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Maria's Lovers

By Fionn Meade

Splicing scenes featuring his protagonist, Ivan (John Savage, The Deer Hunter), among excerpted interviews with real soldiers from John Huston's landmark World War II documentary Let There Be Light, director Andrei Konchalovsky brilliantly sets the stage for a morally ambiguous tale of a war hero's return home to a small town. Disappointingly, the opening of Maria's Lovers promises much more than it ultimately delivers. Ivan has survived the tortures of a Japanese POW camp by continually dreaming of his childhood sweetheart Maria (Nastassja Kinski). When he returns to find her with a boyfriend and a grown-up libido, Ivan can't reconcile his guardian vision with the real Maria. Even as she declares her love for him and they hastily marry, Ivan's nightmares intervene. In short, Ivan can't perform. Minor roles for Robert Mitchum and Keith Carradine (as a ridiculous wandering minstrel who seduces Maria after Ivan flees in shame) seem wasted on a melodramatic script that often sounds as if it was poorly translated into English. The nostalgic scenery of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, (rolling fog, river ferries, careening factories) is compelling, as is Kinski (who is at her most seductive and downright breathtaking), but Konchalovsky's affection for his characters and their landscape cannot surpass his stilted vision of America.


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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Andrei Konchalovsky

Stars: Nastassja Kinski, John Savage, Robert Mitchum, Keith Carradine, Anita Morris, Bud Cort, Karen Young, Tracy Nelson, John Goodman, Vincent Spano, Bill Smitrovich

Released: December 31, 1984

Availability: DVD VHS

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