IMDb > The New Babylon (1929)
Novyy Vavilon
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The New Babylon (1929) More at IMDbPro »Novyy Vavilon (original title)

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Release Date:
30 November 1929 (USA) See more »
In the beginning of the industrial revolution, the Paris Commune was established in 1871 against the rich and the powerful... See more » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Another stunning classic Russian silent See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)
David Gutman ... Owner of the 'New Babylon' shop

Yelena Kuzmina ... Louise Poirier, the shop-assistant
Andrei Kostrichkin ... The main shop-assistant
Sofiya Magarill ... An actress
Arnold Arnold ... Commune's Central Committee member (as A. Arnold)

Sergey Gerasimov ... Lutro, the journalist
Yevgeni Chervyakov ... National Guard's officer
Pyotr Sobolevsky ... Jean, the soldier
Yanina Zhejmo ... Therese, a seamstress
Oleg Zhakov ... National Guard's soldier

Vsevolod Pudovkin ... Police intendent
Lyudmila Semyonova ... Can-can dancer
A. Glushkova ... Washerwoman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Emil Gal ... Bourgeois
S. Gusev ... Poirier, an old man
Tamara Makarova ... Can-can dancer
Aleksandr Orlov ... King Menelay in the play
Natalya Rashevskaya ... Washerwoman
Roman Rubinshtein ... Singer in the play (as R. Rubinshtein)
Anna Zarzhitskaya ... Young girl on the barricades
Boris Azarov ... National Guard's soldier (uncredited)

Directed by
Grigori Kozintsev 
Leonid Trauberg 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Grigori Kozintsev  writer
Leonid Trauberg  writer

Original Music by
Dmitri Shostakovich 
Cinematography by
Andrei Moskvin 
Art Direction by
Yevgeni Yenej 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sergei Bartenev .... assistant director
Sergey Gerasimov .... assistant director
Nadezhda Kosheverova .... assistant director
Sergei Shklyarevsky .... assistant director (as S. Shklyarevsky)
M. Yegorov .... assistant director
Music Department
Frank Strobel .... conductor
Frank Strobel .... music editor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Novyy Vavilon" - Soviet Union (original title)
See more »
120 min | 93 min (2004th restored Version) | West Germany:75 min (TV premiere) | Portugal:80 min (Cinemateca Portuguesa) | Portugal:102 min (18 fps) (cut)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Composer Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his first film score for this silent movie. He hurriedly wrote about 90 minutes of music.See more »
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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Another stunning classic Russian silent, 15 January 2013
Author: Greekguy from Netherlands

It is, I suppose, fair to say that this is a propaganda film because it does deliver a political message. On the other hand, it's not too outlandish of a message. Perhaps there were reasons to oppose the Paris Commune, although none occur to me. However, a discussion of propaganda in films is in itself somewhat redundant: most films might face the same charges. After all, film is an art form that chooses to present a series of images and sounds, usually dialogue but also music (and in this case there is in the best version a stunning score by Shostakovich) in order to manipulate the feelings and the thoughts of the viewer. "Apocalypse Now", for instance, is an examination of war and its component parts that does not shy away from politics or advocacy. It is clear to the viewer that the filmmaker is asking questions about why that war was fought. "Armaggedon" also supports a particular political world view, as does "First Blood", "The Seventh Seal", "Sex in the City" and even "Toy Story".

Despite my sympathies, however, it is not the politics that I love about this film - it is not the message but the artful use of the medium that sells me on this work of art. This is a moving and beautiful film, with fully realised character development and wonderfully magical imagery. After the parasols, the train and the cancan dancers, you should keep an eye out in particular for the shots in the last segments of the film. Kozintsev and Trauberg work little miracles with everyday objects such as lace, shovels and pianos. (Amazingly enough, these artists continued their magic for a long time -Trauberg worked until the early 1960s and Kozintsev directed his last film, which many consider the best "King Lear" for the cinema, in 1971.) "New Babylon" is, in a number of ways, a good companion piece for "The Man with a Movie Camera", the best of the Russian silents that I have seen. While it does indulge the "message" shot - there are a number of those but most are extremely well-done and worth seeing; the milk-for-soldiers is one, the juxtaposed lives are another - it is the realism of this film that elevates it, not its occasional slip into histrionics. The female lead, Yelena Kuzmina, is excellent, an actress who commands your attention and earns your sympathy, but it is in all the secondary roles put together that the city of Paris of 1870 and 1871 truly comes alive. In these earlier films, before sound drew us in, it was the faces that needed to speak, and these do, eloquently. The department store owner, the old soldiers, the contemptuous general, the washerwomen and the journalist with hope for humanity, they are all clamoring to tell you something. Exactly what they say to you may depend on your own world view, but their comments should be interesting to everyone.

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