Mother (1926 film)

Mother (Russian: Мать, Mat) is a 1926 Soviet drama film directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin depicting one woman's struggle against Tsarist rule during the Russian Revolution of 1905.[1] The film is based on the 1906 novel The Mother by Maxim Gorky. It is the first film in Pudovkin's "revolutionary trilogy", alongside The End of St. Petersburg (1927) and Storm Over Asia (aka The Heir to Genghis Khan) (1928).[2]

Mother (1926 film).jpg
Film poster
Directed byVsevolod Pudovkin
Written byNathan Zarkhi
Maxim Gorky (novel)
StarringVera Baranovskaya
Nikolai Batalov
Music byDavid Blok (1935 version)
Tikhon Khrennikov (1970 version)
CinematographyAnatoli Golovnya
Release date
  • 11 October 1926 (1926-10-11)
Running time
89 minutes
CountrySoviet Union
LanguageSilent film
Russian intertitles

The film was banned in the United Kingdom in 1930 after the Masses Stage and Film Guild applied for permission to screen it in London.[3]

The film underwent restoration in 1968 in the Mosfilm studio and a sound track was added with music by Tikhon Khrennikov.[4]


In this film, the mother of Pavel Vlasov is drawn into the revolutionary conflict when her husband and son find themselves on opposite sides during a workers' strike. After her husband dies during the failed strike, she betrays her son's ideology in order to try, in vain, to save his life. He is arrested, tried in what amounts to a judicial farce, and sentenced to heavy labor in a prison camp. During his incarceration, his mother aligns herself with him and his ideology and joins the revolutionaries. In the climax of the movie, the mother and hundreds of others march to the prison in order to free the prisoners, who are aware of the plan and have planned their escape. Ultimately, the troops of the Tsar suppress the uprising, killing both mother and son in the final scenes.



Pudovkin wrote in his book Film technique and Film acting that "In my earlier film, Mother, I tried to affect the spectators, not by the psychological performances of an actor, but by plastic synthesis through editing."[5]

Grigori Roshal praised Pudovkin for his innovative style; "Being the first to introduce the idea of creating characterizations by means of montage in films, he has done in the cinema what Dickens did in novels."[6]


  1. ^ Roger Manvell (1955). The Film and the Public. Pelican Books. pp. 112–116.
  2. ^ "Мать". VokrugTV.
  3. ^ "Russian Film Banned". Belfast News-Letter. 25 February 1930. Retrieved 28 December 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ "Tikhon Khrennikov – Works" Archived 18 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
    "Музыка к фильмам" (film music) Archived 17 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Tikhon Nikolaevich Khrennikov home page (in Russian)
  5. ^ Vsevolod Pudovkin (1954). Film technique and Film acting. The cinema writings of V.I. Pudovkin. Vision Press Limited. p. xvii.
  6. ^ Roger Manvell, ed. (1949). Experiment in the Film. The Grey Walls Press Ltd. pp. 157–159.

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