In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »
In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »
Archive footage from Potemkin (1925), with English dialogue dubbed in by American actors, is combined with new footage to tie together the brave stand of Odessa Russian guerrilla bands of ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in November of that year. Lenin returns in April. In July, counter-revolutionaries put down a spontaneous revolt, and Lenin's arrest is ordered. By late October, the Bolsheviks are ready to strike: ten days will shake the world. While the Mensheviks vacillate, an advance guard infiltrates the palace. Anatov-Oveyenko leads the attack and signs the proclamation dissolving the provisional government. Written by
The filming of the assault on the Winter Palace required 11,000 extras, and the lighting needs left the rest of the city blacked out. See more »
Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin):
We have the right to be proud that to us fell the good fortune of beginning the building of the Soviet State and, by doing so, opening a new chapter in the history of the world.
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Interesting documentary-like film about the Soviet Revolution
This film is highly reminiscent of Eisenstein's later work, POTEMKIN, in that it looks like like a typical historical film but more like a re-creation of the events--much like a documentary. However, like POTEMKIN, it too is a very politically driven propaganda film. While most of the moments on film are pretty realistic, Eisenstein and Alexandropov also intersperse little scenes that portray the Communists as noble peasants and the Kerensky government as patently evil. While depicting the Czarist regime that preceded the Kerensky government as evil is pretty accurate, the story of Kerensky isn't quite that cut and dry. While he did create his own downfall due to the foolish decision to continue the war against Germany after the May Revolution (the non-Communist revolution of 1917 that sought reforms and forced the czar to abdicate), Kerensky and his men weren't quite the evil pigs they were depicted as in the film. But, of course, considering the October Communist Revolution was still recent history when the film was made, this sort of hyperbole is rather understandable. Plus, given the control exercised over the Soviet film industry, it is doubtful that Kerensky and his cronies could have been depicted any other way.
Particular standouts in the film are the interesting and very imaginative camera-work as well as the brisk pace and realism of the film. About the only negatives (other than the way they depicted the Kerensky government) were the excessive use of some footage to make a simple point--such as showing men scrambling out of a doorway again and again and again to let the audience know people are pouring into a room or returning to the same shot repeatedly. At the time, this was pretty forgivable and normal, but today it appears, at times, like it could have used a bit tighter editing.
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