October (Ten Days that Shook the World)

Directed by Sergei Eisenstein, Grigoriy Aleksandrov
Corinth Films
1927
95 Minutes
Russia
Russian
Classics, Drama
Not Rated
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Officially produced to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Russian Revolution, October quickly became another of Sergei Eisenstein's experiments in film form. As in his masterpiece, Battleship Potemkin, Eisenstein used explosive montage to create the spirit of revolution - in this case, the events in St. Petersburg during the months leading up to the Bolshevik revolt. Eisenstein's insistence on speaking the language of pure film (deploying space, shadow, movement, and rhythm to create his meaning) shoves his mad rush of images straight into the viewer's eye. A worker's rebellion in the streets, followed by the raising of bridges to isolate their neighborhood, becomes a visual symphony of panic. The film has also been known as Ten Days That Shook the World, its release title in the U.S. (borrowed from the book by John Reed). Its value as propaganda can be debated, but October is incredibly dynamic as film art.

  • Highest Rating
    "This film is the work of a master, one of the few directors who have left an indelible stamp on the work of film producers all over the world."
    D.F. Taylor, Cinema Quarterly
  • Highest Rating
    "Ten Days That Shook the World is replete with magnificent scenes of mass movement, with amazingly observed characters (a gallery of types that can never be forgotten), and with extremely striking and beautiful camera shots."
    Alexander Bakshy, The Nation
  • Highest Rating
    "Still essential viewing for any student of the cinema...."
    Roger Moore, Movie Nation
  • Highest Rating
    "No book, picture or play could have given a more realistic impression of those days of bloodshed and horror: one was literally exhausted by the emotions experienced in watching it, for there was no light relief and the realism was relentlessly sustained."
    Celia Simpson, The Spectator
  • Highest Rating
    "Restless, excited, [and] crackling with venom...."
    Graham Greene, The Spectator

Awards & Recognition

Winner
Top Foreign Film
National Board of Review
Winner
Humanitarian Award
Faro Island Film Festival
Official Selection
Berlin Int'l. Film Festival

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