First Love 1970
Erste Liebe (original title)
R | 1h 30min | Drama, History, Romance | 23 April 1971 (West Germany)
Based on Ivan Turgeyev’s novella, Erste Liebe is about two young lovers in czarist Russia. One is a 21-year-old woman, the other a young man of sixteen. Things take a tragic turn as the girl (Dominique Sanda as Sanaida) falls in love with the boy’s father (Maximilian Schell). This film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 1970’s Academy Awards.
Two icons of 70’s international cinema — Dominique Sanda & John Moulder
Brown — play wonderfully off each other in this lovingly rendered tale of youth, love and the loss of innocence. The photography by none other the great Sven Nyquist more than makes up for some slight sluggishness in the narrative.
Schell’s direction is lyrical but not overt or showy. But it is the leads that make this a touching and memorable adaptation of the Turgenev story. Hard to find but definitely worth it.
Director: Maximilian Schell
Writers: John Gould, Maximilian Schell
Stars: John Moulder-Brown, Dominique Sanda, Maximilian Schell
Country: West Germany | Switzerland | Hungary
Release Date: 23 April 1971 (West Germany)
Also Known As: First Love
Filming Locations: Hungary