Battleship Potemkin Reviews

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April 27, 2015
Hands down one of the greatest films ever made. A true masterpiece.
October 2, 2009
An adequate propaganda film with one great scene (the Odessa steps), that actually occurred several years prior to the Potemkin incident. Trendsetting in how movies were (and are) made, but not a great movie by today's standards.
March 28, 2015
I'm not going to lie, I did not enjoy this. I appreciate the importance of the film and the enormous steps it took for early cinema but wow, I was so excited for it to be over. Obviously the context of the film is incredibly important, and it is vital to note that this is a propaganda film. That being said, there aren't really characters. It's like there were just two: the people and the soldiers. The stair scene is just as legendary as it is hailed to be. Halfway through it I noticed my jaw was dropped open as much as possible. I've been watching early films lately and I must say that the violence is shocking. It's not especially graphic or even realistically performed, but the reasons they have to start fighting and the quickness of it was jarring. These soldiers just gunning down civilians was incredibly disturbing and I can't believe that that is a thing that happened, and continues to happen. There were a lot of creative angles and techniques used, absolutely. Just the way the story was told left me guessing a lot. Wasn't a lot of build-up to action, it was just suddenly inaction to action- and since I didn't know what was going on all the time, it was really confusing. Just not a format I'm used to, but I'm working on it.

There were so many points where I was like "okay, I GET IT" like so many repetitive shots and close-ups held for far too long. There were a lot of shots that should have been cut shorter because it would continue on even after the characters were mostly out of frame. There was one scene where two people walk away and the scene keeps going until all we can see is their ankles and I was like, "ok, what do these ankles symbolize" Just kidding, haha, I mean I can't knock this film too much because it's truly an important part of the foundation of modern cinema, and these guys were out there with nothing but ideas and some film equipment. They didn't have film schools, they didn't have movies to watch and study, they didn't have books about filmmaking. I do appreciate this movie's contribution to film but I did not have a good time watching this film. The story didn't do it for me and the shooting style was extremely frustrating to watch. The stair scene is worth a viewing, but I don't intend to watch this again. Not sure why any government would endorse/pay for this, but I'll never pretend to understand Russia.

Did I enjoy it? No
Do I ever want to see it again? No
Do I ever want to include it in my own collection? No

6/10
Bye love you
-Jessie Carlson
½ March 1, 2015
Everything would be great unless it's comiunism propaganda.
December 26, 2014
A True Russian masterpiece.
September 25, 2014
A riveting example of energized and intense film editing. This is a great example of how an entire story can be told with powerful images and creative editing in place of pointless or obvious dialogue that reiterates what is already being shown. The tension of the final scene of the Potemkin plowing through the waters towards its supposed doom at the hands of the admiral's squadron is masterful to say the least.
Super Reviewer
½ April 5, 2009
Loses pace after the Odessa Steps sequence, but up to then it's marvellous.
½ February 12, 2012
As the blurb states, this is a technical masterpiece. Still to this day I am floored by the scene of the baby carriage rolling down the stairs. This film is a marvel.
August 8, 2014
To call Battleship Potemkin the greatest propaganda film of all time may not be the highest of praise, but the impact of the editing techniques pioneered by Eisenstein in this film have been felt since its release. Using technical achievements to invoke emotional response is perhaps the greatest tool that cinema can employ and it began here with Battleship Potemkin. This is the world's first film; all that came before were simply movies.
½ August 6, 2014
Eisenstein understands the way the human eye and brain work so well that this film could be shown to anyone at any point in history and they would likely connect with it on a subliminal level, even without any context or shared language to fall back on.
July 15, 2014
Nearly 90 years later, Sergei M. Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin" is still a Masterpiece of Cinema!
June 28, 2014
Very good movie. Very sad and realistic for an old fashioned silent film. It was brilliantly made and ahead of it's time. I couldn't think of one thing wrong with the film.
½ December 17, 2012
Though visually engaging, it is too vague in terms of storytelling and sequence. Some of the scenes does not make sense for me in terms of a comprehensive and solid plot.
May 13, 2014
During the opening scenes I couldn't understand what the all the fuss was about. Not so amazing villainous ship captains surrounded by unmemorable characters. I couldn't see why everyone lauded this as a masterpiece. Then I saw the Odessa Step sequence. Boy was I wrong. That sequence alone warrants the watching of this movie. While other scenes have aged badly the Odessa Steps remains as exciting as it was in 1925 and does not rely on quaint charm to be enjoyed. The sequence is jarring, remarkable for a film made in 1925. The brutality and violence during this scene shown in a wonderful montage can still move and shock modern audiences that have become accustomed to violence in modern cinema. You hold your breath and don't exhale till the onslaught by Czar's soldiers is over.
May 9, 2014
"There is an uprising!"

Battleship Potemkin is one of the true masterpieces from the silent film era thanks to the innovative editing techniques used by director Sergei Eisenstein. He took the basic principles of continuous editing that D.W. Griffith had used a decade earlier and revolutionized film with his now famous montages. Battleship Potemkin has brilliant montages and by combining these different shots together an entire new meaning emerges. This is one of those rare silent films that not only can be appreciated for the important role it played in the revolution of cinema, but it also happens to be very entertaining on its own. The action scenes were beautifully shot and edited together to stir an even greater emotional impact. Of course, the film isn't without its flaws because being the political film it is (Communist propaganda), its leftist message is heavy handed. The sailors and workers are presented as the saints, while the tsarists are demonized. No matter if you agree or not with the message of the film, there is no denying that this movie is worth watching thanks to Eisenstein's technical achievements and some iconic scenes that continue to influence the way we view cinema today.

