Film / Ilya Muromets
is a fantasy movie based upon the epic poems
about a Russian epic hero. Released in 1956, the movie was a literal epic for the Russian film industry, with tens of thousands of extras and thousands of horses
used in some of the battle scenes. Then Roger Corman
got his hands on the movie for a release in the early 1960s. While little was generally changed, the "epic" feel of the original is felt to have been lost rather tragically in the conversion. The movie is also known as The Sword and the Dragon
in America, while The Epic Hero and the Beast
is the UK name. Both are drastically changed versions when compared to the original, of course. A copy of the full version with English subtitles can be seen here.
The film was directed by Alexander Ptushko, who also directed Sadko
(The Magic Voyage of Sinbad
in the USA) and Sampo
(The Day the Earth Froze
in the USA).
For the Mystery Science Theater 3000
version, please go to the episode recap page
Tropes used in Ilya Muromets:
- Anatomically Impossible Sex: Possibly dub induced, but Ilya tells his wife to bear him a child while he's away on his long, long epic journey. In the original, he specifically asks her to bear him a son.
- And the Adventure Continues: After the Tugars are defeated, Illya gives Little Falcon Invicor's sword and rides off in search of more adventure.
- Artistic License – Biology: A horse's tail isn't just hair, it has nerves and bones and does NOT grow back! But then, perhaps that's why the nobleman was so upset at the sentence...
- Captive Push: When the travellers sing their magic song, we see a column of captives, Ilya's wife at the front, being pushed forward. Corman's version puts the shot at the intro instead.
- Chekhov's Gun: Chekhov's Ballista, in this case. At the beginning, a man states that he intends to design one. It gets a few quite important shots (literally) at the final battle. Corman, for some reason, removed the first part completely.
- Dub Induced Pervert: Without the first scene where Ilya's wife is taken, we get an extremely creepy Ilya forcing himself on a young woman.
- Dub Name Change: From the original title to The Sword and the Dragon (or The Epic Hero and the Beast for those in the UK). Many of the character names are also changed to sound less Russian (except, oddly, for Ilya Muromets himself).
- Fanservice: Well, you can try to argue that the An Son Hi's minute long dance at 1:05 was intended as something else...
- Friend to All Living Things: Ilya's wife.
- Have a Gay Old Time: The battle between Ilya and his son does seem to have a possible Foe Yay implication for a modern Russian.
- Heritage Face Turn: Ilya is dueling with a young enemy warrior, and suddenly notices the boy is wearing a ring he gave his wife, making him realize he is fighting his own son. The boy is skeptical, but once he looks at the ring, he remembers his mother and says at once he wants to fight on Ilya's side.
- Million Mook March: World record for extras.
- Orcus on His Throne: The Tugars apparently spent several years just hanging out in their camp while Ilya was in prison, since he gets let out the first time they become a threat again.
- Phlebotinum Overload: Basically what happens to Svyatogor. The Earth can carry him no longer due to his strength.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Falcon grows to adulthood (mightiest among the Tugar warriors even) while his father is in prison. In the bylinas, he was imprisoned for three years, but the movie changed it to ten, with people remarking about the fast aging.
- Raised by Orcs: Little Falcon, naturally.
- Shoot the Messenger: Ilya goads a Tugar envoy into attacking him just to justify killing the (now unarmed) man.
- Shout-Out: The scene where Ilya gives Durbar and Alexei their instructions for the climatic battle is posed like a famous painting of the same three characters◊ by Victor Vasnetsov.
- Spared By Adaptation: The original sources usually have Ilya killing his son.
- Talking Is a Free Action: A bit of talking when fighting the dragon, though not that bad.
- Unfortunate Names: Invincor. In the original, his name was Svyatogor, which sounds pretty cool.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Ilya is really good at making stuff up on the fly...
- Yellow Peril