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Battleship Potemkin (The Special Edition)


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Product Details

  • Directors: Sergei Eisenstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English, Russian
  • Dubbed: Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000V7HFL4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,363 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Battleship Potemkin (The Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For eight decades, Sergei Eisenstein s 1925 masterpiece has remained the most influential silent film of all time. Yet each successive generation has seen BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN subjected to censorship and recutting, its unforgettable power diluted in unauthorized public domain editions from dubious sources. Until now. Kino is proud to join the Deutsche Kinematek in association with Russia s Goskinofilm, the British Film Institute, Bundesfilm Archive Berlin, and the Munich Film Museum in presenting this all new HD Transfered restoration of BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN. Dozens of missing shots have been replaced, and all 146 title cards restored to Eisenstein s specifications. Edmund Meisel s definitive 1926 score, magnificently rendered by the 55-piece Deutches Filmorchestra in 5.1 Stereo Surround, returns Eisenstein s masterwork to a form as close to its creator s bold vision as has been seen since the film s triumphant 1925 Moscow premiere. Odessa 1905. Enraged with the deplorable conditions on board the armored cruiser Potemkin, the ship s loyal crew contemplates the unthinkable mutiny. Seizing control of the Potemkin and raising the red flag of revolution, the sailors revolt becomes the rallying point for a Russian populace ground under the boot heels of the Czar s Cossacks. When ruthless White Russian cavalry arrives to crush the rebellion on the sandstone Odessa Steps, the most famous and most quoted film sequence in cinema history is born.

Additional Features

An extraordinary accomplishment, Kino International’s restoration of Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 masterpiece Battleship Potemkin has made the film more glorious than ever. Working with the Deutsche Kinematek, British Film Institute, Bundesfilm Archive Berlin, and the Munich Film Museum, Kino’s effort was to return Battleship Potemkin as closely as possible to Eisenstein’s original cut, as originally seen by Moscow audiences during its world premiere run. What happened after that, according to the German restoration team extensively interviewed in an engrossing documentary ("Tracing Battleship Potemkin") on one of the two discs in this set, was that the film’s very negative was re-cut by German censors and others. (It’s likely, the team says, that Eisenstein himself secretly supervised the German cut to accommodate demands while also keeping personal control over the film’s dramatic flow. What this means is that Eisenstein probably ended up with two authentic versions of Battleship Potemkin.)

"Tracing Battleship Potemkin" goes on to detail the extensive number of shots long lost from constant authorized and unauthorized re-cuts in the last 80 years, and how many of those shots have been returned. Indeed, the film is all the more powerful and lyrical with a number of key scenes (especially the famed "Odessa steps" sequence) filled out and shaded with emotional nuance. But there’s more: a glimpse at numerous stills from shots that Eisenstein himself left out of the first cut (these have not been reintroduced in the film itself), two versions of the film with English and original Russian intertitles (with English subtitles), and the original, monumental score by Edmund Meisel (composed for the German version) make this Battleship Potemkin a brilliant experience. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

The Battleship Potemkin is a very emotive film.
Lesley_Redd
To describe POTEMKIN as a great film is something of an understatement.
Gary F. Taylor
One of the greatest silent films, I've ever seen.
Peter Andronas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Paulo Leite on September 14, 2007
Format: DVD
The Battleship Potemkin uprising happened in June, 1905, when the ship's crew rebelled against their oppressive officers. It is usually regarded as one of the first leading events to the 1917 Russian Revolution.

This legendary film was produced in 1925 by Mosfilm, at the height of the silent cinema period and is, perhaps, the most famous example of the Soviet school of editing whose style and theories are deeply influential even today!

The film is divided in five episodes: "Men and Maggots" (showing the sailors revolting when forced to eat rotten meat), "Drama at the Harbor" (which shows the revolt being smashed and its leader killed), "A Dead Man Calls for Justice" (showing the people of Odessa crying the loss of the revolt's leader), "The Odessa Staircase" (showing the Army marching over the people - and killing them) and the final episode: "Rendez-Vous with the Squadron" which closes the film.

Now, the problem with BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN is that, being regarded as a masterpiece (like METROPOLIS, BIRTH OF A NATION, PANDORA'S BOX, INTOLERANCE and CABIRIA), it is also a work with a high degree of political content (like TRIUMPH OF THE WILL) and, like many of those films, it has been censored, cut, re-cut several times... until virtually none of the several circulating versions of it (most in public domain and lousy shape) meets the version made by Eisenstein.

