October / Ten Days That Shook the World (1927)

October / Ten Days That Shook the World (1927)

“Bread — peace — land — brotherhood!”

Synopsis:
After the February Revolution and the establishment of a Provisional Government helmed by Alexander Kerensky (Nikolay Popov), Lenin (Vasili Nikandrov) leads a group of Bolshevik revolutionaries in storming the Winter Palace during October of 1917.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Revolutionaries
  • Russian Films
  • Sergei Eisenstein Films
  • Silent Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
In his review of Sergei Eisenstein’s “visually dynamic version of Russia’s October Revolution of 1917” — the 67 minute cut, about half-an-hour shorter than the restored version now in circulation — Peary refers to the film as “a great propaganda piece,” with interim ruler “Kerensky portrayed as a power-hungry neurotic who is no different from Napoleon or Czar Nicholas”:


… and “the bourgeoisie who thrive under Kerensky [shown as] decadent types… who treat the Bolsheviks contemptuously and… brutally”:

Peary points out that the “film has several amazing sequences,” including “a dead horse (symbol of the Russian laborer)… lifted high into the air by the rising drawbridge it’s roped to”:

… and “the lengthy, exciting storming of the Winter Palace by the Bolsheviks”:

However, he notes that the film is “most known for Eisenstein’s startling use of montage to create rhythm, build tension, and express ideas.”

Indeed, those interested in Soviet-era cinematic montage won’t want to miss this classic outing by a master of the craft — though it’s not must-see viewing for all film fanatics.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Powerful imagery, cinematography, and montage

Must See?
No, though it’s certainly worth a look for its historical relevance.

Links:

One thought on “October / Ten Days That Shook the World (1927)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see – and in agreement with the assessment given, but this is a particularly significant film in Soviet cinema history (and a generally exciting one to watch) and it’s recommended for one-time viewing (whether you have an interest in early Soviet cinema or not).

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