Photo of Sergei M. Eisenstein Sergei M. Eisenstein

Born in Riga, Latvia, on Jan. 23, 1898, Sergei M. Eisenstein showed an aptitude for science from a young age and joined the Soviet Red Army as an engineer after the October Revolution of 1917.

His subsequent studies of the technical aspects of moviemaking yielded exciting new theories in the use of montage and editing, which would influence countless generations of directors. While he found critical success with Battleship Potemkin (1925), The General Line (1929) and October (1927), Eisenstein never found acceptance from his country's Communist government, which frowned on his exploration of class conflict and innovative camera angles.

He died of a brain hemorrhage on Feb.11, 1948, at age 50, prompting a rumor to circulate that Russian scientists had preserved his exemplary brain for further study.

Sergei M. Eisenstein in Alexander Nevsky

Alexander Nevsky

1938 NR

Considered the masterpiece of Russian director Sergei Eisenstein's career, Alexander Nevsky is a commentary on the mounting Soviet resistance to the Third Reich with a historical parallel. Three years after repelling the Swedes, 13th century prince Alexander Nevsky (who some believe represents Stalin in this parable) wages war against German invaders with a vast Russian army. Sergei Prokofiev composed the music.

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