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 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 »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
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 <email@example.com>
"Potemkin" changed name four times. The original full name was "Knyaz Potemkin-Tavricheskiy". As a result of the uprising, the government renamed her "Panteleymon" in 1905. In April of 1917 the ship returned to the name "Potemkin-Tavricheskiy" (without "Knyaz" - prince), but in May 1917 the name was changed to "Borets za svobodu" (the Freedom Fighter). See more »
In the Imperial squadron near the end of the film, we see close-ups of triple gun turrets of Gangut-class dreadnought. It is possibly made this way to show the power of Imperial fleet, but this is an anachronism, for battleships of 1905 were much smaller pre-dreadnoughts, with twin turrets only, just like "Potemkin". "Ganguts" entered service in 1914. See more »
We've had enough rotten meat! Even a dog wouldn't eat this! It could crawl overboard on its own!
Smirov, the ship doctor:
These aren't worms. They are dead fly larvae. You can wash them off with brine!
See more »
Sergei M. Eisenstein's premiere version opened with an unattributed quote from Leon Trotsky's "1905": The spirit of mutiny swept the land. A tremendous, mysterious process was taking place in countless hearts: the individual personality became dissolved in the mass, and the mass itself became dissolved in the revolutionary impetus. This quote was removed by Soviet censors in 1934, and replaced by a quotation from V.I. Lenin's "Revolutionary Days": Revolution is war. Of all the wars known in history, it is the only lawful, rightful, just and truly great war...In Russia this war has been declared and won. The original text was restored in 2004. See more »
Quite a lot has been said about this film and its landmark importance in forming the language of film. If you are interested in film history, to truly understand the innovations Eisenstein brings to the medium you might try viewing Potemkin along side most any film made before it (those of D.W. Griffith offer a good contrast). It should be allowed that Eisenstein was not the only montage theorist and the principles of montage editing would likely have been discovered by another given time. However, even today, few directors have approached the skill with which Eisenstein created meaning through the combination of images at such an early point in the evolution of the medium.
If you are not interested in that sort of thing, Potemkin is still one of the most beautiful and moving films ever made. You should see it, buy it, and tatoo it to your chest.
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