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Gabriel de Gravone
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Vladimir Dubrouvsky, a lieutenant in the Russian army, catches the eye of Czarina Catherine II. He spurns her advances and flees, and she puts out a warrant for his arrest, dead or alive. Vladimir learns that his father's lands have been taken by the evil Kyrilla Troekouroff, and his father dies. He dons a black mask, and becomes the outlaw The Black Eagle. He enters the Troekouroff household disguised as a French instructor for Kyrilla's daughter Mascha. He is after vengeance, but instead falls in love with Mascha. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the scene where the camera moves along the banquet table, the table used had to be specially designed to move apart so that the camera could travel backward. See more »
The story is set during the reign of Catherine the Great, who died in 1796, but the clothing styles are much closer to those worn in the early 19th century. And at one point Vladimir lights a candle with a friction match, which weren't invented until 1826. See more »
This is a very good period melodrama that also features one of Rudolph Valentino's best roles. The Robin Hood-like story combines drama, excitement, revenge, romance, and more in a well-crafted movie that is entertaining to watch. Vilma Banky and Louise Dresser head up a good supporting cast that works well with Valentino.
The story setup has Valentino's character on the run from an angry Czarina, even as he is cheated out of his family possessions by a dishonest nobleman. He turns outlaw to avenge his family name, only to have everything complicated by romance. It's a good story, though a largely familiar one, and the cast and director Clarence Brown make it enjoyable.
It's a good role for Valentino because it plays to his strengths and doesn't ask him to do much more. Banky is sympathetic as the daughter of the crooked Kyrilla, and Dresser does a very good job as Empress Catherine, bringing out her personal desires and her ruthless use of power. Albert Conti and James Marcus also give good performances, while Brown keeps things moving at a good pace and tells the story effectively, with an occasional lighter moment to keep things from being taken too seriously. "The Eagle" combines a good story, cast, and production values, and it works quite well.
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