Skip to main content

Bauer, Yevgeny Frantsevich


(18651917), film director.

Yevgeny Bauer was the most original and important film director in prerevolutionary Russian cinema. In addition to directing, he frequently wrote, designed, and shot his films.

Bauer was born into an artistic family and graduated from the Moscow College of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. He worked as a theater artist and set designer before making films. Soon after going to work for the Khanzhonkov studio, he became their best-paid director with an alleged salary of 40,000 rubles. His life came to an early end in 1917: While preparing for an acting role near Yalta, he broke his leg in a fall, caught pneumonia, and died.

Bauer's films rank among the best early cinema melodramas, comedies, and psychological thrillers. His greatest films complicate melodramatic conventions to tell stories about people caught amid the cultural changes and political instability of the late-tsarist era. Bauer also specialized in the neo-Gothic psychological drama, exploring the dreams and obsessions of urban middle-class characters in an increasingly commercialized world. Typical Bauer characters search futilely for love and meaning in a chaotic world, in which adults lack authority and moral leadership and young people are willful, egocentric, and morally adrift.

Bauer delighted in inventing new ways for the film camera to tell stories. His experiments with camera movement, lighting, and set design created complex three-dimensional spaces. He employed furniture, architecture, fashionable clothing, special effects, and layers of gauzy curtains to animate the social world in which his characters lived and to penetrate the psychological worlds that contained their private visions. He used lighting particularly effectively to enhance the beauty and talent of his actors and the drama of a scene.

His films include Twilight of a Woman's Soul (1913), Child of the Big City (1914), Daydreams (1915), The Dying Swan (1916), A Life for a Life (1916), and To Happiness (1917).

See also: motion pictures


McReynolds, Louise. (2000). "The Silent Movie Melodrama: Evgenii Bauer Fashions the Heroinic Self." In Self and Story in Russia, eds. Stephanie Sandler and Laura Engelstein. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Tsivian, Yuri, et al., eds. (1989). Testimoni Silenziosi: Film Russi, 19081919 (Silent Witnesses: Russian Films, 19081919). Italian and English. Pordenone, Italy: Edizioni Biblioteca dell'immagine; London: British Film Institute.

Youngblood, Denise. (1999). The Magic Mirror: Moviemaking in Russia, 19081918. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Joan Neuberger

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bauer, Yevgeny Frantsevich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . 15 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Bauer, Yevgeny Frantsevich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . (January 15, 2019).

"Bauer, Yevgeny Frantsevich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved January 15, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.