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 »
The plot of THE EAGLE is a familiar one - used in Robin Hood and Zoro legends - of the well-placed young man who becomes an outcast and dons a mask to right wrongs. In his next to last film, Valentino proves he has a naturalistic acting ability and is quite believable as the Russian guardsman who is outlawed by Catherine II when he rejects her unwanted advances and returns home to find his father dying, having been cheated out of his lands by an unscrupulous neighbor. Valentino goes after the neighbor but along the way falls in love with his daughter. What to do? It's all escapist fun but it moves along briskly and is pretty to look at. Although the production company is listed as Art Finance Corp, all of the production crew are of MGM stock (Clarence Brown, George Marion Jr., George Barnes, William Cameron Menzies). Vilma Banky is delightful as the sophisticated and cagey object of Rudy's attentions and he is quite good, quite believable in the lead. He even displays a few adept comic turns (facial expressions when trying to loosen a ring on his finger and when experiencing an overly peppered soup). It was a big popular hit and at its brisk 75 minutes is quite easy to take. He is referred to throughout as "The Black Eagle" so one wonders why the film's title did not include the dark adjective. Louise Dresser is a stand out as Catherine II. There's even a surprise ending. Quite enjoyable and worth checking out.
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