"Cranes Are Flying" turns 45

It was 45 years ago today, on October 12, 1957, that director Mikhail Kalatozov's renowned film "The Cranes Are Flying," a landmark event in the history of world cinema, hit the screens of Soviet movie houses.

The film won the top prize, the Palme d'Or award, at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival. According to prominent film director Sergei Solovyov, the whole generation of those who are now 50 odd years old has been brought up on this Kalatozov's melodrama about a girl whose loved one did not return from the fronts of WWII.

Based on playwright Viktor Rozov's script, "The Cranes Are Flying" became the only Soviet film that made it to the top of France's best-selling films list. In addition to the Palme d'Or, Kalatozov's masterpiece also won awards at the international film festivals in Locarno, Vancouver and Mexico.

To date, "The Cranes Are Flying" remains a pinnacle of film-making, particularly in regard to acting (with Tatyana Samoilova and Alexei Batalov starring) and directing (Mikhail Kalatotozov) excellence.