In this film version of the opera, Boris Godunov (Alexander Pirogov), the ambitious brother-in-law of Ivan the Terrible, kills Ivan's youngest son, Dmitri, as a means of orchestrating his own ascension to power in Russia. Grigori (G. Nellep), a young novice, assumes the identity of Dmitri, however, maintaining that the tyrant's son did not die, and attempts to take the Russian throne. Godunov then finds himself confronted by international opposition and consumed by guilt.
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