Ivan's Childhood (1962) Script


Mama, there's a cuckoo.

IVAN'S CHILDHOOD From the novella Ivan by V. BOGOMOLOV Screenplay by VLADIMIR BOGOMOLOV and MIKHAIL PAPAVA Directed by ANDREI TARKOVSKY Director of Photography VADIM YUSOV Production Design by Y. CHERNYAEV Assistant Director G. NATANSON Music by V. OVCHINNIKOV Sound by E. ZELENTSOVA

Special Effects V. SEVOSTYANOV, S. MUKHIN Script Editor E. SMIRNOV Military Adviser G. GONCHAROV Music Conducted by E. KHACHATURYAN Production Manager G. KUZNETSOV Starring:


Comrade Lieutenant!

What is it?

They've detained someone. The lieutenant said to bring him to you.

Light the lamp.

He was crouching in the river near the bank.

He won't say why. He won't answer any questions.

He says he'll only talk to the commander.

He's very weak, or else pretending.

The second lieutenant gave the order.

Go stand by the stove. Who are you?

First send him out.

Wait outside. I'll call you.

Well? Say something. Where are you from?

I am Bondarev.

Tell No. 51 at HQ that I'm here.

Who's No. 51?

What HQ do you mean? What army?

Field post VCH-49550.

Strip down and dry yourself off.

Go on, take it. It's dirty anyway.

The pants too. What are you... bashful?

What's that on your back?

I asked what's on your back!

None of your business. And don't shout at me.

Just tell HQ I'm here. They'll know what to do.

Don't order me around! You know where you are?

I've never heard of you.

You'll stay here till you tell me who you are and where you're from. Got that?

Are you gonna answer?

Answer if you want me to report that you're here.

The other side of the river. What?

How did you get here? Can you prove it?

I don't have to prove anything!

And stop questioning me or you'll answer for it!

Just tell No. 51 at HQ that Bondarev's here, and that's it!

They'll know what to do.

Very well.

Give me No. 3.

No. 3? Comrade Captain, No. 8 here.

I have Bondarev here. - Who?

He demands that I notify Volga.

Major Bondarev from Operations? The inspector?

This is no major. It's a kid of about 12.

Who are you putting on here? You been drinking?

I just thought... He says he's from the other side of the river.

"He says"? I suppose he came over on a flying carpet!

Tell him if he doesn't notify No. 51, he'll be held responsible.

Well, you asked me to report and I did.

He told me to lock you up. Satisfied now?

I said to tell No. 51.

Who did you call?

I can't just call Army HQ.

Then let me. Don't you dare.

Who are you gonna call? Who do you know at Army HQ?

Captain Kholin... and Lieutenant Colonel Gryaznov.

Tell Lieutenant Colonel Gryaznov I'm here at once.

Or I'll call myself.

Baikal? Get me No. 51 at Volga.

No. 51? Senior Lieutenant Galtsev reporting.

Bondarev is here. He insists...

Bondarev? Alone?

Listen carefully, Galtsev.

No questions and no discussion.

Kholin's coming for him immediately.

In the meantime, make him comfortable and be gentle with him.

The kid has a hot temper.

First of all, give him paper and pencil.

Send whatever he writes to me at once.

Got that? Yes, sir.

Are you going to eat?


I won't look.

Get me No. 13.

Vasilyev, bring in two pails of hot water.


That's right. I'm going to wash up.

Enough of your talk.

Big hero!

If you'd had a toothache like the one I had...

Some tour of duty!

Enough talk now.

I'm going down to the river to see what's going on. You stay here.

Hurry up.

Wash up. I'll be back soon.


It's deep.

Of course it is.

In a very deep well, you can see a star even on the brightest day.

What star?

Any star.

Mama, I see it! Yes, there it is.

Why's it there?

It's nighttime now for the star, so it came out just like it was night.

But is it nighttime now?

It's daytime.

It's daytime for you and me, but it's nighttime for the star.

You needn't get so worked up over the smallest thing.

Stop this stupid talk.

Well, I'm going down to the river to see what's going on. You stay here.

All right, but...

Aren't they here yet?

No. Go to sleep. I'll wake you up when they're here.

Were you here while I was sleeping?

Yes. Why?

