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Battleship Potemkin [1925] [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barsky, Grigori Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov, Mikhail Gomorov
  • Directors: Sergei M. Eisenstein
  • Writers: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Nikolai Aseyev, Nina Agadzhanova, Sergei Tretyakov
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka
  • DVD Release Date: 17 April 2000
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004SGIS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,143 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The masterpiece of Russian silent film pioneer Sergei Eisenstein is a dramatised account of the naval mutiny and street riots at the sea port of Odessa that sparked off the 1905 Russian Revolution. When the crew of the Potemkin protests after being given rotten meat as rations, the captain responds by ordering the execution of the dissidents. Outrage at this injustice quickly ignites and the townspeople have soon surrounded the harbour in a mass demonstration - but the scene gives way to tragedy and brutality as the authorities move in to quell the uprising. Made to mark the 20th anniversary of the revolution, the film boasts inventive, rapid-cutting camera work (it contains no fewer than 1,300 separate shots) and one of the most famous sequences in the history of film: the massacre on the Odessa Steps.


Sergei Eisenstein's revolutionary sophomore feature has so long stood as a textbook example of montage editing that many have forgotten what an invigoratingly cinematic experience he created. A 20th-anniversary tribute to the 1905 revolution, Eisenstein portrays the revolt in microcosm with a dramatisation of the real-life mutiny aboard the battleship Potemkin. The story tells a familiar party-line message of the oppressed working class (in this case the enlisted sailors) banding together to overthrow their oppressors (the ship's officers), led by proto-revolutionary Vakulinchuk. When he dies in the shipboard struggle the crew lays his body to rest on the pier, a moody, moving scene where the citizens of Odessa slowly emerge from the fog to pay their respects. As the crowd grows Eisenstein turns the tenor from mourning a fallen comrade to celebrating the collective achievement. The government responds by sending soldiers and ships to deal with the mutinous crew and the supportive townspeople, which climaxes in the justly famous (and often imitated and parodied) Odessa Steps massacre. Eisenstein edits carefully orchestrated motions within the frame to create broad swaths of movement, shots of varying length to build the rhythm, close-ups for perspective and shock effect, and symbolic imagery for commentary, all to create one of the most cinematically exciting sequences in film history. Eisenstein's film is Marxist propaganda to be sure but the power of this masterpiece lies not in its preaching but its poetry. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: VHS Tape
Eisenstein's masterpiece film chronicles (partly fictitiously) the Russian naval mutiny at Odessa during the 1905 revolution. The memorable and acclaimed scene of the bloodshed on the Odessa Steps remains powerful to this very day, and many subsequent movies of varied content have paid homage to it. It is therefore ironic that this is the one notable event included within the film that never actually occurred, but it is the sequence which most vividly exposes the babarity of the Czarist authorities and also best illustrates the montage technique of film editing pioneered by Eisentstein and so influential upon the film-makers of both Europe and Hollywood.
In deference to its origins (a commission from the Russian revolutionary leadership to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the 1905 Revolution), the film is unashamedly pure propaganda, but loses none of its cinematographic impact as a result. Indeed, the powerful imagery and effectiveness of its key sequences were so strong as to lead to its banning in many parts of the western world for many years (including Britain, the United States and France) and, indeed, in Russia, where there was a great fear that it may incite rebellion against Stalin's regime which history has come to show was every bit as inhumane and repressive as the imperial Czarist rule which the film condemns.
For a long time, the picture was regarded by the luminaries of the world film industry as the greatest film ever made, more latterly surpassed by Orson Welles' Citizen Kane whose own original masterpiece is nevertheless clearly inspired by the techniques pioneered by Eisenstein in Battleship Potemkin.
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Format: DVD
Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein was one of the finest craftsmen ever to direct motion pictures. His film "Battleship Potempkin," released in 1925, is a classic and was long considered by many to be the finest film ever made. A pioneer in the use of editing, Eisenstein believed that film editing was more than a method used to link scenes together in a movie. He worked with juxtaposing images, in rhythmic succession, to create powerful feelings in the viewers. Eisenstein felt that careful editing could actually be used to manipulate the emotions of the audience.
This, his second movie, portrays the sailors' mutiny on board the Battleship Potemkin. The ship is returning from war with Japan via the Black Sea. Sailors become disgruntled and restive with the terrible treatment they receive from commanding officers, and the horrendous living conditions onboard. Their complaints are ignored. The last straw comes when the hungry men are fed inedible meat, crawling with maggots. They rise up, and take command of the Potempkin. When they arrive at the port town of Odessa, the people sympathize with the sailors' plight, and subsequently pay a terrible price for their support. In one moving scene, the ship's captain becomes enraged when the men refuse to eat the spoiled food. He orders the rebels shot. Grigory Vakulinchuk, a leader of the insurrection appeals to his comrades, "Brothers! Who are you shooting at?" He convinces the armed soldiers to join in the uprising. Propaganda or no, it's an extraordinarily moving scene.
The film is structured around five episodes, seamed together almost effortlessly: (1) Men and Maggots; (2) Drama on the Quarterdeck; (3) An Appeal from the Dead; (4) The Odessa Steps; and, (5) Meeting the Squadron.
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Format: VHS Tape
Few people who have seen Battleship Potemkin remember that it is in black and white ("But I could see the blood on the steps") or silent ("The shouting crowd, the gunshots"). This is testament to the film's power. Made in 1925 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1905 revolution, this film is, on the face of it, a standard propaganda film. So motivating, it was used on a Soviet ship to motivate an anti-establishment mutiny in the dying days of the Soviet Union. However, like so much of Eisenstein's work it is multi-layered. Yes, the sailors are victorious, but the citizens of Odessa are massacred and we know that the revolution ultimately failed. There is an overwhelming feeling of sadness and futility as we watch the ship sail off victorious into the sunset - Stalin disapproved of it for this reason. Overall, a film everyone should see, not just because it's so much an icon of the Communist era in the Soviet Union, but because it's so well-done, so gripping, so expressive and so memorable in its own right.
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Format: DVD
"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 begun". Lenin said that in 1905, and the quotation appears on the screen as soon as you begin watching this film. It gives you an excellent idea of what "Battleship Potemkin" is about, that is Soviet propaganda.
All the same, this film is a classic that should be watched, in order to understand why it is considered as such. In my opinion, the reasons are many:
a) To start with, the story of a naval mutiny sparked by rotten food is an interesting one, and it is told in a way that makes the spectator think that that event is happening right before him, even though the film is in black and white, and has no sound.
b) Secondly, the sequences regarding the Odessa massacre are impossible to forget, and some scenes are simply gems of great emotional impact and a profound shocking value.
c) Finally, and from a technical point of view, the ability of Sergei M. Eisenstein to produce such a film in 1925 is something noteworthy, as is his edition technic, and the way in which he uses symbols to impress upon the spectator what he wants to say.
All in all, I think that even though watching this film isn't likely to be something you will do often for fun, it is something you should do at least once. Recommended!
Belen Alcat
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