My Top Ten Akim Tamiroff Movies

Akim Michailovich Tamiroff was born in Georgia, Russia, of Armenian descent on 29 October 1899. He studied at the Moscow Art Theatre drama school and arrived in the USA in 1923. After deciding to stay, he managed to develop a career in Hollywood, mainly as a supporting actor, appearing in over 100 movies. Indeed he won the first Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in 1944 and was nominated for two Oscars. He had a presence on screen and despite his heavy accent he had no problem communicating with the audience.
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1.
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy - and themselves. (109 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
“ After making twelve films in a year Akim got his chance to play a bigger role in this tribute to the British Army on the North West Frontier. As Otamanu, emir of Gopal he made an impression on Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone and Richard Cromwell. It was reputed to be Adolf Hitler's favourite Hollywood Movie. "Clicquot. I saw the label. Iced. If that's the way Mohammed Khan tortures his victims, I'd like to change places with him for ten minutes." ” - brickley220
 
2.
China Seas (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship. (87 mins.)
Director: Tay Garnett
“ Clark Gable and Jean Harlow are the stars whilst Wallace Beery is the heavy in this tale of theft and treachery. However, Romanoff manages to steal the limelight whenever he appears on screen. Trust him? I should cocoa! "There can't be any gold. You would have talked. Nobody can be that tough." ” - brickley220
 
3.
The General Died at Dawn (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Amid the anarchy of China, an American mercenary tangles with a ruthless warlord. (98 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
“ This time Gary Cooper is in war torn China but that does not mean that General Yang isn't going to act circles around him. This is a worthy performance and was nominated for an Oscar. "I like people too much to shoot. But it's a dark year and a hard night." ” - brickley220
 
4.
The Soldier and the Lady (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A Russian courier struggles to deliver a message to the troops fighting Tartar invaders. (85 mins.)
“ This film was originally titled 'The Soldier and the Lady' and features Anton Walbrook trying to help the aristocratic Elizabeth Allen to escape the horrors of the Russian Revolution. I have only ever seen this film on television but Tamiroff's acting, especially when torturing Strogoff in front of his mother is wicked yet magnificent and certainly unforgettable. "God Save the Tsar" ” - brickley220
 
5.
Dangerous to Know (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A gangster tries to fix things so that he can marry a rich society woman. (70 mins.)
Director: Robert Florey
“ Akim is starring opposite Anna May Wong in this 70 minute minor gangster movie. Not only does Tamiroff get the chance to show his full range but it is an excellent vehicle for the supporting cast such as Gail Patrick, Lloyd Nolan and Anthony Quinn. The moral of the story is even if you are a big bad guy like Stephen Recka, don't upset the little lady, especially if she is Chinese. ” - brickley220
 
6.
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
During the Spanish Civil War, an American allied with the Republicans finds romance during a desperate mission to blow up a strategically important bridge. (170 mins.)
Director: Sam Wood
“ Both Gary Cooper and Akim were Academy Award nominated for their respective performances, but it was Katina Paxinou that won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, in this classic story about the Spanish Civil War. Akim's performance as the patriot Pablo was touching and in keeping with the pace of the story. "Look I am ugly. Yet one can have a feeling here." ” - brickley220
 
7.
Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
During World War II, an undercover British soldier tries get word to the Allies that the Germans have tons of supplies buried in five excavations across Egypt. (96 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Billy Wilder's story of WWII in the desert finds Hotel manager Farid (Tamiroff) with two unwelcome guests. Cpl Bramble (Franchot Tone) doubling as waiter/ fifth columnist Paul Davos and Field Marshal Rommel (Erich von Stronheim) both acting their socks off in this tale of espionage and deception. Farid has his hands full. "Our complaints are brief. We make them against the nearest wall." ” - brickley220
 
8.
They Who Dare (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
In Greece during the war a small group of British commandoes and patriots land on an island with orders... (107 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
“ Captain George One (Akim Tamiroff) and Captain George Two (Gerard Oury) are tasked with helping Lieut. Graham (Dirk Bogarde) to attack Luftwaffe airfields on a Greek island. Standard WWII stuff but the two Georges bring a touch of light relief to a plot that relies very heavily on Bogarde's excellent acting. ” - brickley220
 
9.
Battle Hell (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, British warship H.M.S. Amethyst sails up the Yangtse river but on the return trip finds its way blocked by a barrage fire from the Communist Chinese shore batteries. (113 mins.)
“ Back to being an inscrutable Chinese warlord for Akim as Col. Peng who blocks the crew of the Amethyst from returning to station. In this historical encounter the Chinese failed, but Tamiroff still succeeded in his portrayal of yet another classic, cheerless villain. Apparently HMS Amethyst sustained more damage during filming than during the actual battle. "I wish to report that the Amethyst has rejoined the Squadron." ” - brickley220
 
10.
Touch of Evil (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (95 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
“ Orson Welles' classic tale of a police officer (Charlton Heston) finding himself in conflict with not only the criminals, led by 'Uncle' Joe Grandi (Tamiroff) but also the cops led by corrupt Captain Quinlan (Welles). With a cast to die for, including Janet Leigh, Marlene Dietrich and Zsa Zsa Gabor this Black & White, Film Noir rattles along towards its dramatic conclusion. "And if you're trying to scare me into calling him off, let me tell you something Mr. Grandi. I may be scared, but he wont be." ” - brickley220