Did I talk in my sleep?

No. Why?

Never mind.

I never used to talk in my sleep. Now I don't know.

My nerves are on edge.



How can this be?

Katasonych is waiting for you at the hollow tree!

The Germans are there.

I got a cramp halfway across. I thought I was done for.

You swam across? Don't be mad.

They're patrolling the bank. Think it's easy finding our dinghy in the dark?

They catch you and you're finished.


You're nothing but skin and bones.

Bring the car closer.


Tell the sentry not to let anyone in.

Here, get dressed.

Keep coming. That's good.

Where'd you disappear to?

Where are you going? For kerosene.

What for? We're leaving.

Here's to meeting again.

Katasonych is waiting for me at the hollow tree.

Here's to his safe return.

No. 20 here.

No. 51 here.

Listen, Malyshev, about that disagreement... they were right.

We should head for Fyodorovka. - But we decided...

Yes, I've heard all this before.

May I, Lieutenant Colonel?

What? Hello?

I've heard it all before.

I have reliable firsthand information.

Waited all night for nothing, eh, Katasonych?

Sit down.

Ivan's here.

He couldn't make it to the hollow tree on the bank.

Says there were German patrols everywhere.

How did he get here?

He swam across.

But that's...

A grown man might drown.

Well, that's enough about that.

Ivan, wait!

What's all this about?

He says I'm to be sent to the rear!

You're sending me to military school?

Is that true?

So that's how you work, by tricking me?

I know the offensive is coming. I can still be useful.

You said reconnaissance is the most important part, that scouts are the soul of the front.

So now it's come to this?

I won't go.

If you force me, I'll run away and join the partisans.

You're going to military school. You got that?

The matter is closed! I'll discuss it no further!

Well, I will!

Kholin, tell him I'll do a good job.

I'll work hard!

I can't just...

Katasonych, you tell him.

The matter is closed!

Very well.

Military school or a children's home... it's all the same to me.


Yesterday in the mail I received two mysterious letters

Each line was nothing but periods For me to figure out on my own The stove and chimney will stand forever.

Where is it?

I put it right here.

Are you going far?


Everybody is nowadays.

But why?

Who knows?

I lost a nail.

Help me find it. You're not doing anything.

Come in.

No stove or chimney will ever burn down.

Here's a straight nail.

No, not that one.

Where's your mama? Is she alive?

A German shot my old lady too.

Where can it be? I just had it.

A tall fellow...

with glasses.

And hair down to here.

What's your name?


Pelageya will be back soon. That was my old lady's name.

I'll have the house all ready for her.

How could you, Ivan?

Think I've got all day to chase after you in the mud?

No one asked you to.

Watch your mouth!

So he was off to join the partisans.

Get in the car. You won't run away again.

Yes, I will.

I said get in the car!

I'll run away from your military school, just like I did from the children's home.

"I ran away from Granny, and from Granddad too."

O Lord, when will all this end?

Can't you understand, silly?

War isn't for you. Understand?

But you promised not to order...

Lakhov and Moroz were killed because they were big.

I can get through anywhere.

Besides, I'm all alone.

I have no one left.

That's enough.

It's been decided.

Nothing's been decided!

Are you my father, that you can decide for me?

Shut up!

Or I'll give you a good whipping.

Anyway, I'll run away if you don't let me go.

I'm my own boss.

His own boss.

You're a real problem.

Are you aware that there are lice in Company 5?

The linen isn't disinfected properly.

Please do something about it.

Yes, Lieutenant.

We simply can't have this.

There'll be no time for that when the offensive begins.

Yes, Lieutenant.

Thank you.

A letter from home? Yes.

Everything all right?


Greetings! I've been looking all over for you...

Carry on. I'll wait.

You must be stricter with your subordinates.

You try to do everything yourself.

There's a lull now, and we have time.

When the offensive starts, there'll be the wounded.

I honestly don't know what to do with you.

Get the medical service in order.

Report back to me in two days.

Yes, sir.

Don't worry.

Everything will be in order.

What's your name, Lieutenant?


Pretty name.

My name's Leonid.

Lennie for short.

Have you ever... What?

Known a guy named Lennie?


So I'm the first?

Are you from the Ukraine? Why do you ask?

You're beautiful and stubborn.

