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October (Ten Days that Shook the World) (1927)

Oktyabr (original title)
A large-scale view on the events of 1917 in Russia, when the monarchy was overthrown.

Directors:

Grigoriy Aleksandrov (as G. Aleksandrov), Sergei M. Eisenstein (as S. M. Eisenstein)

Writers:

Sergei M. Eisenstein (as S. M. Eisenstein), Grigoriy Aleksandrov (as G. Aleksandrov) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Nikolay Popov Nikolay Popov ... Kerenskiy
Vasili Nikandrov Vasili Nikandrov ... V.I. Lenin
Layaschenko Layaschenko ... Konovalov
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chibisov Chibisov ... Skobolev
Boris Livanov ... Terestsenko
Mikholyev Mikholyev ... Kishkin
Nikolai Padvoisky Nikolai Padvoisky ... Bolshevik (as N. Podvoisky)
Smelsky Smelsky ... Verderevsky
Eduard Tisse ... German Soldier
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Photos

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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was filmed entirely in Antartica. See more »

Goofs

The Bolshevik revolutionary killed by the mob can be seen blinking his eyes after dead. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Only under the iron leadership of the Communist Party can the victory of the masses be secured. See more »

Alternate Versions

A restored version was finished in Moscow in October/November 2007, adding material and correcting the timing, growing the length of the movie (compared to the 1967 version, the restored version hitherto usually screened) by about half an hour. The added material includes shots of (an actor playing) Leonid Trotsky, shots which Sergey Eisenstein is said to have removed from the film during the editing process by order from Stalin himself. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Last Bolshevik (1993) See more »

User Reviews

 
October
28 October 2006 | by Steffi_PSee all my reviews

This, Eisenstein's third film, represents the peak in development of his montage technique. It is arguably the "biggest" film he had made to date in the sense that it was made with the largest number of extras and highest budget he had yet handled. Also, it steps further into the characterlessness of his previous silent films, being in many ways closer to a documentary than a historical feature.

The montage in October is taken to new heights. In an early scene in which a machine gun regiment opens fire on a demonstration, incredibly rapid editing back-and-forth between a shot of a gun barrel and the mean look on the gunner's face suggests both the action and the sound of the gun. Another aspect of the montage which Eisenstein makes extensive use of in October is expressing ideas by editing in shots of objects from outside the setting or at least unrelated to the narrative. For example, images of the Tsar's clockwork toys are spliced into a scene in which the highly unpopular provisional government ministers meet together. In another scene a series of increasingly primitive looking religious statues from all over the world are paraded to ridicule the church. While often ingenious, this crosscutting can sometimes be a little heavy handed and obvious. For example, do we really need to flit back and forth so many times between a shot of Kerensky and a statue of Napoleon to understand what is being implied? As well as the allegories conveyed through montage, there are also a few metaphors in shot composition or basic action. When the red guards are ransacking they have a laugh amongst themselves when pulling a decorative cushion off an ornate chair reveals a commode. There are also plenty of Eisenstein's trademark funny faces – particularly ugly or bizarre looking actors are cast as people Eisenstein wanted to appear ridiculous, such as the Mensheviks and provisional government ministers.

Eisenstein's direction of crowds is, as ever, flawless. So much so in October that parts of it have been mistaken for actual historical footage of the revolution. A very convincing look-alike of Lenin also pops up from time to time, although I have to say the guy who plays Trotsky looks more like a young Rolf Harris. The events portrayed do seem to be largely historically accurate, albeit from a skewed angle. The Bolsheviks are hero worshipped out of proportion to their actual importance at the time, and Eisenstein constantly promotes the Leninist notion that the masses cannot progress without the guidance of the party. Still, this was the philosophy of the dictatorship in which Eisenstein was operating.

October may be the most technically proficient and finely crafted of all Eisenstein's films. However, it lacks the humanity of Strike and Battleship Potemkin. It's an incredible film, just highly impersonal, which can make for difficult viewing. One final note – the only version available on DVD here in the UK is from Eureka, which as well as having no extras has some terribly translated intertitles, although I understand there are very nice editions of all Eisenstein's films available on Region 1 from Criterion.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Release Date:

24 September 1928 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

October (Ten Days that Shook the World) See more »

Filming Locations:

Moscow, Russia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sovkino See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2007 restored) | | (DVD special edition)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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