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Romm, Mikhail

Born: 24 January 1901 (Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia)
Died: 1 November 1971 (Moscow)
A great film director as well as an instructor to a generation of young filmmakers, Romm made significant contributions to Soviet cinema. Born into a Jewish family deported to Siberia at the turn of the century, Romm moved to Moscow as a teenager to study sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts. After serving in the Red Army during the civil war (1918-1921), he finished his studies and participated in various post-revolutionary artistic endeavors, discovering film in the early 1930s. He wrote an early talkie, called Men and Jobs, and his directorial debut was actually the last Soviet silent-- Pyshka. The companion films--commissioned to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the revolution-- Lenin in October and Lenin in 1918-- were successful artistically as well as politically. After a number of wartime and late Stalinist films, Romm became a professor at VGIK, the state film school in Moscow, in 1957. Beyond shepherding filmmakers during the very active and exciting years of the Soviet thaw, Romm also directed several of his finest films, including the masterful Nine Days in One Year, and the documentary essay, Ordinary Fascism.

Filmography

(as writer/director unless otherwise noted)
  • And Still I Believe.../ I vsyo-taki ya veryu... , 1974; (director only)
  • A Night of Thoughts/ Obyknovennyj fashizm, 1965; (also editor, narrator)
  • Nine Days in One Year/ 9 dnej odnogo goda, 1961;
  • Alyosha's Love/ Alyoshkina lyubov, 1960; (artistic supervisor only)
  • Lenin Is Alive/ Zhivoj Lenin, 1958;
  • The Killers/ Ubijtsi, 1958; (directing instructor only)
  • A Lesson in History/ Urok istorii, 1957;
  • A Weary Road/ Dolgij put, (1956; (screenwriter only)
  • The Long Roads/ Ubijstvo na ulitse Dante, 1956; (director only)
  • The Forty-first/ Sorok pervyj, 1956; (creative producer only)
  • Attack from the Sea/ Korabli shturmuyut bastiony, 1953; (director only)
  • Admiral Ushakov, 1953; (director only)
  • Secret Mission/ Sekretnaya missiya, 1950; (director only)
  • Lenin/ Vladimir Ilijch Lenin, 1950;
  • The Russian Question/ Russkij vopros, 1947;
  • Girl No. 217/ Chelovek No. 217, 1945; (director only)
  • Dream/Mechta, 1943;
  • Lenin in 1918/ Lenin v 1918 godu, 1939; (director only)
  • Lenin in October/ Lenin v oktyabre, 1937; (director only)
  • The Thirteen/ Trinadtsat, 1937;
  • Boule de suif/ Pyshka, 1934;
  • Men and Jobs/ Dela i lyudi, 1932; (assistant director only)