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4.0 out of 5 stars12
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 5 November 2014
If your looking for an impartial, historically accurate retelling of the October revolution, then I recommend you look elsewhere. If however you want both an excellent silent film and insight into the post-revolutionary Russian psyche, then this is the film for you. This motion picture is the perfect storm of powerful imagery, rousing music and masterful editing that, at nearly 90 years of age, still delivers a solid hour and forty minutes of gripping, but thought provoking, entertainment. Whilst I concede that this is not a film that the majority of people will enjoy, due to it's dated footage and heavy topic, I will say that, for anybody interested in history, films of the silent era or even social philosophy, this is an absolutely mandatory watch. The icing on the cake is the quality user interface and packaging for the DVD which adds (just that little bit!) to the amazing movie experience that is October 1917.
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on 6 April 2008
Do my eyes deceive me or did reviewers expect to watch this and not see pro-revolutionary content?

This film is unique and stands alone in the history of film-making as the closest thing to a record of one of the most defining moments in the history of mankind. Not only is it groundbreaking in its mechanics and methodology, but it broke all the moulds in cinematic history and formed the template for the next 20, 30 years of moviemaking.

Even watching as a non-committed political animal, you have to agree that the drama and tension transmitted in this document is unsurpassed; the transfer of the considerable lands, wealth and assets of Russia from a handful of privileged aristocrats to the people is a story which even the most seasoned narrator could not help but get worked up at. The October Revolution shaped the world for the 20th century, and unwittingly shaped an agrarian sleeping giant into the advanced industrial monolith we see still today. Indeed, were it not for the birth of the (eventual) USSR, Hitler may well have been victorious in 1941 after all, and picked off North america at will.

See this film for what it is - a fantastic historical document of its time. Forget the rhetoric behind the content, the story of the biggest political event in history is told well and forged its rightful place in cinematic history.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 April 2012
For historians of Russian history and of this period and with its political and social implications, then "October" remains a must. For those of us who aren't, we the ones who've worked our way backwards from more popular Russian films and of Sergei Eisenstein, in particular, how does it appeal to us?

Silent film can be hard to follow and difficult for us 21st century media moguls to connect with. We're used to seeing Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton being sped up, here it is convincingly racing. This breakneck speed is exciting, but is it interesting?

Those of us who know their classic Russian cinema a bit will be aware of their superb, almost geometrically composed compositions and framing - as a photographer myself, I've seen many that really have taken my breath away. And, the techniques of cutting and superimposition and many more that were seen in Dziga Vertov's 'Man With a Movie Camera' made two years after this (1929). After the classic and much more widely seen (and available) 'Battleship Potempkin' from this same director, Eisenstein, we can presume that we'd be getting at least some of those characteristics here.

Well, we do, of course. After a frenetic start on the streets of Leningrad and to the strains of Shostakovich, it does simmer down a bit. As is commonly known, it is all propaganda and these sorts shown in cinemas were like newspapers to a largely illiterate, peasant population.

Downsides, well, the picture quality isn't too clever and doesn't look very restored. The written notices, that were in lovely old and elegant font in D W Griffiths' and many others, are simply standard, boring and modern text on a plain grey background. A small matter, maybe, but they spoil both the continuity and period feel.

Is it worth buying? My copy of 'Battleship Potempkin' was issued by a Sunday newspaper as a 'Freebie' and I rented 'Man With a Movie Camera' from my local lending library as it's a kind of educational classic. I bought "October" DVD quite a lot cheaper than Amazon sell it themselves, so that reduced its sting in that aspect. I don't begrudge spending what I did on it but probably wouldn't have spent more. The film, as films go, is good, but not great and it really helps if you have a vested interest in buying it, as mentioned before.
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VINE VOICEon 24 April 2013
It seems that some of the less kind reviewers are missing the point, so I will add another five star effort to hopefully balance things accordingly. The Russian director, Sergei Eisenstein, was one of the great masters of the epic film. This 1928 work tells the story of the early days of the Russian revolution, and the triumph of the Bolsheviks, over the Provisional Government in Petrograd, in 1917. The film has a documentary style, and great use of camera angles, close ups, and crowd scenes. It is also famous for the addition of experimental montages, and pivotal, telling scenes, with the camera lingering on small parts of the action. This film includes the famous `storming of the Winter Palace', and is one for true film buffs, and those interested in the subject. The addition of sound and colour to later films has still never produced anything better than this striking work
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on 17 February 2015
Having seen the original films t the Hampstead Everyman repertary theatre in the 1950's I now know that my Grandson appreciates them as well
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on 26 September 2015
pleased to find an unusual dvd at a reasonable price
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on 1 March 2014
yes again four stars for a five star film and again bought because of it,s director and subject again it was mentioned and recommended in a book in my local library and again it raised eyebrows the same book as in my previous review of the same subject matter the RUSSIAN REVOLUTION and again reading about it and seeing it are two different experiences one you imagine (if it is well written)and the other drops you right in it so to speak which is a good sign as not a lot of films give you that experience unless it is hi-tech which this one is not it was made long before computers were used on a large scale in film which makes it stand out all the more again aye recommend this film to students or any one who are interested in this subject as it is a piece of history on film highly recommended go for it and enjoy the film thanks again thank you
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on 1 January 2016
I like Russian History
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on 13 December 2015
Good value - all ok
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on 19 January 2004
If you expect realism, you won't get it. This is pure propaganda, as in The Battleship Potemkin, and not as good. There are several excellent scenes, some totally unbelievable baddies, and an inexplicable ability by the reactionaries to carry on oppressing everybody despite the incredible number of goodies who have rallied to the bolshevik cause.
The plus side is a series of crowd scenes that look forward to Alexander Nevsky, and the real-time slow burn of the wait before storming the Winter Palace.
The picture quality is excellent.
Worth seeing, if you like Eisenstein, but is it worth buying?
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