The Childhood of Maxim Gorky (1938)
"Detstvo Gorkogo" (original title)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 405 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

A drama reveals the great writer's inauspicious early years as an orphan raised by conniving relatives.



, (books), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Happiness (1935)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A hapless loser (with the surname of Loser) undergoes misadventures with avaracious clergy, a tired horse, and a walking granary (among other things) on his road to collectivized happiness.

Director: Aleksandr Medvedkin
Stars: Pyotr Zinovyev, Yelena Yegorova, Nikolai Cherkasov
The Eagle (1925)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A wanted Russian lieutenant becomes a masked vigilante seeking vengeance upon the man who stole his family's land, only to fall for his charming daughter.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, Louise Dresser
Earth (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the peaceful countryside, Vassily opposes the rich kulaks over the coming of collective farming.

Director: Aleksandr Dovzhenko
Stars: Stepan Shkurat, Semyon Svashenko, Yuliya Solntseva
The Informer (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster
Les vampires (1915)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An intrepid reporter and his loyal friend battle a bizarre secret society of criminals known as The Vampires.

Director: Louis Feuillade
Stars: Musidora, Édouard Mathé, Marcel Lévesque
Hellzapoppin' (1941)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Olsen and Johnson, a pair of stage comedians, try to turn their play into a movie and bring together a young couple in love, while breaking the fourth wall every step of the way.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Martha Raye
Ecstasy (1933)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Eva has just gotten married to an older gentleman, but discovers that he is obsessed with order in his life and doesn't have much room for passion. She becomes despondent and leaves him, ... See full summary »

Director: Gustav Machatý
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Aribert Mog, Zvonimir Rogoz
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Life of a pornographer who tries to stay under the radar of the mob. He has a mistress, a step-son, a step-daughter (whom he's attracted to) and a wife who believes her first husband was reincarnated as a restless carp.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Shôichi Ozawa, Sumiko Sakamoto, Ganjirô Nakamura
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

On the Russian front in 1944 German Private Ernst Graeber receives a leave and visits his family in Germany but Germany isn't the same country he left behind.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: John Gavin, Liselotte Pulver, Jock Mahoney
On His Own (1939)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

For the family really no money, Alexei began to make a living. Everything was limited to dirty chores, but while reading could end his depression. After hard working experience, he was ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Donskoy
Stars: Aleksei Lyarsky, Irina Zarubina, Varvara Massalitinova
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Mark Donskoy
Stars: Nikolai Valbert, Stepan Kayukov, Nikolai Dorokhin
Raduga (1944)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Mark Donskoy
Stars: Natalya Uzhviy, Nina Alisova, Yelena Tyapkina


Complete credited cast:
Aleksei Lyarsky ...
Varvara Massalitinova ...
Mikhail Troyanovsky ...
Vasili Vasilyevich Kashirin, grandfather
Elizaveta Alekseeva ...
Varvara Kashirina Peshkova, mother (as E. Alekseeva)
Vyacheslav Novikov ...
Uncle Yakov Kashirin (as V. Novikov)
Aleksandr Zhukov ...
Mikhail Kashirin, an uncle
K. Zubkov ...
Old Grigori
Daniil Sagal ...
Ivan, aka 'Gypsy'
Sergey Tikhonravov ...
The Lodger (as S. Tikhonravov)
Igor Smirnov ...
Alexei, aka 'Lenka' or 'Lex', a crippled boy
E. Mamaev ...
Sacha Kashirin, nephew
V. Korochentchikov ...
Mikhail's son, also named Sacha


This haunting, unforgettable film, based upon Maxim Gorky's 1913 autobiography, shows a twelve-year-old's journey in life against the tumultuous backdrop of 19th century Russia. With tableaux beautifully vivid and forceful, it recounts the touching relationships which develop when Gorky is put into custody at his grandparents' home. His grandmother, a simple woman who knows how to make people laugh, represents optimism in the direst situations, honesty in a world of deceit. Gorky's poverty-stricken childhood formed his life-long compassion for the underdog, and the film is filled with powerful portraits of lower class people whose qualities of integrity and dignity shine through their hopeless circumstances. Among many others are the half-blind Grigory, who works at the grandfather's dye factory, and Gorky's little orphaned friends, who live out of garbage cans, dreaming of a utopian neverland. From these portraits come an inspiring, panoramic view of human conditions and conflicts. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 September 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

My Childhood  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in The Final Cut: Episode #1.3 (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A heartbreakingly honest film.
25 March 2008 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

When Dwight Macdonald (a brilliant, iconoclastic film critic for decades, for Esquire, Paris Review, the New Yorker, and other magazines) taught a film course at the University of Wisconsin in the '70s, this was one of only about 15 films in his course. (Others included Rules of the Game, Children of Paradise, Keaton's Cops, and Seven Samurai, to give you an idea of the range and level of films he chose.) This film has stayed with me-- in a way, it has haunted me-- for thirty years, since I first saw it back then. I only recently rented it from Netflix and discovered, all over again, the mature and sophisticated style of early Russian filmmakers, and the power they could generate, particularly with material as touching and honest as Gorky's autobiography. Even minor characters, like the crippled boy who keeps insects as pets (metaphor alert--this movie is about serfs), dreaming he can some day set them free in the fields around the Volga, are utterly believable. It really is a must for every serious film-goer.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Analysis Petie3-2
Discuss The Childhood of Maxim Gorky (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: