Cranes are Flying, The

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The Cranes are Flying
Летят журавли
CaF poster 01.jpg
Original Poster
Country SOV.jpg Soviet Union
Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov
Release Date 1957
Language Russian
Studio Mosfilm
Main Cast
Character Actor
Veronika Tatyana Samoylova
Boris Aleksey Batalov
Fyodor Ivanovich Vasiliy Merkurev

The Cranes are Flying (Letyat zhuravli) is a 1957 Soviet drama directed by Mikhail Kalatozov starring Tatyana Samoylova, Aleksey Batalov, and Vasiliy Merkurev. Released after the death of Stalin and de-Stalinization, the film was one of the first Soviet films to venture outside of the limits that had been imposed by Stalin's censors and paint a complex picture of the men that went to war and the loved ones they left behind. Western audiences were pleasantly surprised, and the film was the first, and so far only, Soviet/Russian film to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1958.

The following weapons were used in the film The Cranes are Flying:


Small Arms


Most of the Soviet troops, including Boris (Aleksey Batalov) and Volodya (Konstantin Kadochnikov), are armed with PPSh-41 submachine guns.

Soviet PPSh-41 Submachine Gun - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
Soviet troops have a laugh when Boris knocks Volodya on his ass.
Boris and Volodya on a recon mission with their PPSh's.
CaF PPSh 02.jpg
Boris with both PPShs as he's forced to carry Volodya to cover.

Mosin Nagant M91/30

Some Soviet troops are seen with Mosin Nagant M91/30 rifles slung.

Full-length, Soviet Mosin Nagant M91/30 - 7.62x54mm R
Soviet troops with their Mosin Nagants. The bayonets have been affixed backwards. This is a exclusively cinematic practice; in reality such practice was banned by service manuals.


T-34 Model 1942

In a famous shot, Veronika (Tatyana Samoylova) hops off a bus, runs through a crowd, and through a parade of T-34 tanks in search for Boris in one unbroken take, seamlessly transitioning from a handheld camera to a crane shot.

Veronika is seen between the two columns of T-34s.

5 cm Pak 38

Volodya takes cover behind a disabled 5 cm Pak 38 to rest, forcing Boris to carry him the rest of the way.

5 cm Pak 38 anti-tank gun - 50x419mm R
CaF Pak38 01.jpg

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