Alexander Nevsky is a 1938 epic historical drama directed by Sergei Eisenstein. The film centers around Prince Alexander Nevsky (Nikolai Cherkasov), a 13th-century Russian ruler who must act quickly to stop an invasion and save his country. The Teutonic Knights, sent from Germany by the Holy Roman Empire, have captured and destroyed the town of Pskov and are marching toward Novgorod, a key city. Alexander decides to make a stand at Novgorod, enlisting its citizens to help fight off the Teutonic Knights. In one of the film's most famous scenes, the Battle of the Ice, Alexander's soldiers meet the Teutonic forces on a frozen lake. Alexander Nevsky's story of resourceful Russians fighting off German invaders was popular with Soviet audiences of the day, who were anxiously watching the Nazis march across Europe. With a score by renowned composer Sergei Prokofiev, the film also pioneered the practice of setting dramatic sequences to music.