In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
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Based on the historical events the movie tells the story of a riot at the battleship Potemkin. What started as a protest strike when the crew was given rotten meat for dinner ended in a riot. The sailors raised the red flag and tried to ignite the revolution in their home port Odessa. Written by
Konstantin Dlutskii <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film was chosen by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "100 New Classics ranking as #74 in the June 20, 2008 issue. The issue ranked the greatest movies of the previous 25 years. See more »
Shadow of the camera, complete with an umbrella, can easily be seen during the scrolling shot of the Odessa Steps. See more »
This classic is filled with vivid images that stay in your mind after you have watched it, and there is a lot to appreciate in the way that the key scenes were set up and photographed. The visuals are so impressive that the movie's imperfections are usually not so noticeable, and they don't keep it from being a memorable film.
The movie certainly deserves the praise that it gets both for the influence that it has had, and for some ideas that for the time were most creative. The famed 'Odessa Steps' sequence alone demonstrates both fine technical skill and a keen awareness of how to drive home an image to an audience. It deserves to be one of cinema's best remembered sequences. Some of the other scenes also demonstrate, to a lesser degree, the same kind of skill.
It says a lot for how effective all of the visuals are that so many viewers think so highly of "Battleship Potemkin" despite a story that is sometimes heavy-handed, and despite characters and acting that are both rather thin. These features might simply stem from the collectivist philosophy that lies behind the story, and they are obscured most of the time by Eisenstein's unsurpassed ability to present pictures that viewers will not forget.
Despite the flaws, this is a movie that most fans of silent films, and anyone interested in the history of movies, will want to see. There's nothing else in its era that's quite like it.
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