Battleship Potemkin [Blu-ray]
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Odessa - 1905. Enraged with the deplorable conditions on board the armored cruiser Potemkin and raising the red flag of revolution, the sailors' revolt becomes the rallying point for a Russian populace ground under the boot hells 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.
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Ever since the premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1925, POTEMKIN has been subject to censorship in one form or another. Not only was the film cut but the original score by German composer Edmund Meisel was discarded after the film's initial run and this had a huge impact as we can now see and hear in this restoration. The images will always retain their power but they are doubly enhanced by Meisel's propulsive driving score which sounds like Shostakovich who was 19 at the time and must have been influenced by what he heard here. It's ironic that for the film's 50th anniversary (the version most readily available until now) the music of Shostakovich provided the background and the film was cut to fit the music. All of this is covered in the excellent documentary TRACING BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN that comes with this 2 DVD set.
As for the movie itself, it has never looked this good. Images are sharp and clear, the contrast of the black and white photography is excellent and the colorization of the raising of the red flag has been restored. Most important of all is the return of the edited material which changes the look and feel of certain scenes. The famous "Odessa Steps" sequence is longer, has different points of view, and is more violent than before. The recording of the original score is top notch and, as I said earlier, adds immeasureably to the total film experience. Overall this is a truly astonishing set and one no lover of film should be without.
My only complaint, and it's a minor one, is that I wish they had included the 1976 50th anniversary edition as the second disc (instead of the new version with Russian title cards) so that we could see the differences between the two and could note the changes made to bring BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN back to Eisenstein's vision.
Most recent customer reviews
The cinematography and shots utilized in this film is impressive for the time and inventive even for todays standards.Read more