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.
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
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 battleship used during the filming was not the "Knyaz Potyomkin-Tavricheskiy", but an older battleship called "Dvenadstat Apostolov" (The Twelve Apostles), as the original battleship 'Potyomkin' had been broken up in 1922. See more »
Shadow of the camera, complete with an umbrella, can easily be seen during the scrolling shot of the Odessa Steps. See more »
The spirit of revolution soared over the Russian land. A tremendous, mysterious process was taking place in countless hearts. The individual personality, having hardly had time to become conscious of itself, dissolved in the mass, and the mass itself became dissolved in the revolutionary élan.
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The 29 April 1926 version, at the Apollo Theater, Berlin, under the auspices of Prometheus Films, was heavily censored under pressure from the Weimar authorities. Nearly a hundred feet of footage was cut (the equivalent of more than 50 shots) as well as a number of title cards. This version became the basis for the copies that traveled to the United States and England, where they were further censored. The Prometheus negative was returned from Germany to the USSR after the Second World War, and became the source for official export prints from 1949 on. 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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