NFTVA leader. Credits. Title. Modern views of Leningrad including cruiser Aurora. Tsarist Russia; 300th anniversary of Romanov rule. Stills and moving footage of pomp and ceremony. Still and moving footage of peasants in poverty and harsh working conditions contrasted with luxury of bourgeois. 1914 - WW1, battle scenes, casualties. 1917 February Revolution - general political strike in Petrograd grew into armed uprising, demonstrations, celebrations of collapse of Tsarist rule. Release of political prisoners. Bolshevik party comes out from underground. Re-establishment of Pravda newspaper, its distribution in streets. Still of Lenin. Modern day Leningrad, commentary describes Lenin's return to Petrograd after ten yeras in exile on 3 April (14 April) 1917). Lenin called for socialist revolution. Interior of Lenin's sister's (Anna) home. Still of Lenin's mother's grave. Picture - Lenin's brother Alexander, hung because of assassination attempt on Emperor. Lenin was jailed, and exiled had to emigrate.
Lenin gives speech: stills of audience, drawing of Lenin at podium, he calls for revolution to continue and hand all state power to the Soviets. Provisional Government members. WW1 - battle scenes, trench warfare, weeping women. Petrograd 1917. Leaders of the Soviets, the Mensheviks and the Socialist Revolutionaries (SR), whom Lenin considered supported the bourgeois Provisional Government. Lenin calls for power to the proletariat and an end to the war, addresses meeting at Petrograd Soviet, met with heckles from Mensheviks and SR's, stills and moving footage of delegates. Anti-Lenin placards on streets ('Send Lenin Back to Germany'), supporters for War. Modern Leningrad. Lenin predicted masses support Bolsheviks. 1 May (12 May) 1917 demonstration. Foreign Minister of Provisional Government Paul Milyukov reports to Allied powers involvement in War until victory. Angers people, spontaneous meetings at barrack houses and factories under the slogan 'Down with the War', Provisional Government losing support. Meetings and speeches. Petrograd Soviet has possibility of taking power in peaceful means, Mensheviks and SR against that.
Modern Leningrad. Interior of museum of October Revolution which, since February 1917 housed the central and city committees of Bolsheviks parties. Lenin's office. Portrait of Lenin by soldier artist. April conference of Bolsheviks - Lenin appealed to win the majority of people in order to gain power. Stills of Bolsheviks recently returned from prison, exile and emigration, including Stalin. Modern footage of factory, workers walk into building, site of meeting that Lenin addressed 12 May (23 May) 1917. Still of crowd of people. Exterior of building of first All Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers and Soldiers Deputies (June 1917). Archive of banners, delegates and meetings. Lenin claimed that Bolsheviks ready to take power at any time. WW1 devastation. Priest blessing troops. Casualties. 18 June (29 June), demonstration by workers in Petrograd against the War and the Provisional Government. Growing support for the Soviets. 4 July (15 July) Massacre: Provisional Government open fire on demonstrators. Footage and stills of people fleeing.
Stills and moving footage of troops in streets: monarchy at an end, counterrevolution virtually taken over power. First machine gun regiment disarmed in Palace Square. Bolsheviks headquarters raided. Petrograd - troops in streets, on the hunt for Lenin. Provisional Government publicly announce desire to arrest Lenin and other leading Bolsheviks. Lenin's case file. Lenin's hiding places. Disguised, he leaves city by train. Street scenes Petrograd, stills and moving footage. Appeal in newspaper with his picture. Wigs only sold on presenting identification. Lenin in disguise. Lenin's hiding place on Lake Razliv, began writing his book "The State and Revolution". Visited by Stalin, Sverdlov, Dzerzhinsky, Ordzhonikidze. 6th Congress of Party held in semi legal conditions in Petrograd, supervised by Lenin from hiding place. Congress decides to prepare for armed uprising, exterior of building where Congress took place. Lenin moved to Finland, worked as a train stoker, shots of train and new hiding place. Lenin continued work on "The State and Revolution", detailing what the masses should do immediately after revolution. New hiding place at the chief of police's home in Helsinki, modern day interior and exterior shots. Lenin continued to write articles, sent to Petrograd via trusted mailman.
Lenin moves again in Helsinki. Learns of General Lavr Kornilov's (Supreme Commander of Russian Army) failed attempt to gain all civil and military control, and attack Petrograd [this did not happen in this way. Kerensky, the leader of the Provisional Government appealed to the Soviets to help defend the city. Kornilov's soldiers were sent to talk to the advancing troops and, after meeting them, refused to attack. Kornilov was arrested but later escaped]. Footage of Kornilov and street scenes in Petrograd. Danger over the revolution rocked the popular masses. Bolsheviks called on masses to defend the revolution. Mass meetings, handing out of rifles. Stills of soldiers preparing for battle. Counterrevolution checked, Petrograd and Moscow Soviets defect to Bolsheviks. Lenin moves to Razliv. Interior shots of house, had smooth ties with party central committee. 3 October (14 October) committee decides to let Lenin move back to Petrograd, shots of modern Leningrad. Hiding place in Petrograd. 10 October (21 October) Lenin participates in session of party Central Committee, interior modern day shots of meeting room. Revolution inevitable and timely, political bureau established, headed by Lenin to provide political leadership of the uprising. Preparations underway across all city districts, stills. 16 October (27 October) meeting of Central Committee, modern day interior and exterior shots of location. Stills of supporters and supervisors of the uprising, including Kalinin, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky. Provisional Government attempts to forestall actions of revolutionary forces. Evening of 24 October Lenin writes letter to Central Committee proposing immediate action and addresses the Smolny Institute stating the same and came to helm of armed forces. Modern day exterior of Smolny Institute, and Petrograd at night. Stills - troops at the ready. Instructions communicated.
Flight of stairs. Bolshevik military leaders, stills. Revolution carried out 24-25 October (4-5 November). Troops in streets, commentary quotes American journalist Albert Rhys Williams who witnessed the events. Modern Leningrad, buildings taken over by the Bolsheviks and Red Guards, commentary provides details of regiments in each building. Battleship Aurora. Telegram communication from Winter Palace to Northern Front describing situation and stating in danger of losing power. Still of Kerensky with other officials. He flees from city. Lenin declares victory. Celebrations in streets, newspapers headlines, distribution of newspapers. Provisional Government troops erect barricades at Winter Palace. Events leading up to and eventual take over of the Winter Palace in the early hours of 26 October (6 November).
Modern day exterior and interior Smolny Institute, location of second All-Russia Congress of Soviets which adopted first decrees of Soviet power. Commentary describes various decrees, stills of troops, peasants. Workers and peasants government formed, the Council of People's Commissars, chaired by Lenin. Room 67 in Smolny, Lenin's study. Still of door with guards, modern day interior of room and other high ranking officials desks, the managing administrator Brievich and the secretary Garbunov. Lenin looking at military maps, defence plan. Kerensky rounded up troops from General Krasnov's calvary and sent them to Petrograd where they took over a suburb. Battle scenes. Bolshevik troops getting supplies, marching. 30 October Kerensky's forces defeated; battle scenes, newspapers announcing news. Marching band. Stills - workers at factories, peasants and troops, workers control introduced at all the industrial commercial banking and agricultural enterprises. Revolution spreads through country - literature distributed, bands playing, Lenin walking with crowd of people, addressing big rally. Credits. End.