It would be facetious to refer to the Russian Ivan Pavlov as the story of a boy and his dogs. Yet, it is true that this is the filmed biopic of the famed Russian psychological scientist who used laboratory canines to illustrate his theories about behavior conditioning. Constructed in Hollywood's "overcoming the odds" fashion, the film depicts Pavlov as a man before his time, subject to the ridicule of the hidebound scientific establishment. One of the few people who stands by Pavlov is his loving assistant Ivanova. Alexander Borisov plays the title role, Natalia Alisova is Ivanova, and Nikolai Cherkasov dispenses wry philosophical wisdom as author Maxim Gorky.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide