The second film in a trilogy about a young Bolshevik activist is set in 1914, on the eve of World War I.

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Alternative titles

  • The RETURN OF MAXIM Alternative


“As a unity, the Maxim trilogy is one of the most important films produced in the USSR (and the world) during the Thirties.”
Georges Sadoul, Dictionary of Films, 1965

Nearly a decade on from the 1905 setting of The Youth of Maxim (1935), the deliberately surnameless Bolshevik protagonist of Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg’s trilogy is faced with another major upheaval in Russian life, the start of World War I. Now a full-time revolutionary, Maxim finds out that while Bolsheviks and Mensheviks both claim to represent the working classes, they have very different ideals.

Cinematic high points include the billiards duel between Maxim and bourgeois counter-revolutionary Platon Dimba, whose staging and lurching musical accompaniment (by Dmitri Shostakovich) neatly encapsulates the comic-heroic style that made the trilogy such a popular hit with 1930s Soviet audiences.

Kozintsev, Trauberg and Shostakovich made the third part of the Maxim trilogy, The Vyborg Side, in 1939, and would continue to collaborate until 1945.

The Maxim trilogy’s popularity in the Soviet Union was rivalled only by Chapayev (1934).

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