Battleship Potemkin - complete Odessa steps sequence

This week marked the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, in hindsight arguably the most important event in 20th century world history. There have been many great films about the Revolution or using the Revolution as its backdrop, but the three that stand out are two by Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin, October: Ten Days that Shook the World) and David Lean's Doctor Zhivago. Cecile B. Demille did The Volga Boatman in 1926, and if you can find it it's worth a look (I had to Google it to get a year, and the brief Google recap notes that Demille called it his 'greatest cinematic achievement' which is both saying something and was presumably said before the 1930s hit) - I haven't watched the film in at least 20 years but I do remember enjoying it when I saw it).

Battleship Potemkin, aside from being among the greatest films ever made, is among the most critical to the early development of modern film grammar. The scene at the Odessa steps has been referenced in other films numerous times (The Untouchables is probably the most popular of the references), and while the baby carriage going down the steps is what jumps out, Eisenstein's construction and editing of the entire 11 minutes is, to the novice film buff, the end of the quantum leap that was begun by D.W. Griffith in Birth of a Nation and Intolerance. I've posted the entire 11-minute scene, but if you wan to get to the "good stuff" skip ahead to 4:30:



Creede Kurtz

I write about the movies I see and a few other things.
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