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The Battleship Potemkin

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Overview

After the success of Strike 1924, Sergei Eisenstein was commissioned by the Soviet government to make a film commemorating the uprising of 1905. Eisenstein's scenario, boiled down from what was to have been a multipart epic of the occasion, focussed on the crew of the battleship Potemkin. Fed up with the extreme cruelties of their officers and their maggot-ridden meat rations, the sailors stage a violent mutiny. This, in turn, sparks an abortive citizens' revolt against the Czarist regime. The film's centerpiece ...
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Blu-ray (Black & White)
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Overview

After the success of Strike 1924, Sergei Eisenstein was commissioned by the Soviet government to make a film commemorating the uprising of 1905. Eisenstein's scenario, boiled down from what was to have been a multipart epic of the occasion, focussed on the crew of the battleship Potemkin. Fed up with the extreme cruelties of their officers and their maggot-ridden meat rations, the sailors stage a violent mutiny. This, in turn, sparks an abortive citizens' revolt against the Czarist regime. The film's centerpiece is staged on the Odessa Steps, where the Czar's Cossacks methodically shoot down rioters and innocent bystanders alike. Known as "The Odessa Steps sequence," this is often considered the most famous scene ever filmed; it is certainly one of the most imitated, perhaps most overtly by Brian De Palma in The Untouchables 1987. This triumph of Eisenstein's "rhythmic editing" technique occurs in the middle of film, not as the climax, as more current film structure might do it. All the actors in the film were amateurs, selected by Eisenstein because of their "rightness" as types for their roles. Pictorial quality varies from print to print, but even in a duped-down version, Battleship Potemkin is must-see cinema.
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Special Features

"Tracing the Battleship Potomkin" a 42-minute docuemtnary on the making and restoration of the film; The restored film with newly-translated English intertitles; The restored film with original Russian intertitles (and optional English subtitles); The original 1926 Edmund Meisel score, performed by the Deutsches Filmorchestra, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio Audio 5.1; Photo galleries
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Selected to make a film commemorating the failed 1905 revolution against the czar, Soviet filmmaker, film teacher, and film theorist Sergei Eisenstein decided to concentrate on one exemplary event, the mutiny aboard the battleship Potemkin. Cast with non-actors and structured in five "acts" depicting the uprising and its violent aftermath, Potemkin maximized the dramatic impact of the historical incident by balancing documentary-style realism with Eisenstein's meticulous orchestration of visual composition and editing. Eisenstein used his concept of "intellectual montage" to create sensational and psychological effects, most effectively in the "Odessa Steps sequence" depicting the massacre of innocent citizens by czarist Cossacks. Expanding screen time to emphasize the event's terror, Eisenstein rapidly cut among soldiers' boots implacably advancing down the steps, crowds fleeing, such individual horrors as a mother confronting the soldiers with her dead child, and, most famously, a baby's carriage careening out of control. Using editing to create an impression of violence and carnage greater than anything actually shown onscreen, Eisenstein emphatically revealed the expressive potential of the 30-year-old medium. After its 1926 debut, Potemkin rapidly became world-renowned; even in countries where it was officially banned as Soviet propaganda, the power of Eisenstein's unprecedented cinematic creativity could not be denied. The Odessa Steps sequence has since become perhaps the single most famous and influential four minutes of film ever made.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/20/2010
  • UPC: 738329068127
  • Original Release: 1925
  • Source: Kino Video
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Time: 1:11:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 13,552

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alexander Antonov Vokulinchuk
Vladimir Barsky The Capt.
Grigory Alexandrov Senior Officer Gilyarousky
Mikhail Gomorov Sailor Motyushenko
Marusov Officer
I. Bobrov Recruit
Repnikova zhenshchina na lestnitse
Alexandr Levshin
Andrei Fayt
M. Brodsky Intellectual
Citizens of Odessa Themselves
Sergei Eisenstein Priest
A. Fait
Konstantin Feldman Student Feldman
A. Glauberman Abo
Korobei Legless Veteran
Levchenko Boatswain
Members of the Proletcult Theatre
N. Poltautseva School Teacher
Prokopenko Mother of Wounded Aba
Protopopov Old Man
Sailors of the Red Navy Themselves
Beatrice Vitoldi Mother With Baby Carriage
Zerenin Student
Technical Credits
Sergei Eisenstein Director, Editor
Edmund Meisel Score Composer
V. Popov Cinematographer
Vasili Rakhals Production Designer
Nina Agadzhanova Shutko Screenwriter
Eduard K. Tissé Cinematographer
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