The 50 Most Controversial Films

battleship-potemkin
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THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (1925)

Nazi minister Joseph Goebbels: "Anyone who had no firm political conviction could become a Bolshevik after seeing it."

THE FILM: Soviet Russian director Sergei Eisenstein's technically astonishing revolutionary propaganda masterpiece presents a dramatised version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their oppressive officers of the Tsarist regime. It memorably featured the fictional Odessa Steps sequence, which would be recreated in films ranging from The Godfather to The Untouchables.

THE FUSS: Although freely shown in America, it was banned in Britain until 1954 (officially for the violence but more likely for the politics) and X-rated until 1978. French cinemas couldn't show it and it was completely outlawed in Nazi Germany for its uncompromising revolutionary zeal. The film was even banned in the USSR when Stalin ceased promoting mutiny among the navies of capitalist countries.