Lenin in 1918 (Lenin v 1918 godu) (1939)




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Lenin in 1918 was the sequel to Mikhail Romm's phenomenally successful (in Russia at any rate) Lenin in October (1937). With the Revolution behind him, visionary leader Vladimir Lenin (Boris V. Shchukin) tries to deal with his political foes within the Bolshevik ranks. When diplomacy fails, Lenin makes his proverbial omelet by breaking a few proverbial eggs. In retaliation, his White Russian foes cook up an assassination scheme, with drug-besotted Fanny Kaplan (N. E. Efron) as their instrument of destruction. Though seriously wounded, Lenin recovers, leading his armies to victory and assuming full control of the USSR. Not surprisingly, Lenin is presented as a patient, all-knowing fount of benevolence, as is his second-in-command Josef Stalin (M. G. Gelovani). Saving Lenin in 1918 from being a propagandistic wallow is the sure-handed direction of Mikhail Romm, whose consummate skill at bringing history to life was widely admired and envied in the Soviet film industry. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


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