6.8/10
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2 user 1 critic

Child of the Big City (1914)

Ditya bolshogo goroda (original title)
Seamstress Mary dreams of a better life in luxury instead of her badly paid job in a sweatshop. Her dreams come true, when she draws the attention of Victor, a burgeoise, who invites her ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elena P. Smirnova ...
Manetschka / Mary (as Elena Smirnova)
Nina Kosljaninowa ...
Manetschka as child
Michael Salarow ...
Viktor Krawzow
Arsenii Bibikov ...
Kramskoi, his friend
Emma Bauer ...
The dancer
Leonid Jost ...
The lackey
Lidiya Tridenskaya ...
The washerwoman
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Storyline

Seamstress Mary dreams of a better life in luxury instead of her badly paid job in a sweatshop. Her dreams come true, when she draws the attention of Victor, a burgeoise, who invites her for dinner and makes her a lady. But, about a year later, she has become tired of him, and thanks to her his money is almost gone. When he asks for settling down outside the big city, where his money should be enough for a modest living, she breaks with him picks up a new lover. Victor is trying to shoot her, than himself, but finally gives up. A year later, he is living in a shabby, cold room under the roof, still trying to meet her again, a thing she definitely refuses, and showing him her feelings towards him, by ordering that he should get three Rubels when he leaves the stairs to her house. This has predictable results. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

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Genres:

Drama | Short

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Release Date:

5 March 1914 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Child of the Big City  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A Piercing Drama of Human Nature
15 March 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This Yevgeni Bauer drama is filled with piercing commentary on human nature. It is quite pessimistic in its views of the ways that we treat each other, yet for all that it is quite revealing and often convicting.

The story centers around a young woman, played believably by Yelena Smirnova, who grows up in poverty, only one day to make the acquaintance of a wealthy young man who takes a liking to her. The ways that he naively trusts and indulges her, and the ways that her own nature changes once she finds prosperity, are uncompromisingly depicted. In this as in a number of Bauer's features, it is the female character who is the strongest and most dominant, but the points that the story makes about human nature transcend applications that would be limited to one sex or the other.

The film also shows Bauer's restrained creativity, using devices such as double exposures to good effect. The final sequence efficiently brings the main themes together, and the final scene, for all that its symbolism is rather obvious, is a biting statement on ingratitude and materialism. It effectively closes out this somber, worthwhile feature about human nature.


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