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 »
With an international chess tournament in progress, a young man becomes completely obsessed with the game. His fiancée has no interest in it, and becomes frustrated and depressed by his ... See full summary »
José Raúl Capablanca,
In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »
A man whose wife has died remarries, and his new wife has a daughter of her own from a previous marriage. The man's young son, however, who loved his mother deeply and misses her terribly, ... See full summary »
Zvenigora stars Nikolai Nademsky (Earth), as the grandfather of Timoshka (Semyon Svashenko), whom he alerts to secret treasure buried in the mountains and the boy spends the rest of his ... See full synopsis »
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 »
Marie wants to escape from her job and also from her lover, Paul, an unemployed drunk. She dreams of going off with Jean, a dockworker. The two men quarrel and fight over Marie on two ... 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 and wife, subdue the killer but are then faced with an agonizing dilemma. With no chance of turning him over to the authorities for many weeks, they must decide whether to exact justice themselves or to risk trying to keep him restrained until they can return to civilization. Written by
With a gripping story and effective technique that establishes a memorable atmosphere and heightens the suspense, this lesser-known Russian-made silent melodrama is well worth tracking down. The plot, which (interesting to note) comes from a Jack London story, is quite efficient in getting a world of possibilities out of a situation that involves only a handful of characters. The technique relies mostly on the kind of montage approach that some of the Soviet film-makers apparently favored, and it shows how effective that technique can be when used in the right setting.
Set in a remote, frozen, and often claustrophobic location in the Yukon, the story focuses on the dilemmas faced by a husband and wife who must contend with a crazed killer even as they battle the elements. Both the practical challenges and the ethical/moral decisions they face are brought out well by the way that many short takes are pieced together in a fashion that constantly emphasizes the unstable and confused nature of the situation that the characters face. Only some occasional overacting (especially by the wife character) detracts from the effect, and it all leads up to a compelling final sequence. Overall, it's a distinctive and most interesting film that works quite well.
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