No, I'm from near Moscow. Twenty minutes by train.

In Siberia we consider 200 miles "nearby".

Surikov, the artist, was from our city.

Ever heard of him?

Writers lived near our town.

We once saw Alexei Tolstoy walking in the woods.

Very tall, with gray hair.

We were walking through the woods.

Have you ever been wounded? Yes.

Why are we being so formal?

Let's relax a bit.

I can't so easily. I can.

I'll start, and you catch up, okay?

What is it? A cobweb.

You scared?

What a brave soldier.

Some soldier you are.

I'm only afraid of spiders.

Nothing else?

Vasilyev, have you seen Captain Kholin anywhere?

He went that way, Lieutenant, with the medical assistant.

Climb up this trunk.

You said you weren't afraid of anything.

All right.

That's far enough.

Jump. I'll catch you.

Are you scared?

Then why don't you do it? No special reason.

Did you get scared?

Fine. I forgive you.

I don't need your forgiveness.

You don't?

Let me help you. I'll manage.

"I'll manage!"

Masha... come here.

What for?

Come closer, Masha.

What for?

Quick, come here.


Now go away.

Go away. You hear me?


Hurry and go now, Masha.

Let's go have a look at your troops.

Lakhov and Moroz are up there.

Go have a smoke.

Greetings, sir. Hello, Katasonych.

Give me the defense line map, Galtsev.

Go wait for me in your trench.

I'll be right there.

Comrade Lieutenant... some gunners gave me a record.

They said you had a phonograph. Could we listen?

It's broken.

No problem. I'll fix it.

Thanks, Katasonych.

This is the best spot, Captain.

But where will we land, Katasonych?

In those bushes.

It's a safe spot.

Just tell the gunners to leave us a corridor.

WELCOME Damn! Couldn't you have dug it deeper?

You know who's on the other bank?


Can't you bring them in? It's an hour's work at most.

Anyway, have you got any boats? No.

Why are you lying?

What do you need them for? I just do.

You don't lie too well.

They're for the landing party. That's what I need them for!

A scouting mission?

No, for a picnic with your phonograph.

Will Ivan go again?

"Ivan, Ivan"! I'm not the information window!

What's so funny?

Oh, nothing. You have a pretty medical assistant.

I'm sending her away. She can't cope with the job.

You're too stern, Galtsev.

You need a little tenderness inside.

War is a man's business.

It's not for girls.

Fine, carry on. I don't need you here... "man"!

Excuse me, are you Masha?


Don't you remember me?

No, I don't.

We took college entrance exams together.

We sat at the same table.

Yes, now I remember.

I'm so glad I saw you.

Me too.

I'm so happy to find you. Where'd you go after the exams?

I looked everywhere. Now I've found you.


Now I've found you. We'll meet again, Masha!

We'll meet again!


Captain. Ah, Katasonych.

They're here. Fine. Show them in.

Hello, Kholin. Hello, Ivan.



Galtsev, give us a hand.

Hello, Katasonych. Sir.

Galtsev, let's have some interesting magazines with lots of pictures.

Come sit over here.

This one's about scouts.

I've read it.

How about this one?

That one too.

And this one? I've read it.

You're lying. I am not.

All this time at HQ, I just sat and read.

I did nothing but read for three days.

I got you a spring for the phonograph at HQ.

Thanks. It's under the bed.

What's this?

Spoils of war.

Any pictures? It's all pictures.

Let me see.

You should hear him "sprechen"... just like a Fritz.

I wanted to take him on as an interpreter last year.

Now he's in command of a battalion.

Boy, look at that!

Are these Germans?

Yes. it's an old engraving.

They're Fritzes all the same.

This one on a horse... all skin and bones.

I saw one just like him on a motorcycle.

Look, they're trampling the people here too.

It's just someone's imagination.

Imagination! I know them.

Is he a Fritz too?

He's either a German doctor or writer.

They have no writers.

I saw them burning books in a square.

They poured gasoline on them and set them on fire.

There was soot in the air for a week.

That writer lived 400 years ago.

Well, then maybe.

If they spot us, our gunners will keep them down.

We'll open a passage for Ivan in the swamp.

I'll be the last to retreat.

Got that?

What's this?

