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Mockery (1927)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  13 August 1927 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 246 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 1 critic

During the Russian Revolution, a mentally challenged peasant saves then obsesses over a beautiful countess.


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Title: Mockery (1927)

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Complete credited cast:
Barbara Bedford ...
Countess Tatiana Alexandrova
Capt. Dimitri
Mack Swain ...
Vladimir Gaidaroff
Emily Fitzroy ...
Mrs. Gaidaroff
Charles Puffy ...
Ivan - the Gatekeeper
Kai Schmidt ...
Russian Officer


There is hunger in Siberia during the Russian Civil War. Dim-witted peasant Sergei is searching corpses for food. He meets a mysterious young woman looking for the town of Novokursk. She asks Sergei to tell anyone they might meet that he is her husband. They find an abandoned house where they can rest... but a stranger is hiding inside. Sergei washes the woman's feet and prepares a bed for her. The stranger reveals himself and is soon joined by cossacks; they do not believe that the woman is a peasant's wife. They beat Sergei but he does not betray her. The two are rescued by White cavalry. The woman is in fact the Countess Alexandrova. In Novokursk, the countess stays with the rich Gaidaroff family. When Sergei leaves hospital, he goes to see his "friend". The countess begrudgingly provides a job in the household. Sergei is exposed to the revolutionary talk of Ivan, a servant. When the Whites leave town to counter an attack, the Reds are free to act... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

13 August 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terror  »

Box Office


$187,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ivan - the Gatekeeper: [to Sergei] Why does the Captain get kisses, while you get lashes?
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Referenced in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

MOCKERY (Benjamin Christensen, 1927) **
18 April 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This was my first of Christensen's few American films (of which, alas, even fewer have survived) but it was the 17th Chaney vehicle that I've watched – and, unfortunately, it's quite possibly the worst! What could have been an intriguing collaboration between a master film-maker and an unparalleled character actor – both specialists in the fantasy genre – was wasted on this turgid melodrama set during the Russian Revolution.

The film's all-too-typical plot for a Chaney vehicle deals with a simpleton's unrequited love for a fugitive aristocrat (Barbara Bedford) whom he aids; she repays Chaney by making him a servant in her household but she has herself fallen for dashing cavalry officer Ricardo Cortez, who's happy to oblige – much to Chaney's dismay. The latter is enflamed with the spirit of revolution by another servant in Bedford's employ (played by familiar rotund character actor Charles Puffy), resulting in a rather lengthy and unintentionally funny sequence in which Chaney gives vent to his contemptuous opinion of the aristocrats. The busy third act sees Chaney lecherously pursue Bedford (once again at the instigation of Puffy), after which he comes to his senses and rebels against his 'pal', but Bedford forgives him after she sees again the whip-lashes Chaney had taken for her sake earlier on!

Unfortunately, there's little of genuine interest here (apart from Chaney and Bedford, who's quite good) and the film falls especially short when pitted against the contemporaneous masterpieces of Soviet cinema; another American production of the time which deals with the same events is the John Barrymore vehicle, TEMPEST (1928), which I have on VHS...and which, I guess, I should get around to watching sooner rather than later (especially since Barrymore – like Chaney himself – is one of my all-time favorite actors). Besides, I still need to pick up several Chaney films on DVD, namely THE WICKED DARLING (1919)/VICTORY (1919), NOMADS OF THE NORTH (1920; coupled with THE SHOCK [1923], which I already own on VHS), OUTSIDE THE LAW (1920)/SHADOWS (1922) and OLIVER TWIST (1922)/THE LIGHT OF FAITH (1922)...

By the way, for some crazy reason, on the print I watched the film is accompanied by a warbly rendition of John Williams' rousing score for STAR WARS (1977)!! It felt so distractingly out of place that I turned the sound off completely and watched the film…er…silent!!

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