Mikhail Ilich Romm

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Romm, Mikhail Il’ich


Born Jan. 11 (24), 1901, in Irkutsk; died Nov. 1, 1971, in Moscow. Soviet film director and screenwriter. People’s Artist of the USSR (1950). Member of the CPSU from 1939.

Romm served in the Red Army from 1918 to 1921. In 1925 he graduated from the department of sculpture of the State Higher Arts and Technical Institute. He worked as a screenwriter and assistant film director. Romm’s first film, the silent film Dumpling (1934), was a satirical group portrayal of the bourgeois. In 1937 he filmed The Thirteen, which dealt with the conflict between the frontier guards and the Basmachi. His greatest contributions to classic Soviet cinematography were Lenin in October (1937) and Lenin in 1918(1939), with B. V. Shchukin in the role of V. I. Lenin. In 1949, Romm collaborated on the documentary Vladimir Ilich Lenin. His film Dream came out in 1943. Romm later directed a number of films in which he angrily castigated fascism: The Russian Question (1948), Secret Mission ( 1950), and Murder on Dante Street (1956).

Romm’s two-part historical film consisting of Admiral Ushakov and Ships Storm the Bastions (1953) was marked by breadth of scope. His Nine Days of One Year (1962) is devoted to Soviet physicists and their untiring scientific quest and unselfish daily heroism. Romm’s film Common Fascism (1966) became well known. It depicts the dramatic collision of the past, portrayed by means of documentary newsreel clips, and the present, revealed in textual commentary read by the director himself. The film’s analysis of the social nature of fascism and reflections on the fate of the postwar world give it political and philosophic significance.

Many of Romm’s films received prizes at international film festivals. Beginning in 1949, he taught intermittently at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography, where he became a professor in 1958. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1941, 1946, 1948, 1949, and 1951 and the Vasil’ev Brothers State Prize of the RSFSR in 1966. He was also awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and several medals.


Besedy o kino. Moscow, 1964.
Lektsii po kinorezhissure. Moscow, 1973.


Pogozheva, L. Mikhail Romm. [Moscow, 1967.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.