The General Line

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"Old and New" redirects here. For the Norman Blake album, see Old and New (album).
The General Line
The General Line.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Grigori Aleksandrov
Sergei M. Eisenstein
Written by Grigori Aleksandrov
Sergei M. Eisenstein
Starring Marfa Lapkina
M. Ivanin
Konstantin Vasilyev
Vasili Buzenkov
Cinematography Eduard Tisse
Release dates
  • 1929 (1929)
Running time
121 minutes
Country Soviet Union
Language Silent film

The General Line, also known as Old and New (Russian: Старое и новое, translit. Staroye i novoye), is a 1929 Soviet film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Aleksandrov.

The General Line was begun in 1927 as a celebration of the collectivization of agriculture, as championed by old-line Bolshevik Leon Trotsky. Hoping to reach a wide audience, the director forsook his usual practice of emphasizing groups by concentrating on a single rural heroine. Eisenstein briefly abandoned this project to film October: Ten Days That Shook the World, in honour of the 10th anniversary of the Revolution. By the time he was able to return to this film, the Party's attitudes had changed and Trotsky had fallen from grace. As a result, the film was hastily re-edited and sent out in 1929 under a new title, The Old and the New. In later years, archivists restored The General Line to an approximation of Eisenstein's original concept. Much of the director's montage-like imagery—such as using simple props to trace the progress from the agrarian customs of the 19th-century to the more mechanized procedures of the 20th—was common to both versions of the film.

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