Battleship Potemkin (1925)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 15 mins

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A dramatized account of a great Russian naval mutiny and a resulting street demonstration which brought on a police massacre.
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Did you know? The film censorship boards of several countries felt this movie would spread communism. France imposed a ban after a brief run in 1925; it lifted it in 1953 after Stalin's death. The UK banned it until 1954. Read More
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as Grigory Vakulinchuk
as Commander Golikov
as Wounded Boy
as Petty Officer
Supporting Actor
as Woman With Baby Carriage
as Sailor
as Young Sailor Flogged While Sleeping
as Militant Sailor
as Woman With Pince-nez
as Odessa Citizen


Assistant Director


Production Company

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography
Film Type:
Spoken Languages:
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
During the Odessa Steps sequence as the mother walks with her son towards the oncoming troops, a long shot shows as she approaches, the soldiers halt one flight of stairs above the one she is on. In the next shot, however, the soldiers are marching down another flight of stairs as if they are going to walk right past her. Then in the next scene they have stopped again and are on the same flight of stairs as if they hadn't moved at all.

In the firing squad scene, just before the mutiny, the ship's priest taps a crucifix upon his right hand, holding it in his left. As the shot cuts to a close-up of the cross, it instantly switches hands.

Revealing Mistakes
Vakulinchuk is breathing slightly as his body lies in state.
The flag seen flying on the ship after the crew had mutinied was white, which is the color of the tsars, but this was done so that it could be hand painted red on the celluloid, which is the color of communism. Since this is a black and white film, if the flag had been red, it would have shown up black in the film.

The ship that stands for battleship Potemkin, the Twelve Apostles,was beached in order to mark a sand bank, so the stern was deep into the rocks. That is the reason why, throughout the film, there are no panoramic shots of the ship, and the stern is never visible.

Charles Chaplin said it was his favorite movie.

The battleship used during the filming was not the "Knyaz Potyomkin-Tavricheskiy", but an older battleship called "Dvenadstat Apostolov" (The Twelve Apostles), as the original battleship 'Potyomkin' had been broken up in 1922.

Battleship "Dvenadtsat Apostolov", that played a part of "Potemkin", was in fact removed from active service in 1911 and served as a mine hulk until mid-1920s, when the film was made. Despite the fact that she was from a similar period (1892) and of similar size, she had to be heavily modified externally, first of all by addition of dummy gun turrets.

Konstantin Feldman, who played the part of the "student agitator" in the film was actually a Menshevik activist in Odessa at the time of the mutiny and was present on the ship during the latter part of the mutiny. He died in the Stalinist purges of the 1930s. (N. Bascom, "Red Mutiny" p.294 - although Bascom says Feldmann played a sailor.)

The actual battleship Potemkin was laid down in the Nikolaev, Ukraine, shipyard in 1898, launched in 1900 and commissioned in 1903. After sailing unharmed through the Tzarist Black Sea Fleet as depicted in the movie, it sailed to Constanta, Romania, where many of the mutinous crew remained. The Romanian government returned the Potemkin to Russia soon after.

The film was rejected for a UK cinema certificate in 1926 by the BBFC following fears of working class insurrection, and remained banned until January 1954 when it was finally released with an X certificate.

The film censorship boards of several countries felt this movie would spread communism. France imposed a ban after a brief run in 1925; it lifted it in 1953 after Stalin's death. The UK banned it until 1954.

Cinematographer Eduard Tisse who shot the famous Odessa steps massacre sequence ironically used this location again the same year for a comic finale in Jewish Luck (1925) by director Solomon Mikhoels