- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Nelson Eddy was wonderful
If yoy like Nelson Eddy's voice this move is for you. Iona Massey did a great job along side. I do not think Jeannette McDonald would have made it better
- Robert Dickinson
Good history, good music, and a very entertaining movie.
BALALAIKA still is entertaining
BALALAIKA may be an old fashioned movie with a weak script, but it still has its moments of charm. Beautifully presented by MGM, Star Nelson Eddy is excellent, not only in his singing, but shows he can act as well. Pretty Ilona Massey fitted the role, although her voice is just passable. The supporting cast, with many familiar faces, added to the enjoyment.
Unique and Enjoyable
I loved this film. Nelson Eddy and Ms. Massey were a beautiful on screen couple. Eddy's voice was a treasure and it is really nice to see him do something a little exotic with such a gorgeous actress like Ilona. What a fantasy. BTW, I hardly ever agree with Mr. Maltin. He seems to dislike the films I love and love the films I really dislike. Sometimes there is no accounting for taste. The tone, story, acting, directing, cinema photography are everything I consider too when watching a film and some are just straight up appealing in every way like this film.
I must disagree ---
Despite Mr. Maltin's review, it's refreshing to see the history, even though it's a a bit off center, of Russian history and even though a musical, I found it refreshing. Thanx TCM.
- Robert Petersen
As a fan of great baratones Eddy is by far the best. If on horseback, barefoot or in the swamps singing he is superb. The music is excellent for his voice and whether on horse back or not he is the king of the bartones. As a Prince he is the finest, as a Marine & horseman I bow to his leadership. The music whether Russian or Italian is outstanding. Let's put these priceless films on DVD for all the world to marvel at the greatest talent of all time.
- James Higgins
52/100. Maybe it's me, but an operetta with Nelson Eddy as a Russian Cossack prince, singing on his horse no less, just didn't appeal to me. A rather bizarre movie and I found it a bit boring and hard to sit through. Some good costume design and art direction.
Great Nelson Eddy!
The last scene where all the nobility of Russia gather together in Paris for Easter is great! Well wroth the time to watch this.
Performance of Dalies Frantz
- Joan Macon
Dalies Frantz was not an actor, but a very young World Class Pianist. (If you watch his hands you can see this. He was discovered by MGM, most likely by the same aide to L B Mayer who found Nelson Eddy at a concert where he substituted for Lotte Lehman. Frantz had been a child prodiigy from the age of nine, had worked his way though the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Michigan. He studied in Europe with Artur Schnabel and Vladimir Horowitz. He then won the three most prodigius US piano prizes of the time, and had a ten year career as a critically aclaimed pianist playing with many major US Orchestras. He made three films in supporting roles, and had signed a major contract not only to perform the piano score in a major film about Chopin, but to also play the part of Franz Liszt, when WWII interfered. The film was postponed and Frantz entered the Army Air Corps as a First Lieutenent intelligence officer in a West Coast Fighter Squadron. He was medically discharged two years later, and was plagued by ill health from then on. He could no longer concertize, and spent the rest of his life as a distinguished piano pedagogue at the University of Texas at Austin, beloved by his students. Many of his students have become prize winning concert pianists and some still head the piano departments of well known universities. Dalies Frantz died on December 1, 1965. Before his health failed him, Dalies Frants was considered by many critics to be the finest American Born pianist of his time.
A White Russian Dream
An operetta set in Russia just prior to the revolution features wonderful Russian music and song, slavic soulfulness, lovely performances by the supporting cast--especially the indominatable Charlie Ruggles, Frank Morgan, (you will shed a tear when he sings in the last scene), and the beauty of Ilona Massey. Nelson Eddy actually seems to be more relaxed here than he usually does in his Jeanette MacDonald movies. Bravo, and please show this again soon, TCM.
- Jim Andrews
The performance by Nelson Eddy of the Volga Boatmen Song is the best thing I have ever seen on film. He sings it in Russian and does it magnificently. Watch for this world class moment in film making.