Trial on the Road (1971) - full transcript

Film is set in the winter of 1942 during the Nazi occupation of Russia in WWII. Partisan guerrillas, headed by Ivan Lokotkov, are testing the POW Lazarev, who briefly collaborated with the Nazis for survival. Lazarev is not executed, but instead he is given a chance to prove his loyalty. He has to go back to the Nazi controlled railway station, where everyone knows him, and to hijack a train with food supplies. Lazarev proves himself a hero.

The krauts came and made
the old men dig up the potatoes.

The potatoes were buried
in a hole behind the village.

The krauts poured petrol
or something on them.

My nephew tasted the potatoes
and became ill.

He didn't die of that.
It happened later in January.

Oh my god! Then they returned
to the village.

Quite a show started!

They tried to drag our cow
off the yard -

but mother was
strong and fearless.

She grabbed a pitchfork and
struck the village eldest, that creep.

Mother was taken in for questioning
but she was soon let off.

She was hit with a baton.

She was all black with bruises
when she got home.

They took all the foodstuffs.

They did it to get people
out of the villages -

and to kill off the partisans.

They didn't care much
about what would happen to us.

I still have dreams about it.

I see my brother and
my sister and my friend.

Some things to
reminisce about.

Wearing glasses.

Eat on, crook.

Chess pieces and all.


Officer... not too old.

Fox fur on the shoes.
They'd fit you.

Shut up!

End of the road, crook!


What are you looking at,


Let 'em have it!

Oh shit! That's our Rosa!

Where are you going, Rosa?

Are you living alone
in an empty village?

I'll live until I drop dead.

Is your husband on the front?
- He fled.

He's probably on the Volga by now.

Now it won't be any
easier for him there.

Haven't you anyone
else to talk with?

I don't need your pity.

A death patrol will
come tomorrow with more pity.

Damn it!

I'll show you yet!
Why are you loafing around here!

You bring me food rations,
petrol or flour!

You stop me from dying from hunger!

What are you looking at, poor devil?

Go to hell! I never
asked you to step inside my house.

Hдnde hoch!

Drop your rifle.

No tricks!

I'll let the air off you!
It’ll feel cold lying in the dirt.

Get up!

Take it!

Here you go!

Move it!

Hey listen, don't tell the command
that you returned my rifle.

Did you hear me?

Keep chopping wood
but don't get married.

They blew up the petrol.

The cows got scared and
scattered in different directions.

You can't catch them.

Who? - The Avdejev brothers,
Kulikov ja Suhorutљkov.

It's a pity. - Pity the cows
for escaping.

Look at that, Mitka
has caught a Fritz.

He gave himself up
and gave his rifle.

A former junior sergeant
of the Red Army.

Aleksandr Lazarev.

The poor kid didn't
know enough to take everything.

You surrendered but hid a pistol
just in case.

Get a move on!

They have machine guns.

Why did you bring him here?
You should have shot him in the forest.

The kid thinks he'll
be decorated.

As soon as peace comes.


Hello, comrade woman.
We'll meet again, God permitting.

Well, God's own,
tell me your story.

But no lying. It gives me headache.

Could I have some tobacco?
I lost my own.

No, you can't.

There's not enough for ourselves.

So, who are you?
- I already told you, a junior sergeant.

Former. So you went
over to the German side?

That I did.

Why were you in the forest? - Looking
for partisans. I wanted to surrender.

Did you do something disallowed on
their side? - I wanted to come here.

Look at that! A defector
with an ideology.

First there, then here.

You chose the wrong path.
A miscalculation.

I didn't choose.
The path found me.

Sweet Jesus that Asian can wail.

It breaks my heart.

Could someone continue on foot?

The gelding is all exhausted.

Just sit.

One more question.
How were you captured?

It's a long story.
- No hurry. Tell me.

We broke out of a siege
in August.

We'd been walking for
ten days.

We came to a village
and entered it.

We were mad from hunger.

The Germans came while
you were getting warm.

