Cinema: Shostakovich Swings

Song over Moscow, for Western audiences, is a cinematic curio, a satirical Russian musical about young love embattled by status seekers, bureaucratic bumblers and the apartment shortage. Giddy and boisterous, the film gulps down its pill of social realist picture-painting and produces some fascinating side effects. It affords a sly peek behind the Iron Curtain, and seems to take all its bows facing West.

The songs are by Soviet Composer Dmitry Shostakovich, who blithely dissolves ideological conflicts in a burst of tuneful Slavic borsch. Occasionally the Magicolor screen becomes a hotbed of artistic freethinking, dissolving into sets that look very MGMsky, if...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!