ..
Shut up!
You are going back with
the first truck I can get.
Have one of mine.
Thank you.
You may keep this. I have plenty more.
I am sorry.
We are all jumpy around here.
I didn't have much sleep this week.
You haven't been married very long?
No. Only a couple of months.
I've been married almost six years.
My wife.
It is pretty good of her .. look at
myself, the last time we were together.
She looks lovely.
"Permitted to proceed
to the city of Smolensk."
It doesn't say a thing about
which road you must take.
What difference does it make?
I want to go to Tschaikowskoye.
Now don't get excited again.
There are many road to Smolensk.
It's true.
It is a little unusual to choose
one by way of Tschaikowskoye.
But then you are a foreigner.
You can't read the signs very well.
Thank you very much.
I hope you will find your wife alright.
And I hope you see
yours again very soon.
I'm afraid not.
She was killed last night.
Where is Tschaikowskoye?
- Tschaikowskoye?
It was over there.
- It was?
Have the Germans taken it?
- I don't know.
And even if they did there was
nothing much left to take.
They shelled it all night long.
Meschkov, where is Nadya?
Have you seen her?
Mister Meredith.
Welcome to Tschaikowskoye.
It's a great honor ..
- Stop that, Meschkov.
Have you seen Nadya?
What's happened to her?
Look what they've done to our music.
Do you know where everybody is? I am
looking for my wife, Nadya Stepanova.
No. Maybe she was evacuated
with the old people and the kids.
No. She wouldn't leave, I'm sure
of that. If she's alive, she's here.
Well, she might have gone to
the woods to join the guerrillas.
A lot of them do that.
Or maybe she is with the men out there
in the fields burning up the crops.
Thank you very much.
Where is Nadya Stepanova?
- I don't know.
Is Nadya Stepanova over there?
- I don't know her.
Oh darling, are you alright?
I was so worried about you.
I am fine.
Nadya, it is so good to look at
you again, to hear your voice.
Oh darling, I love you so much.
It almost hurts my heart.
I thought I would never see you again.
I am here darling, with you.
And I'll never leave you.
Say it again.
Over and over again.
I'll never leave you, Nadya. Never.
Mister Meredith.
Good to see you all.
I ran into soldiers on the way. They
said the Germans were getting close.
Are you going to leave here with the
Army or do you have other plans?
We have no plans.
We are going to stay right
here in those woods.
We'll make them pay in blood
for every home they've ruined.
For every foot of our
land they've ravaged.
Mister Meredith!
Mister Meredith.
Watch out Peter, a plane!
Lie down! Lie down!
I'll be alright, Mister Meredith.
I'm so sorry about the watch.
I'm afraid I didn't take
very good care of it.
Don't you worry about that.
I'll buy you another one.
Mister Meredith.
Yes, Peter?
When the war is over.
You will let me be your pupil?
Why sure, Peter.
We'll do great work together.
I was just talking to
your father about it.
We think you'll make a fine conductor.
Thank you.
Rest in peace, my son.
If you let me hold on to this, I'd
like to stay here and fight with you.
We would be proud to have
you with us, Mister Meredith.
It would be a great honor.
But I am afraid it is not the right way.
Why not?
Because there is so much
more that you can do.
You can go back to your country and
tell them what you have seen here.
You are a great musician.
Your people love and respect you.
And whether you speak to
them in words or in music ..
They will know it to be the truth.
Mister Meredith, we may be
cut off any minute now.
And how can I make you understand that
this is the greatest thing you can do?
But you are asking me to leave my wife.
Nadya goes with you.
My place is here with you.
No, Nadya.
Your place is wherever
you can fight best.
Our country asks from
each of us just that.
You can help your husband in America
to tell them that we will hold on.
That millions like your father ..
My son.
Are not sacrificing their lives in vain.
That with us there is no
doubting, no question.
Nothing but to win.
No matter how far the Germans
get on the map of Russia.
They will never conquer
one single mile of it.
Your share in this fight is
just as important as ours.
No matter where your duty takes you.
And no matter how far
away you and John may be.
We will feel you fightng
side-by-side with us.
"All soldiers in the same Army."
"Fighting to bring a new
life to our children."
"For that great day of victory ..."
"When the whole world will ring
with the new song of freedom."
"For you will be bringing our
great countries closer together."
"In this fight for all humanity."