Ivan was Terrible, Stalin suddenly realizes being compared to him may not be great.

Part I of Sergei Eisenstein's biopic of Ivan the Terrible (1944) starts with the story of a young prince exacting revenge on the murdering bourgeoisie by unifying the lower classes in support of one whole Russia without all that nasty aristocracy and religion. Upon its release in 1944 Stalin loved it!

Part II (1958) was shot back-to-back with Part I and shows the power-mad and manipulative Ivan earning his Terrible nickname. Stalin was less happy, and the film didn't see release until five years after the Soviet leader's death (and ten years after the director's).

Pat and I talk about the films together in this week's Lost in Criterion.