You were drowsy.
- How did you know?

It happens, I've heard.

You have a right not to believe.

We have a right to judge you
in the name of the people you betrayed.

I'm leaving you in the spring.

I'm an artillery man.
A rifle isn't enough for me.

Hey neighbour, got a cigarette?



All right.

They promised to blast some holes
into me too tomorrow.

What for?
I'm only eighteen.

I don't know anything about life.

What is it?

Give me vodka,
you partisan louse!

I'm entitled to a last drink!
Come on, you sleaze!

Stop screaming or I'll beat you up so
bad you won't recover for the morning!

Listen, my aunt made me do it.

She told me to enlist as a policeman
to get food rations.

I was going to live quietly.

But we were sent to
the neighbouring village.

There three komsomols
told me to shoot.

I told them I can't do it.

But they said: "Shoot or
stand against the wall yourself."

Should I have stood against the wall?

Did I let the krauts in?

Tomorrow I'll be shot.

I wish they had been forced!

I feel sick.

And you don't say a word.

Say something.

How were you caught?

I came by myself.


You'll hang tomorrow.

Oh, why'd my aunt force me.

Aching, eh?

I saw some great felt boots
on a Fritz today.

I couldn't shoot.
The felt boots looked great.

I was thinking, how will
we get to the station.

It hurts my head.

Before the war I knew
a doctor, a powerful woman.

She could get snake poison
just like that.

I met her at the stadium.

The basques were on.
What a game!

What were they playing?
- Football. Ever seen it?

Of course. The kids
played it at the village.

You're a poet.

They even write poems about football.

It's a complicated game.
- An artform in itself.

Tell me, where was your wife -

when you were watching
football with the healer?

At home.
She doesn't like football.

She even made my son quit,
even though he played well.

He'd be a champion by now.

I can't take those bastards prisoner.

It breaks my heart remembering.
I strike their teeth in.

I kill them even if they're
already dead!

Calm down.

Anger is all right
as long as you don't lose your head.

Life is hard
and war is miserable.

Sleep, you're only

Listen, who won back then?

We did.



Hitler sat in the
storage room and cried.

Vasjok! What time is it?


Punishment patrol!

Forward! Quick!

Forward! No procrastinating!

I'm not worried.


Oh my god!

Mother, please let me go!

Don't do it!

All head for the swamp!

Everyone to the swamp!

At whose mercy did you leave us?

My beloved...

We might've gotten
some more time to live.


Where to?

Move it, wretches!



Don't leave there standing!


Where's the other one?
- He's standing there.

Take him to the bush and finish him.
What's wrong?

Hold on. I haven't
examined the case yet.

It's no use waiting.
He'll escape in the fog. - No, he won't.

Did he give his word of honour?
- Oh, please.

He came to stay.
What'd he do to you?

He took my rifle but
gave it back. - What's that?

When I chanced upon him in the forest.
He could have killed me.

What about it?
He didn't give a shit about you!

What a soldier, relinquishing his gun.
- Get out of my sight.

Don't let him out of your sight
or I'll rip your head off!!

- Let it be.


Move it, you filthy bastard!

Citizen Senior Lieutenant,
as I already told you, -

if I had taken part in the shootings,
I wouldn't have come.

Give me a rifle.

Citizen Senior Lieutenant,
I want to fight.

Your fatherland already gave
you a rifle, but you threw it away.

I wasn't the only one.

It's you we're talking about.

One more question.

Tell me, former Sergeant, -

why didn't you leave Karnouha
earlier? What were you waiting for?

Have you been there?
- I don't care.

Two left. They were caught
and beaten to death.

Oh please.

How dare you pressure me!
Enough of sentimentality.

Guards at the station towers,
are they ours or Germans?

It varies.

Our guys are in
and krauts at the command.

Is there a way to get to the train -

besides through the command post?

I don't know. I guess not.

They bring in foodstuffs
from the whole area. - I know it.


Could you get to the train?

Yes I could. - On what grounds?