I'll take one of Galtsev's boats.

Will you take me along? Where?

The other bank. Hear that?

We've got a volunteer.

Can you swim? I can manage.

I could swim this river five times. You're quite a fellow.

You're not trigger-happy, are you?

Lay off!

Hear that? He's got a short fuse.

No self-control.

How can I take you across?

Then you don't get a boat. We'll just take one.

Or I'll report you to the divisional commander.

That's enough, you two. He'll give you a boat. Right?

Enough of that. Let's go have a look.

You stay here and rest up.

What a knife!

Galtsev, may I have it?

I'd give it to you, but...

Don't be greedy. Give it to him.

It was my buddy's. He was killed.

Let me have it till tonight.

All right.

Why should I go? You won't take me across, and you know where the boats are.

Relax. Come on. I'll take you across after the war.

They tell Masha not to go Beyond the river They tell Masha It's working now.

We'll listen to it at dinner.

You'll have a knife just like this.

I'll get you one tomorrow.


Where are his parents? Whose?


I don't know.

His mother and sister were killed, I think.

His dad was a border guard. Killed too, I think.

I see.

He's been through more than you can imagine.

He was a partisan too, in several places.

What'll become of him?

The colonel or Katasonych will adopt him when the war's over.

Why them and not you?

I'd take him, but the colonel says I need bringing up myself.

Galtsev here is certainly good at stealing boats.

He only takes the best.

How many boats have you stolen?

Let's take this one.

No. No what?

He should be sent to the rear. A war's no place for children.

There you go again.

If we don't take him across, he'll go on his own. it'll only be worse.

He's got just one thing on his mind: vengeance.

Don't waste your breath explaining. They can't see beyond their own noses.

We see just as much as you do. Didn't you say you wanted to adopt him?

Will you lay off? Mind your own business! We'll manage on our own!

Come on now.

Fine, Kholin. Don't "Kholin" me!

The colonel was right. You do need upbringing!

Watch out, trouble-maker, or I'll report you to the commander.

That's it.

Keep cool... that's the main thing.


And remember:

We have to take him alive, understand?




Surround the building! Don't let him out!

Hands up! Come out!

Hiding, eh?

You can't hide from me!

Are you shaking?

You'll answer for everything! I'll...

You think I've forgotten?

I'll sit in judgment at your trial!

I'll... I'll...

Welcome to our little tea party!

Damn it! That was our best dinghy!

Just thank God you're alive.

You and your dinghy!


Can't you move any faster?


Don't be afraid. They'll stop soon.

What is it, Ivan?

I'm not afraid.

I hear you were a partisan.

So? Why'd you leave them?

The Germans surrounded us in the woods.

They sent me out by plane to a boarding school, but I ran away.

You just eat up grain supplies while studying the importance of herbivores in man's life.

Yeah, boarding school's not the thing.

You ought to go to a military school.

Has Kholin been coaching you?

Why? Kholin's not the only one with brains.

You've done your fighting. Rest up. Go back to school.

You know who rests during wartime?

Useless people!

True enough.

But war isn't your business.

Not my business? Have you been to Trostyanets?

Where? The death camp.

Then what are you lecturing me about?

What do you know?

You're all plotting against me!

Smoking again?

Go on and smoke.

It'll turn your lungs green.

Green? So what?

Nobody can see them.

I don't want you to smoke. Okay, I won't.

Let's have dinner before we start out.

Where's Katasonych? He was summoned to HQ.

He left?

Without coming by to wish me good luck?

He couldn't. It was urgent.

Still, I can't imagine what could have happened.

They know how badly we need him, but they go and summon him.

He could've stopped by. Some friend!

Will it just be the two of us?

The three of us. He's joining us.

What are you grinning about?

Stop staring at me like a stuck pig. I'm serious.

You volunteered. Getting cold feet now?

No. It's just sort of unexpected.

Unexpected? Everything in life is.

May I come in?

What is it?

We've billeted the new men, Lieutenant.

Where? Company 2 and Company 3.

Very well. You may go.

Yes, sir.

I wouldn't take you, but it's an emergency.

Make up your mind.

I don't want to hear later, "Kholin made me"!

What am I, a little boy? Fine.

Who'll you leave in command?

Gushchin... commander of Company 5.

