The second film in director Sergei Eisenstein's planned trilogy of the life of Russian czar Ivan the Terrible, Ivan Grozny II was filmed in 1946 (following the first installment), but went unreleased until 1958. The delay was due to Stalin's obvious unhappiness with the resemblance, intentional or not, between Ivan the Terrible's totalitarian ways and his own. Though parts of the third film were shot around the same time, the trilogy would never see completion; Eisenstein died in 1948. In the director's body of work, Ivan Grozny II was perhaps most significant for its two color sequences. For someone who never cared much for technological advances in film sound, Eisenstein did remarkably well incorporating color into his film. Though the sequences may seem thematically random, they fit the movie's tone and are very modern in their use of color to evoke a mood.
by Brendon Hanley review