They know my face.

Listen, how did you...

escape Karnouha?

I got a week’s leave.

I took a train to Pskov
and jumped off it.

What if you arrived
at Karnouha tomorrow?

Could you do it without
drawing too much attention?

I'm not returning.
- Why not?

I won't live as a traitor.
I'd rather have you shoot me.

It was all right earlier, eh?

I broke down. I wanted to live.

Can't a man start over once -

after making a mistake the first time?


Before the war I was
a police chief near here.

In a district of seven villages.

Guess how many of these
stories I've heard.

About people toiling
to get a decent life.



Have you been fed?

Ptuha, take the former Sergeant
to the kitchen to get fed.

What is it?

I said I'd find myself
a younger bather.

I was told to give him food.

There isn't enough food
for humans. - Commander's orders.

And a drink to go with it!


Don't stay there.

Viktor, give him a spoon.


If it had been me who found
you in the forest... Scoundrel!



Too bad we didn't meet.

Viktor, don't.
It's no use.

Do you pity him? Hang the bastard!

Stop it at once!

What's happening here?

It doesn't take courage to
beat up a prisoner.

You shall report to Lokotkov
and tell him everything.

Hitler is driving in a car
through Berlin.

No one salutes him
and he gets upset.

Suddenly he sees a
soldier in the middle of a square.

He salutes and Hitler
drives closer, happy.

" Who are you and where are you from?",
Hitler asks. " From the Eastern front."

"You'll be decorated for your attitude."

"I've got no attitude."

"I'm merely showing you how deep
in shit we are in Russia."

You guys are all skin and bones.

Looking at you makes a man
go for the bottle.

One more joke. Hitler
came to a madhouse.

where loonies live.

Here. - Stay on the door and
let no one enter.

Friends and comrades!

Now you'll eat and sleep
like in a rest-home.

You'll get potatoes, too

They're frozen, though.

You should at least look
a bit like the krauts.

Krauts are nowadays
ruddy and voluptuous.

You'll eat and sleep for
a few days. There's tobacco.

Maybe you'll recover.

Go for it!

What about you?

They're not for me.

Only you'll eat them, and only here

Petka Sankov got killed
for these sardines.

I didn't mean it that way...

Just so you understand.

Let's get married.

We'll ask Lokotkov to marry us.

We'll do that.

I'm a womanizer, though.
- And you can't kiss!

Shall I teach you?
- Please do.

Viktor! Solomin!

Are you here?
- Yeah!

Lokotkov asks for you.
- I'll be right out.

Now, he said.
- Get out!

What is it?
- Nothing. Keep sleeping.

Get up!

Get up!

Let's go.

To where?
- To where we need to go.

Where's that?
- To a New Year's party.

Should I take my greatcoat?


You got scared, didn't you?

Why so scared?

Are you kidding?


Where are you going? - Taking
Junior Sergeant Lazarev to a checkup.

Who sent you?
- Lokotkov.

- Jerofeitљ too.


Be careful with him!
- Sure.

Where are you from?
- What?

I asked you where you come from.
- Sverdlovsk.

That's where our interpreter is from.

What did you do for a living?
- Drove a taxi.

Go and ask for a ride.
- I know.

Move it.

Remember I'll shoot at once.
Don't try anything.

I'll say, it's in vain.
- Let him show it in a real situation.

Mister officer, wait!

What is it, you fool?

Just a second!


Take it easy. Let him handle it.
- In vain, all right!

Why didn't you shoot?
The kraut was closer to you.

Give me a hand.

Lift the leg.

Scared again?

You're brave. - Brave or not,
I didn't get caught.

The war won't stop tomorrow.
- Nor did it start yesterday.


Ready. Works like a charm.


Herbert, what are you doing? Herbert!

Jerofeitљ, search the men!

Where did it hit you? In the back?

Control. Guardpoint inspection.

Short o.

In Estonia all the krauts
talk like this. - Listen to her.

We haven't had a chance to learn,
but she's been to a university.

