Red October - The 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution - 10/25
One hundred years ago, the Russian Revolution marked the fall of the Russian Empire and the beginning of the Soviet Union. This turbulent time has become immortalized in a series of epic films produced throughout the 20th century. TCM presents a number of these movies made during the period 1925-1971.
Two enormously influential silent films were made in the Soviet Union by Sergei Eisenstein in 1925. Strike is about the repression of factory workers in pre-revolutionary Russia, while Battleship Potemkin concerns the 1905 mutiny of that battleship's crew. Mockery (1927), made by MGM in the U.S., casts Lon Chaney as a dimwitted Siberian peasant who aids a Russian countess threatened by the approaching insurgency.
MGM's Rasputin and the Empress (1932), set in Imperial Russia as the revolution is brewing, is the only film to costar all three of the famous Barrymore siblings: Lionel as the treacherous Rasputin, Ethel as the Czarina he beguiles, and John as the prince who tries to foil him. Other films from the 1930s about the revolution include Scarlet Dawn (1932), British Agent (1934), Knight Without Armor (1937), and the musical Balalaika (1939).
Skipping ahead to the 1960s, we have one of the most-loved movies to be set during the revolution: Doctor Zhivago (1965), starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. Rasputin returns as played by Christopher Lee in Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966) and by Tom Baker in Nicholas and Alexandria (1971). The latter film tells the tragic story of the last Czar of Russia (Michael Jayston) and his beloved wife (Janet Suzman).