In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
100.000.000 peasants - illiterate, poor, hungry. There comes a day when one woman decides that she can live old life no longer. Using ways of new Soviet state and industrial progress she changes life and labor of her village.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
It is the 13th century, and Russia is overrun by foreign invaders. A Russian knyaz', or prince, Alexander Nevsky, rallies the people to form a ragtag army to drive back an invasion by the Teutonic knights. This is a true story based on the actual battle at a lake near Novgorod.Written by
Gene Volovich <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joseph Stalin wanted this film to be a propaganda tool to warn Soviet citizens to be wary of German aggression. However, it was rejected at first due to it being "too anti-German", as it came out shortly before the Soviet-German non-aggression pact of 1939 was signed. In 1941, the peace was broken and Stalin reportedly demanded that it be shown in every Soviet movie theater as a rallying cry against the invasion. See more »
The cross displayed on the shields borne by the Teutonic knights is different in shape and colour to the actual one on their coat of arms. See more »
A new edition appeared on video in 1995 with the entire Prokofiev score newly recorded in hi-fi stereo, using the same 1938 orchestrations and perfectly synchronized to the original 1938 dialogue and sound effects tracks, so that it is now possible to see and hear the film exactly as it always was, with the exception being that the music is now heard in hi-fi sound, rather than the tinny 1938 recording. See more »
Like many of Eisenstein's other works, "Aleksandr Nevsky" is a beautifully made and well-written propaganda piece. Even today, it stands on its own with a solid story and incredible action scenes. No one did an epic battle better than Eisenstein ("October" and "Ivan the Terrible"), and the giant battle on the frozen lake in "Nevsky" ranks up there as one of his best.
Just as important to the film as Eisenstein's script and visuals is the masterful score by Prokofiev. Fortunately, it has been rerecorded for the most recent video release and the new soundtrack adds incalcuable depth and power to the story on the screen. In my opinion, the film's score is simply the best ever composed for a film. It fits the film perfectly, both during the film's intense action scenes and the lingering moments of reflection. If for no other reason, one should see this film to hear one of the 20th century's greatest composer's best works.
The story is true (well, as true as events from the 1200s can be accurately recreated) and simple, but powerful. Despite its heavy-handed Russian/Soviet patriotism, the film succeeds in telling a compelling story. When one looks at the events unfolding when the film was made, it becomes even more of a masterpiece.
No, "Nevsky" doesn't have the flashy visuals or super-handsome stars of a modern war epic, but it still ranks of one of the most interesting films in my book. For fans of Eisenstein or classic cinema, it is an absolute must-see. And for people who want to see the Soviet propaganda machine firing on all cylinders, check it out as well.
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