The Czar and the Shepherd artfully combines newsreel footage with newly dramatized sequences to paint a vivid picture of the Bolshevik revolution. The film begins with the abortive uprising in 1905, which though quickly quelled by the Czar's troops fanned the flames of insurrection in the Soviet people. This is followed by extended scenes of the Imperial family, with emphasis on pomp and possessions (the viewer is encouraged to despise the Romanoffs for their excesses, though certain members of the audience may have felt a tinge of nostalgia. The 1917 overthrow of the Czar and the installation of the Bolsheviks brings the film to a stirring conclusion. Many of the film's final scenes were lifted from Eisenstein's The End of St. Petersburg, which has since shown up in documentaries as "actuality" footage.
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