The first full-length feature project of pantheon Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, Strike is a government-commissioned celebration of the unrealized 1905 Bolshevik revolution. The story is set in motion by a series of outrages and humiliations perpetrated on the workers of a metalworks plant.
The Czarist regime is unsympathetic to the workers, characteristically helping the plant owners to subjugate the hapless victims. Finally, the workers revolt, staging an all-out strike. Here is where Eisenstein's theory of the montage of shocks was given its first major workout.
While the notion of juxtaposing short, separate images to heighten tension and excitement was not new, Eisenstein was the first to fully understand the value of using sudden-shock images (a bloody face, a fired weapon, a descending club) to make his dramatic and sociological points.
Playing to mixed reviews and small audiences in Russia, Strike proved a success worldwide, assuring Eisenstein complete creative freedom on his next project, the immortal Potemkin.