13 user 13 critic

Mother (1926)

Mat (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 29 May 1934 (USA)
A story about a family torn apart by a worker's strike. At first, the mother wants to protect her family from the troublemakers, but eventually she realizes that her son is right and the workers should strike.


Vsevolod Pudovkin


Maxim Gorky (novel), Nathan Zarkhi




Complete credited cast:
Vera Baranovskaya ... Niovna-Vlasova, the Mother
Nikolay Batalov ... Pavel Vlasov - the Son
Aleksandr Chistyakov ... Vlasov - the Father
Anna Zemtsova Anna Zemtsova ... Anna - a Revolutionary Girl
Ivan Koval-Samborsky ... Vessovchtchnikov - Pavel's Friend
N. Vidonov N. Vidonov ... Misha - a Worker
Aleksandr Savitsky Aleksandr Savitsky ... Isaik Gorbov - the Foreman
Vsevolod Pudovkin ... Police Officer


Russian director Vsevolod I. Pudovkin's "Mother" is the chronicle of an individual's transformation from political naivete to Marxist awareness set during the 1905 Russian Revolution. Pudovkin uses innovative montage techniques and camera angles to tell this bold story of national unrest through the eyes of a working class woman. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Film Version Of Gorki's Great Story Of The 1905 Revolution




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


First feature film directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1968, the film was restored, and a musical score added by Tikhon Khrennikov, emphasizing the film's revolutionary message. See more »


Referenced in Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood: Opportunity Lost (1995) See more »

User Reviews

Demonstrating a Paradigm
26 October 2014 | by p_radulescuSee all my reviews

Five movies were made based on Gorky's novel: in 1920 by Aleksandr Razumnyi, in 1926 by Vsevolod Pudovkin, in 1941 by Leonid Lukov, in 1956 by Mark Donskoy (starring Aleksey Batalov as Pavel Vlassov), and in 1990 by Gleb Panfilov. Also Bertolt Brecht put the novel on stage in 1932. Hanns Eisler created, based on the novel, a cantata for chorus, solo voices and two pianos in 1935.

From all this list, undoubtedly impressive by number and persons implied, I was able to watch only the silent made in 1926 by Vsevolod Pudovkin. Politics aside, it is a masterpiece. He was one of the greatest Soviet filmmakers of the 1920's avant-garde (in the same line with Kuleshov, Eisenstein, and all the others), and this movie proves it brilliantly.

Pudovkin's movie has an architecture that is radically different from that of the novel. One is talking about very recent events, the other is framing the facts and personages into a paradigm. Both are strongly motivated politically, but the two political moments are very different: the novel is made in the aftermath of the 1905 Revolution, it's real time life, while the movie comes in the first years of Soviet power, preoccupied to build the official history of the revolution, in other words the founding mythology. While Gorky tells us a story of life flowing naturally, with personages of flesh and bones, Pudovkin demonstrates a paradigm, deals with a myth in the making. And in any myth the facts and personages are no more just facts and personages like anything else from real life: they are prototypes aiming to convey a sense. I'll give you only one example: the bridge over the river separating factory and the neighborhood. At Gorky it's just a bridge, nothing else. At Pudovkin it is a path you take to leave your submissive life and enter the revolutionary struggle. So it becomes a prototype within a paradigm, conveying a metaphysical significance.

Gorky's novel inaugurates the Socialist Realism: it means its approach is realist to the bone, so its style is traditional (following the traditional Realism of the 19th century, that were to be observed by all Socialist Realist artists). Does also the movie belong to the Socialist Realist style? I don't think so. I would say that by the contrary it belongs hundred percent to the avant-garde of the twenties, so it rejects totally the tradition. It is a Constructivist oeuvre, calling in mind maybe the Expressionist movies made in Germany in the same epoch. These artists of the twenties, totally committed politically, while thinking to build the new society based on their radically new form of art and throwing over the board all that was old, traditional, classic, Realism included. The thirties would stop them forcefully, they would have to obey to the party dogmas or go to hell (the first circle or beyond).

A few words about the cast: Vera Baranovskaya made a remarkable performance in the role of the mother; she would play one year later in the following movie made by Pudovkin, The End of St. Petersburg; Nikolai Batalov (1899-1937), who played in the role of the son, was also Soldier Gusev in Aelita (a fine role in a fine movie); it seems that he was not related to Aleksey Batalov, who played Pavel Vlassov in the movie of Mark Donskoy from 1956; and last but not least, Pudovkin himself in the role of a police officer- the guy really enjoyed the negative roles

1 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



Soviet Union



Release Date:

29 May 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mother See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mezhrabpom-Rus See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed