They Fought for Their Country (Russian: Они сражались за Родину, romanised: Oni srazhalis’ za Rodinu) is a 1975 Soviet war film based on the eponymous novel written by Mikhail Sholokhov and directed by Sergei Bondarchuk.
The film is the story of a Soviet platoon fighting a rearguard action during the German drive on Stalingrad.
In July 1942, in the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating soviet troops cross the bridge. While they move back to the Russian territory through the countryside, the soldiers show their companionship, sentiments, fears and heroism to defend their motherland.
- Vasily Shukshin as Piotr Lopakhin.
- Vyacheslav Tikhonov as private Nikolay Strel’tsov.
- Sergei Bondarchuk as private Ivan Zvyagintsev.
- Georgi Burkov as private Alexandr Kopytovskij.
- Yuri Nikulin as private Nekrasov.
- Ivan Lapikov as starshina Poprischenko.
- Nikolai Gubenko as lieutenant Goloshchekov.
- Andrei Rostotsky as gefreiter Kochetygov.
- Nikolai Volkov as private Nikiforov.
- Nikolai Shutko as cook Lisichenko.
- Yevgeni Samojlov as colonel Marchenko.
- Nonna Mordyukova as Natalya Stepanovna.
- Lidiya Fedoseyeva-Shukshina as Glasha.
- Innokenti Smoktunovsky as Doctor.
- 5 tons of TNT was used for explosions.
- Author of the book on which the movie is based (Scholokhov) on, the director (Bondarchuk) and most of the main cast were actual WWII veterans.
- Due to its length, the film was released in two parts.
Production & Filming Details
- Sergey Bondarchuk.
- Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov.
- Sergey Bondarchuk.
- Mikhail Sholokhov (novel).
- Vadim Yusov.
- Yelena Mikhajlova.
- Pervoe Tvorcheskoe Obedinenie.
- Darelcine (1977) (Argentina) (theatrical).
- Sacil (1981) (Portugal) (theatrical).
- VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb (1980) (East Germany) (theatrical).
- Empresa Hispanoamericana de Video (EHV) (Argentina) (VHS).
- Icestorm Entertainment (2012) (Germany) (DVD).
- RUSCICO (2005) (World-wide) (DVD).
- Release Date: 12 May 1975 (Soviet Union).
- Running Time: 137 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: Soviet Union.
- Language: Russian.