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Battleship Potemkin PG rating

A fixture in the critical canon almost since its premiere, Eisenstein’s film about a 1905 naval mutiny was revolutionary in both form and content.

Historical drama 1925 69 mins Silent

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein


In essence, it tells a five-part story of a naval mutiny leading to full-blown revolution, but while this material could be crudely propagandist in other hands, Eisenstein uses images of such dynamic compositional strength and editing of such frame-perfect precision that it’s hard not to be swept along, regardless of personal politics.

The cinematography by Edward Tissé – who shot all of Eisenstein’s films – is strikingly effective, whether stressing the solidarity of the sailors in group shots or emphasising the suffering of individuals, as in the memorable close-ups of the renowned Odessa Steps sequence. Ranked joint 54th in the 2022 Sight and Sound Great Films of All Time poll.