If they find out you crossed the river without permission, we'll be in trouble.

Although you'll only be gone for the night...


Ivan, get up.

Hear me? It's time.

Katasonych didn't even stop by.

I told you he couldn't.

He loves you very much.

I know. Still, he could have stopped by.

Get dressed.

Need help? I'll manage.

Jump up and down.

To check if anything rattles.

Your matches.

Are you crazy?


Gunners, to your posts!

Go chat with the sentry so he won't notice us.

Not a word. Just do it.

Got a light? Just a sec.

Who's that?

It was all... so stupid, how it happened.

They brought the boat here and had a smoke.

The captain was here, and he was over there.

He started climbing out of the trench.

He started to rise and then suddenly slid back down.

Real quiet. We didn't even hear a shot.

"Katasonych!" the captain cried out.

But he was dead.

The captain said to leave him here till morning.

Not a word. Just get the oars.

Who's that?

Kholin, who's that?

Two of ours.

Lakhov and Moroz. They went across after you.

There's still time.

Wait here. I'll be right back.

Come over here. it's drier. Makes no difference now.

An MG-34 Are you afraid?

A little.

My nerves are on edge.

I can't get used to begging. I'm sick of everything.

They should be buried. Who?

Lakhov and Moroz.

Of course we'll bury them.

Quiet! It's all set.

Everything's in place. Let's go.

Here we are, boys.

How do you feel? Fine.

Well, I'll be going. I'll go part of the way with you.

You're too big. They'll catch on. Maybe I should go.

The gully's all clay. You'll leave footprints.

I said I'm going alone.

See you soon.

See you soon.

See you soon.

Just be careful.

If the offensive starts, meet us in Fyodorovka.

Go on now.

See you. Good-bye, Ivan.

Are you nuts?

I want a smoke.

Want your mama too? Bug off.

I for one really do want my ma.

It's so dark. Shoot off a flare.

But carefully.

Why are we wading around in this filth? There's no one here.

Yeah, especially after we knocked off those other two.

What's all this talk? Just keep moving.

They'll spot the boat.

The boat? What if they spot Ivan?

Are you a louse or just stupid?

Stupid, I guess. Your nerves are shot.

See a doctor about that when the war's over.

The gully's mostly clay, damn it.

A good rain would wash away his footprints.

I think he made it.

Wait here. I'll go for the boat.

When I come back, call out to me in German.

What will you say? - Halt!

If I'm caught, swim back.

You said you could swim this river five times.

What if you're wounded?

Don't you worry about me.


Quiet, damn you! Come here!

Come on, hurry up.

Who's that?

Is it them? Yes.

It was them yesterday. Today it's us.

Climb in.

Are things quiet on the bank? Yes.

And you were afraid, you girl.

Why aren't we going back?

It's the first snow of the year.

He might still be hiding and waiting.


Let's drink to...

They tell Masha Not to go beyond the river They tell Masha Not to love the young man

May I come in, Lieutenant?


Who were you talking to on the road?

A friend?


A friend.

Does he wear glasses?

He wasn't wearing glasses.

But he does. He's a strange one.

No, he isn't.

What is it, Lieutenant?

I've come to say good-bye.

I'm transferring her to a hospital.

Good idea.

Hear that, Galtsev?

Hear that, Masha?

It's so quiet.

The war...



I know where that is. Come. I'll show you.

Is it far from here? No, it's close by.

Come closer.

Can you identify these bodies?

It's Goebbels and his wife and daughters.

He poisoned his family with potassium cyanide.

He ordered his troops to douse his corpse with gasoline and burn it.

He can show you the place.

He saw him only yesterday.

Then last night he murdered his family and committed suicide.

All right. Let's go.

Will this be the last war on earth?

Your nerves are shot.

You should see a doctor about that.

No, Kholin, wait a minute.

You were killed... and I survived.

I must think about this.











Where's the little bastard? Here on the left?

Yeah, or the next one over.

- You got the keys? No, you do.

There he is. Come on out, please.

Come on, you little devil.

We've got a thing or two to teach you.

Come on!

You mind hurrying it up a bit?

Go on.

Filthy partisan!

Keep moving!

These guys are so much trouble.

- Hurry it up! Forward!

Here we are.