Natasha and her grandfather live in a cottage near Moscow, making hats for Madame Irène. Madame and her husband have told the housing committee that Natasha rents a room from them; this ... See full summary »
Yussuf and Aliosha are two shipwrecked sailors on an island in the Caspian Sea. They start working as sailor and mechanic for the fishing boats of the "Lights of the Communism" kolkhoz. ... See full summary »
Outskirts is an internationally renowned masterpiece of early sound cinema. In a remote Russian village during World War I, colorful and nuanced characters experience divided loyalties: ... See full summary »
This is called the first Soviet science fiction film because of its "futuristic" sets on Mars, although most of it takes place in Moscow. The movie is set at the beginning of the NEP (New ... See full summary »
A five-person team of gold prospectors in the Yukon has just begun to enjoy great success when one of the members snaps, and suddenly kills two of the others. The two survivors, a husband ... See full summary »
The sign in front of the capitalist-run cork factory in the USA, where the workers go on strike at the beginning of the film, reads "ROCFELLER & Co". At the time the film was released in 1926, US billionaire John D. Rockefeller, Sr., founder of Standard Oil Co., was the richest man in the world. In fact, Rockefeller ranks as the wealthiest man ever to have lived. His peak wealth is estimated to have been $340 billion. See more »
During the "road rally" sequence in Part Three, the shadow of the camera car is briefly visible, along with that of the cameraman, cranking furiously. See more »
I could eliminate you in many different ways. But I am neither a murderer, nor a criminal. I am a scientist. You will die in the name of science, testing my new poison.
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A three part Russian serial, running a little over four hours. It's a pretty big time commitment, but this series is darn entertaining. It's a sometimes uneasy combination of Soviet propaganda and American adventure, with the American adventure kind of winning out in the end. The film starts off more on the propaganda side, with three American reporters (Barnet himself, Vladimir Fogel, who starred in many famous films of the era including The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West, By the Law, Chess Fever, The End of St. Petersberg, and Igor Ilyinsky, who starred in Aelita: Queen of Mars) covering a workers' strike. As corporate lackeys, they only care about sensationalism, and the three of them fall for the factory's own Norma Rae, Miss Vivian Mend (Natalya Glan). The propaganda aspects start to fade into more Feuillade-inspired crime conspiracy territory, with villain Chiche (Sergey Komarov) using corporate funds to create a biological weapon he plans to use against the Soviet Union. The film also has some elements of German expressionism, with direct references to Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari sprinkled in. Over the course of the serial, the three reporters and Miss Mend (who, truth be told, is a pretty passive heroine) follow Chiche to Russia to stop his plot. This film was not well regarded by Soviet critics of the day - they instantly noted that the film's ideologies were often eclipsed by its love for adventure - but audiences loved it, and it was one of the more popular films among general audiences at the time. It's a bit hard to follow at times, but it's worth the time.
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