Kino joined forces with the Deutsche Kinematek, the Russia's Goskinofilm, the British Film Institute, Bundesfilm Archive Berlin, and the Munich Film Museum in order to present this all new restoration. Shots have been replaced, and all 146 title cards restored to Eisenstein's specifications.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jordan M. Poss VINE VOICE on November 18, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Several years ago I bought Battleship Potemkin on DVD and was severely disappointed. In my review of the old edition, I hoped that Kino Video or Criterion would restore the film and release a DVD that would do justice to Eisenstein's brilliant propaganda piece. Kino has stepped up to the challenge and done a remarkable job.

Picture: The picture quality is a vast improvement. Previous releases were blurry, low-resolution, and generally covered with dirt and scratches. The picture on Kino's release is crystal-clear, looking better than ever.

Sound: I suppose I should say "music," but regardless, this is another vast improvement. The previous DVD release I mentioned replaced the original Edmund Meisel score with a tinny monstrosity by Shostakovich. Meisel's music has been rerecorded in beautiful stereo and re-synched to the film.

Special features: A making-of documentary covering the film and its restoration, as well as a photo gallery are both good and definitely interesting, but the major selling point on this DVD is the restored image and music.

Overall, I can say little more than that this is an outstanding treatment of a truly great film. If you've been disappointed in previous DVD releases of Potemkin or have been waiting for a good one, this is it.

Highly recommended.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 20, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Based on actual events of 1905, silent film THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN concerns an Imperial Russian ship on which abominable conditions lead to a mutiny. Shocked by conditions on the ship, citizens of the port city Odessa rally to the mutineers' support--and in consequence find themselves at the mercy of Imperial forces, who attack the civilian supporters with savage force.
POTEMKIN is a film in which individual characters are much less important than the groups and crowds of which they are members, and it achieves its incredible power by showing the clash of the groups and crowds in a series of extraordinarily visualized and edited sequences. Amazingly, each of these sequences manage to top the previous one, and the film actually builds in power as it moves from the mutiny to the citizen's rally to the massacre on the Odessa steps--the latter of which is among the most famous sequences in all of film history. Filming largely where the real events actually occurred, director Eisenstein's vision is extraordinary as he builds--not only from sequence to sequence but from moment to moment within each sequence--some of the most memorable images ever committed to film.
To describe POTEMKIN as a great film is something of an understatement. It is an absolute essential, an absolute necessity to any one seriously interested in cinema as an art form, purely visual cinema at its most brilliant, often imitated, seldom equaled, never bested.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By watchit on March 21, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Note that the Republic Home Video edition of "Battleship Potemkin" (originally released on laserdisc in 1991) is of a version that censors the Odessa Steps sequence, specifically a second shot of the little boy being trampled on the stairs and the iconographic image of the bespectacled woman having her face hacked by a Cossak's sword. Speaking of hacked, Republic also released a version of "Birth of a Nation" (from the Killiam collection) 30 minutes shorter than the running time it listes on the jacket. Be advised.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By N. Chevalier on October 12, 2006
Format: DVD
*Potemkin* is one of those landmark films that may be more admired than loved. Nevertheless , it's worth seeing for the Odessa Steps sequence, for the brilliance of Eisenstein's montages and his orchestration of events. Personally, I prefer his sound films (*Nevsky* and *Ivan the Terrible*), but *Potemkin* is a must-see by anyone who wants to understand cinema.

That being said, this particular DVD is a transfer from a video version, and it shows. The version here is actually the 1976 Soviet "restoration," which seems cobbled together from several different versions. The title cards switch between English-only and Russian with English subtitles; sometimes the shots are clear, sometimes they're grainy and scratched. The projection speed, as often happens in video transfers, is wrong, and often inconsistent. Worst of all, the classic shot of the ship hoisting a red flag at the end lacks the colour tinting--thus eliminating one of the key images of the film's climax. As a version, overall, it's not bad, but I have heard that there is a 2004 restoration that presumably treats this film the way other classic silents have been treated (see, for example, the excellent Kino Video versions of DW Griffith films, or the restored *Metropolis* for an idea of what these films really can look like); I would save my money and wait for one of those versions to appear.
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Look before you leap...
Did you actually SEE the second disc of the set? THEY DO GIVE YOU THE ORIGINAL EDITION! The second disc is the original Russian version. Get your facts straight. (I know this is nearly 2 years late, but it doesn't matter...)
Nov 2, 2009 by Franco Ferrer |  See all 2 posts
Inaccessible documentary Be the first to reply
Why does this list Grigori Aleksandrov as director? Be the first to reply
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