Battleship Potemkin is a 1925 Soviet silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and produced by Mosfilm. It presents a dramatized version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against its officers.Battleship Potemkin was named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958. In 2012, the British Film Institute named it the eleventh-greatest film of all time.
Jeanne d'Arc (1900)
Joan of Arc (French: Jeanne d’Arc) is a 1900 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès, based on the life of Joan of Arc.
In the village of Domrémy, the young Joan is visited by Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret, who exhort her to fight for her country. Her father Jacques d’Arc, mother Isabelle Romée, and uncle beg her to stay at home, but she leaves them and travels to Vaucouleurs, where she meets with the governor, Captain Robert de Baudricourt. The dissipated Baudricourt initially scorns Joan’s ideals, but her zeal eventually wins him over, and he gives her authority to lead French soldiers. Joan and her army lead a triumphal procession into Orléans, followed by a large crowd. Then, in Reims Cathedral, Charles VII is crowned King of France.
At the Siege of Compiègne, Joan is taken prisoner while her army attempts to storm the castle. In prison, Joan has another dream in which she sees her visions again. Taken to the interrogation, Joan refuses to sign a retraction, and is condemned as a heretic. In the Rouen marketplace, Joan is burned at the stake. The wood carrier at the execution, bringing in fuel for the burning, dies on the spot from the fumes. In a final apotheosis scene, Joan rises to heaven, where she is greeted by God and the saints.
As Francis (Friedrich Fehér) sits on a bench with an older man who complains that spirits have driven him away from his family and home, a dazed woman named Jane (Lil Dagover) passes them. Francis explains she is his “fiancée” and that they have suffered a great ordeal. Most of the rest of the film is a flashback of Francis’s story, which takes place in Holstenwall, a shadowy village of twisted buildings and spiraling streets. Francis and his friend Alan (Hans Heinz v. Twardowski), who are good-naturedly competing for Jane’s affections, plan to visit the town fair. Meanwhile, a mysterious man named Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss) seeks a permit from the rude town clerk to present a spectacle at the fair, which features a somnambulist named Cesare (Conrad Veidt). The clerk mocks and berates Caligari, but ultimately approves the permit. That night, the clerk is found stabbed to death in his bed.