Vasja, keep you r mouth shut there.
You work the engine.

What an officer!
One can't make a kraut out of you.

He has a decent pronunciation.
- But the gaze of a cow.

Sew in the stripes.

My stomach is full and I want to sleep.

When I see a fascist,
the cow's gaze is gone.

Who else is coming?
- None of your business. I'm coming.

Are you so busy to get to hell?

Don't stretch the O.

It'll be all right.

Did you grab the papers?
- I did.

Lazarev, what is your first name?
- Aleksandr.

Forgive me.

I did a foul thing.
- It's all right.




We seized a car that runs.

It's hidden in the snow
in the forest.

How was Lazarev? - Good.
Didn't try to escape.

I see. Go get yourself warm.

Did you know Solomin
struck Lazarev last evening?

No, I didn't know.

How'd Solomin die?
- We thought a kraut was dead.

But he came to himself
and fired.

Where were you?
- Searching the prisoners.

My back was turned and I didn’t see it.
Otherwise I'd have knocked him.

Where was Lazarev?
- In the car, looking for the papers.

So you didn't see the German shoot?
- Who else?

Answer the question!
Did you see it or not?

I did not see it directly.

Maybe someone else shot at Solomin?
- Who then if not a German?

Answer me! Did you see
the German shoot?

No I didn't, but...

How can you be sure if
you didn't see it?

Huh? - How can you be certain of
something you didn't see?

I'm leaving.
- I didn't give you permission.

If you didn't see the German shoot, -

can't we, in theory, assume it was
someone else who shot?

Answer me!
Theoretically yes, only theoretically.

We can therefore
assume Lazarev killed him.

I don't know...

Please, Comrade Major.
That's outrageous.

Stand up when you address
your superior!

Your checkups aren't
worth on single penny!

I don't believe in them!
All kinds of opportunists -

take advantage of
wimps like you!

Don't you worry about it, Major!

Loves me, loves me not,
believes me, believes me not.

Let the maidens guess
their luck when the war is over!

As the section commander
I'm in charge here -

according to my Party-following
conscience, excuse me!

You want to display goodness
when lives are at stake!

I won't allow it!

That got principled.
The Major is very strict.

He's hero material, of course.

But what will come of it?

You found him in the forest, half-dead.

You showed him your favours
but look at him!

Think of it back there
on the bridge!

Understand it if you can.
He's no derelict, that Lazarev.

Give in to the Major anyway,
to calm him down.

Are we playing with game pieces here?
- That's right!

He'll tarnish your name forever!

Stand up when you
address your superior.

- Stand up!

Go to hell,
I've had enough of you.

It's all in vain, let me say it.

Why didn't you blow it up?
- There's thousands of people in there.

- Russian prisoners of war.

Shut up. An ammunitions train.
- There'll be more.

Do you think your wimpiness
saves lives?

They're our own! Some of them
will return to our ranks.

My son was shot down.
He could have parachuted himself.

But he chose another path
and hit a string of tanks!

Maybe he had no choice.

You'll hear from me!

I was supposed to blow up a bridge.

Hit it, Solomin!

January is approaching...


It happened in the morning,
around ten o'clock.

They got me a checkup job.

Without the war we would
never have met.

Yes, the war has turned
everything upside down.

Before the war life was easy,
no worries.

Am I boring you?

I drove a cab.

Tidy job.
Turn the wheel, collect the tips.

At home you'd sew clothes
and have a drink on payday.

Everything as it should be.
Boom and war.

Do you understand me?
- Yes I do.

I don't care about politics. About
the fascists, I only knew the song.

"No fear of the fascists,
I'll slay them with my bayonet."

I thought I could take it.
I was wrong.

It wasn't until at the camp I understood.

Get it?

Got tobacco?
- Yeah.

We had a tough spot
with Ivan Jegoritљ today.

The Major wants your blood.

He kept saying
you shot Solomin.

I wondered about it at the Major.

I told him you were a hero.

