Film: Ilya Muromets

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.
  • 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.
  • Million Mook March: World record for extras.
  • 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.
  • Prop Recycling: The ships that get put on wheels at the end of the film are from The Magic Voyage of Sinbad.
  • Raised by Orcs: Little Falcon, naturally.
  • 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.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: It isn't really clear if this is subverted (since the Tugar attack anyways), or if the plan was just to waste the Tugars' time since we never find out what was in the plan and what wasn't. The plan was bascially for Ilya to buy time for the prince to gather more warriors for the battle. So the idea was to drop random treasure around, Khan bought it and as Ilya expected the wariors kept it for themselves. Ilya points this out and out of fear Khan's army drops all of their own money as well as what was found. Though Ilya probably wouldn't have wept too much if Khan had honor and actually turned away when Ilya revealed himself to be no ordinary ambassador.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Ilya is really good at making stuff up on the fly...
  • Yellow Peril