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Into Her Kingdom (1926)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  8 August 1926 (USA)
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In Czarist Russia, Stepan, a young peasant boy, is sent to Siberia for allegedly insulting Grand Duchess Tatiana. Upon his release years later, he joins the Bolshviks, who are now fighting ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Einar Hanson ...
Stepan (son of a peasant, at 14 and 22) (as Einar Hansen)
Claude Gillingwater ...
Ivan (their tutor)
Charles Crockett ...
Senov (a carnival fakir)
Evelyn Selbie ...
Stepan's Mother
Larry Fisher ...
A Farmhand
H.C. Simmons ...
Ellinor Vanderveer ...
Czarina (as Elinor Vanderveer)
Byron Sage ...
Tom Murray ...
Bolshevik Guard
Marcelle Corday ...
Titiana's Maid
Michael Pleschkoff ...
Court Chamberlain (as Major General Michael N. Pleschkoff)
Max Davidson ...
Shoestring Salesman
Allan Sears ...
American Customer
Mary Louise Miller ...
Daughter of Stepan and Tatiana
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Storyline

In Czarist Russia, Stepan, a young peasant boy, is sent to Siberia for allegedly insulting Grand Duchess Tatiana. Upon his release years later, he joins the Bolshviks, who are now fighting to overthrow the royal family. After they succeed, the royal family, including Tatiana, is condemned to death. The Bolshevik official in charge of carrying out the executions turns out to be none other than Stepan. Complications ensue. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

8 August 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Princesa Russa  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This is a lost film. One of many the late reviewer F.Gwynplaine Macinytre had not actually seen. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Looks pretty, but utterly implausible.
24 June 2010 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

This turgid romantic drama 'Into Her Kingdom' (oughtn't it to be 'Queendom'?) seems to have been inspired by the rumour that Russian princess Anastasia somehow survived the slaughter at Ekaterinburg. There have been several excellent movies and plays based on the Anastasia legend, but this is none of them. There's some impressive production design here, in the sets and costumes for the early sequences before the peasants get revolting (ha ha), and in the final scene, but this movie's merits are far thinner than its flaws.

SPOILERS THROUGHOUT. Corinne Griffith is regally pretty as Grand Duchess Tatiana. (If somebody knows the difference between a grand duchess and a mere garden-variety duchess, please let me know.) Early on, we see her as a child along with Stepan, a peasant boy slightly older. For some reason, the princess and the pauper are both pupils of the same tutor (Claude Gillingwater, looking elderly even in the 1920s). Was it the custom among Russian bluebloods for a female aristocrat to be educated alongside a peasant boy? I could only just barely accept that premise here.

Eight years later, along comes the Bolshevik uprising. All the Russian royals know their goose is cooked. The lowly Stepan, at the tender age of 22, has somehow become the commissar who personally gives the order to execute the royal family ... including Tatiana, age 20.

Tatiana's maid Sonia (good performance by Marcelle Corday) is so utterly loyal to royalty that she willingly trades clothes with Tatiana, allowing herself to be executed (disguised as the duchess) while Tatiana pretends to be Sonia the maid. I had no problem believing that a loyal servant would do this ... except for the fact that, in real life, the Russian aristocracy's servants were executed alongside them, partly because the servants themselves also came from highborn families. Anyway, the swap gets the maid killed, but then Stepan discovers that Tatiana is alive after all. So he decides to marry her(!) to break her haughty spirit. Hoo-boyovich.

Well, of course Stepan falls in love with Tatiana. But when the miscellaneous Bolshies discover she's still alive, her goose is cooked again. Now, what do you do if you're a grand duchess and things get too hot for you in Russia? You head for New Jersey!

Oh, and somehow Tatiana manages to bring her royal raiments to New Jersey too. Now, if I were a grand duchess fleeing the Russian revolution, I wouldn't pack any fancy finery in my tuckerbag on my way out of town. This whole movie is full of faulty logic.

Some time passes. In New Jersey, Tatiana and Stepan settle down as a married couple and try to forget the pesky revolution. They have a baby girl, who in theory is now the heir to the grand duchy.

But Tatiana is a typical housewife, until one day she overhears some local kids playing fairy princess, and she decides to show them what a real princess looks like. She takes her fancy clothes out of mothballs, puts them on for the first time in years, and displays herself to the admiring children. When Stepan sees his wife all swanked up, he suddenly regrets that she's been cheated out of her noble birthright. He takes her and their daughter to Europe, hoping that the surviving royalty will recognise Tatiana as nobility, and reinstate her 'into her kingdom' ... as a title card says in the last reel, finally explaining this film's title.

But Tatiana chooses to greet her peers (and peeresses) in a housewife's dress, clutching her child and indicating her husband while she announces that *this* is her kingdom. Fade out.

That closing scene seems to imply that motherhood and marriage are the only true role for all women, not merely Tatiana. The actor playing Czar Nicholas resembles him slightly, whilst the actress playing Czarina Alexandra doesn't resemble that lady at all. Einar Hanson is excellent in a badly-written role, but the subordinate Bolsheviks in this movie are a bunch of stock characters.

The best performance is by Claude Gillingwater as the tutor. In the 1930s, Gillingwater consistently played sourpuss misers (sometimes with a good heart underneath, sometimes not), and he was already typecast in such roles during his silent-film career. As the tutor in this film, Gillingwater is more sympathetic than usual, and after his last scene this boring movie becomes much more boring. For a couple of performances and some impressive sets and costumes (dressing up a ridiculous script), I'll rate this one 4 out of 10.


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