The screenplay commemorating the uprising of 1905 in Russia was written by Nina Agadzhanova. The story focuses on the crew of the Battleship Potemkin who were being treated poorly by their commanders. One of the sailors, Vokulinchuk (Alexander Antonov), decides it's time for them to stand up like the rest of the nation has against this oppressive government. The next day, the crew refuses to eat the rotten meat served for them and begin a protest which leads to a violent riot. The sailors try to ignite the revolution by raising a red flag near their home port, but when Vokulinchuk is violently killed the people of Odessa become outraged. Things get out of control for the Tsar regime who violently kill hundreds of innocent people on the Odessa Steps, which only ignites more indignation from the rest of the protestors. They have reached a point of no return and there is no stopping the revolution now.

The climactic and most memorable action scene takes place during the middle of the film in the Odessa Steps where Eisenstein brilliantly uses rhythmic editing to build the suspense. This scene has become iconic and many directors have payed homage to it. These montages were a perfect fit for propagandistic purposes because they stirred powerful emotions and could easily manipulate the audience. That is why some directors prefer using long takes instead of montages, but there is no denying that Eisenstein's visionary way of directing has influenced cinema today. I appreciated this film very much, but I also enjoyed it and was entertained throughout its short running time. There are also some beautiful shots in Potemkin so a lot of credit has to be given to cinematographer Eduard Tisse. This is a must see film for all the technical achievements involved, and you will be surprised at how well Eisenstein put together those scenes to leave audiences at the edge of their seats.
May 9, 2014
"There is an uprising!"

Battleship Potemkin is one of the true masterpieces from the silent film era thanks to the innovative editing techniques used by director Sergei Eisenstein. He took the basic principles of continuous editing that D.W. Griffith had used a decade earlier and revolutionized film with his now famous montages. Battleship Potemkin has brilliant montages and by combining these different shots together an entire new meaning emerges. This is one of those rare silent films that not only can be appreciated for the important role it played in the revolution of cinema, but it also happens to be very entertaining on its own. The action scenes were beautifully shot and edited together to stir an even greater emotional impact. Of course, the film isn't without its flaws because being the political film it is (Communist propaganda), its leftist message is heavy handed. The sailors and workers are presented as the saints, while the tsarists are demonized. No matter if you agree or not with the message of the film, there is no denying that this movie is worth watching thanks to Eisenstein's technical achievements and some iconic scenes that continue to influence the way we view cinema today.

The screenplay commemorating the uprising of 1905 in Russia was written by Nina Agadzhanova. The story focuses on the crew of the Battleship Potemkin who were being treated poorly by their commanders. One of the sailors, Vokulinchuk (Alexander Antonov), decides it's time for them to stand up like the rest of the nation has against this oppressive government. The next day, the crew refuses to eat the rotten meat served for them and begin a protest which leads to a violent riot. The sailors try to ignite the revolution by raising a red flag near their home port, but when Vokulinchuk is violently killed the people of Odessa become outraged. Things get out of control for the Tsar regime who violently kill hundreds of innocent people on the Odessa Steps, which only ignites more indignation from the rest of the protestors. They have reached a point of no return and there is no stopping the revolution now.

The climactic and most memorable action scene takes place during the middle of the film in the Odessa Steps where Eisenstein brilliantly uses rhythmic editing to build the suspense. This scene has become iconic and many directors have payed homage to it. These montages were a perfect fit for propagandistic purposes because they stirred powerful emotions and could easily manipulate the audience. That is why some directors prefer using long takes instead of montages, but there is no denying that Eisenstein's visionary way of directing has influenced cinema today. I appreciated this film very much, but I also enjoyed it and was entertained throughout its short running time. There are also some beautiful shots in Potemkin so a lot of credit has to be given to cinematographer Eduard Tisse. This is a must see film for all the technical achievements involved, and you will be surprised at how well Eisenstein put together those scenes to leave audiences at the edge of their seats.
May 4, 2014
It's structure, it's symbolism, Eisenstein's influential and astonishing aestheticism, the baby carriage on the steps. Battleship Potemkin is one of the medium's crowning achievements and along with D.W Griffith's Birth of a Nation, is one of the propagandist movies of cinema's early days with questionable ideologies but film-making which invented new cinematic forms and rhythms still prevalent in movies today.
March 29, 2014
Directed by Sergei Eisenstein (October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1928), The General Line (1929) and Ivan The Terrible (1944-46)), this silent war film was based on true events that occured in 1905. It is a hard film to watch, but you can see what films it went on to influence and why film critics swear by this film, but that's made it feel less special than it is. The film is told in 5 episodes, 'Men and Maggots', where the crew of the Battleship Potemkin live in squalid conditions and are given rancid food, 'Drama on Deck' shows the crew having lost patience with the conditions, and leading a mutiny against their leader Grigory Vakulinchuk (Aleksandr Antonov). In 'A Dead Man Calls for Justice', the people of Odessa mourn over the death of Vakulinchuk, then in 'The Odessa Staircase', Tsarist soldiers turn on the people of Odessa, causing a bloody massacre. Then in 'The Rendez-Vous with the Squadron', another battleship is sent to intercept the Potemkin, only for both ships to join together in mutiny. The film requires a knowledge of what was going on in Russia at the time, it looks good but it's heavy going and it's not one you can watch again in a hurry. It was banned for nearly 30 years in the UK for "inflammatory subtitles and Bolshevist Propaganda, which just goes to show how paranoid people were against Communism back then.
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