Only the `Old Men` are going to battle (DVD-NTSC)
One of the best Russian films about the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

The “old men” in this squadron were no older than twenty, but those “wet behind the ears”, a reinforcement fresh from flying schools with accelerated training, were not allowed to go to battle for quite a while… They were yet to experience everything – the heat of the battle, the joy of the first victory over the enemy, the grandeur of a brotherhood strengthened with blood, the first love, and the bitterness of a loss…

And there came the day when, on hearing the command “only ‘old men’ are going to battle”, it was them who rushed to their planes…

Only during its first year at the theatres, the film was seen by 44.3 million viewers – a record in the history of world cinema. When this war musical was released (1973), audiences thronged at the theatres, asking for a “spare” ticket, and the old, long-forgotten “Darkie” song became very popular again. Incidentally, the character nicknamed Darkie had a real-life prototype – Leonid Bykov’s childhood friend, Victor Shcheglov.

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