The Battleship Potemkin Repeats the History of Cinema

         The Battleship Potemkin (1925) has been such a famous film for so long, it is really hard to forget and come into it with a fresh eye. Since it was such a big landmark in the history of cinema, the power of the film allowed it to once be banned in many countries, including its native Soviet Union. Many governments once believed that it could entice audiences to take action, due to the reality of the film. The famous massacre scene on the Odessa Steps has had homage paid from a number of different films, such as Brian De Palma’s (1987) The Untouchables.

         One of director Sergei Eisenstein’s main theories was that film is montage. Eisenstein (1898-1948) was a student and advocate of Soviet theories of film montage, which argued that film’s greatest impact is not the smooth flow of images, but the juxtapositions. Cutting between the fearful faces of the unarmed citizens and the faceless troops in uniform, he created an argument for the people against the czarist state. Many other cuts are as abrupt: After Potemkin’s captain threatens to hang mutineers from the yardarm, we see ghostly figures hanging there.

         There are so many elements that make this film as great as it is; for example: the gut-wrenching close-ups of a citizen getting shot in the eye through his glasses and the blood dripping down his face, the shot of a revolutionary citizen without legs and many other grotesque images that are as real as being there in person.

         De Palma recreated the Odessa Steps scene in the train station scene in The Untouchables. The scene in The Untouchables is a final shootout between Elliot Ness’s gang and Capone’s gang. There are a lady and her baby trying to escape from the train station and cannon do so because of the shootout. Her baby in the baby carriage gets away from her and is just about to roll down the long stairway. Capone’s goon grabs the mother and tries to use her as a threat; but Agent George Stone, played by Andy Garcia, tells Ness, played by Kevin Costner, that he has got a shot on the goon. When the time is right, Stone takes the shot and nails the goon in the head; and the carriage comes rolling down the stairway safely to Stone. There are several close-up shots of the wheel of the carriage as it is barely dangling off the edge of the first step. This is taken straight from the Odessa Steps scene, as a baby in a baby carriage is somehow lost and left alone amidst all the chaos and war in the streets.

         This just goes to prove that De Palma was paying homage to Eisenstein and proves how much an influence Potemkin has been throughout the history of cinema. Film has a way of repeating itself, just like history.

Derek Owen

Table of Contents
,CEGHOšБГСбгезкмџЦЮа   + ; = AIKegi§љљѕљѕљѕљѕљљљљѕљѕљѕљѕљ5\6]aJ%xyм5 Ÿ КИиPX`abcefgi§§јјј§ђэђђјјјјјхх§§јј§$dрa$d№„а`„а$a$iў 1hАа/ Ар=!А"А# $ %А i8@ёџ8 NormalCJ_HaJmH sH tH  A I M А Д h k џџHelen RoulstonOI:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\OwenHISTORY OF CINEMA-BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.docHelen RoulstonOI:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\OwenHISTORY OF CINEMA-BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.docHelen RoulstonOI:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\OwenHISTORY OF CINEMA-BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.docHelen RoulstonOI:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\OwenHISTORY OF CINEMA-BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.docHelen RoulstonOI:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\OwenHISTORY OF CINEMA-BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.docHelen RoulstonOI:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\OwenHISTORY OF CINEMA-BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.docHelen RoulstonOI:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\OwenHISTORY OF CINEMA-BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.docHelen RoulstonOI:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\OwenHISTORY OF CINEMA-BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.docHelen RoulstonOI:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\OwenHISTORY OF CINEMA-BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.docHelen Roulston-I:\Stuff\Celluloid Historian 2008\repeats.doc_ ` k џ@€wwМйv}}wwi `@џџUnknownџџџџџџџџџџџџG‡z €џTimes New Roman5€Symbol3& ‡z €џArial"qˆ№аhЅђЬFЅђЬFЫ; i !№ ДД20d s 2ƒq№џџHistory of Cinema derek owenHelen Roulstonўџр…ŸђљOhЋ‘+'Гй0„˜ДРдрь $ @ L Xdlt|фHistory of Cinemadist derek owenderder Normal.dotHelen Roulstonm2leMicrosoft Word 9.0@@^SжœjЩ@^SжœjЩЫ; ўџеЭеœ.“—+,љЎ0ј hp|„Œ” œЄЌД М кф r э History of Cinema Title ўџџџўџџџўџџџ !"#$%ўџџџ§џџџ(ўџџџўџџџўџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџRoot Entryџџџџџџџџ РFpћбрœjЩ*€1Tableџџџџџџџџџџџџ ЫWordDocumentџџџџџџџџ"SummaryInformation(џџџџDocumentSummaryInformation8џџџџџџџџџџџџCompObjџџџџjObjectPoolџџџџџџџџџџџџpћбрœjЩpћбрœjЩџџџџџџџџџџџџўџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџўџ џџџџ РFMicrosoft Word Document MSWordDocWord.Document.8є9Вq