Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Commissioned by Josef Stalin to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Revolution, Lenin in October was the first of Russian director Mikhail Romm's tributes to the Marxist visionary who helped orchestrate the insurrection of October, 1937. Boris Shchukin stars as Vladimir Lenin, depicted herein as a selfless, single-purposed idealist, dedicated to toppling the Romanoff regime and establishing a utopian Soviet society under communism. The villains are mostly royalists, White Russians and Germans, drawn in thick, broad strokes; one is surprised that they don't twirl their mustaches and shout "curses!" The film ends with the Revolution itself and the establishment of the Bolshevik government, though it is clear that Lenin's work is far from over. So well-received was Lenin in October that Mikhail Romm immediately began formulating a sequel, which reached the screens in 1939 as Lenin in 1918.