Ivan Jegorytљ tried to
calm him down as well.

Told him to listen to the old charger.

We saved you, don't worry.
Give me some tobacco.

Where'd you get it from?
- Solomin.

Brothers-in-arms already?
- Just having a smoke.

Arrest him!

Arrest him!

I'm giving the orders.
Can't you hear me?

Take him away.

Sorry, buddy.

Look at that, his ankles are busted.

Hard snow cuts like a knife.
Wanna put felt boots on a horse?

Why not?

The day after tomorrow they'll
have to fly like a sparrow.

Just hope they don't drag us
to the graveyard.


Hello, Ivan Jegorytљ.

Listen to this one.
Once Hitler was...

Is Lokotkov here?
- I'm here.

Gцring, Himmler and Mussolini
from Italy were there.

They had assembled to divvy up
Russia. They ate and drank.

Ivan Jegorytљ,
Lazarev's gone to get hanged.

A noose around his neck.

Make way.

How'd he... - A German belt
made of artificial leather failed.

Guys, I have to...

He needs something hot. Kolja!

Where will I get it?

The reconnaissance has it ready.
Tell them it's my orders.

I heard him step from one
corner to another.

Suddenly it got quiet.
I took a peek and...


Enough with the yammering!
- Get rid of your cigarettes!

Give me a hand.

Take it off.

Go away.

Have a drink!

Have a hot drink!

Stop staring!
Get out, fast!


All right, lad.

Tell me -

where the vile enemy put
its hope -

when it decided to crush
our common Soviet fatherland -

with its iron boot?

What did it base its hope in?

Tell me!

Or tell me -

which uniform are you wearing -

and which am I wearing?

Today -

I bear the uniform of a Senior Lieutenant
in the Red Army.

But in this day of war -

you are a traitor of the fatherland.

Things being as they are,
I'm not going to have a smoke with you.

I don't feel like it.

That's how it is,
Saљa Lazarev.

That's how it is.

Rest now.

It will be a difficult day tomorrow.

You'll go to Karnouha.

A foodstuff-train will
leave for Vaterland.

It must go to the other direction.

There will be four of you.

Dying is not allowed -

nor is disappearing.

You must turn the train this way.

And make it so
the others can witness it.


Thank you. Everything's OK.
You may proceed.

Let it through!

Go to the pumping station.
I'll jump on when it's underway.

Don't wait for me!

Hey you, in the tower!

Is it Kutenko?

- That's me.

What've you been up to?
- I've been in Pskov.

The girls at Pskov aren't too shy.

Even the domes at the
gentlemen's room start falling.

Climb up for a cigarette!

Don't press against the wood,
my new skirt is tearing up...

I can't get anyone to take over for me.
I've been on duty since the night.

I can't even get a half-fur.
The platoon leader is withholding those.

Were you there when he borrowed
20 Marks? - Yes, I was.

He refuses to pay it back.

Will you be my witness?
- Sure.

Hop on!

Happy New Year,
your highness!

Your highness!



Come here! Partisans!

What is it?

Blow the siren!

You crook!


Ivan Yegorovich.

- At your orders.
- Lokotkov!

Don't you recognize me?

I'm Bolshekov. Lieutenant then.

Can't say I do,
Comrade Colonel.

You got us out of
encirclement in '42!

In July!

I'm sorry, I got out
quite a few.

Hello, Comrade Colonel!

Ivan Yegorovich,
my darling man,

I kept remembering you
all through the war.

Hold on!

How come you're
still a Captain?

Lokotkov's a Captain,
but our guns are

shelling Berlin!
That suits me fine.

- To you, then!
- To victory.


I'll write to the Marshal
about you, how you

got us out and how many
you saved.

Comrade Colonel!
We're late as it is!

- Comrade Colonel!
- I'll write to the Marshal!

- Take it. - I'm beat.
- Let me.

Hey guys, come on,
let's give her a push!

Go on!

Give her some more!

Here she goes!

Go on, my dears!

There! Some more! Go on!