In Czarist Russia, a peasant officer, resented by the aristocrats, falls in love with a princess.

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, (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

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(titles), (story) (as V.I. Nemirovich-Dantchenko) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Princess Tamara
...
Sgt. Bulba
Boris de Fast ...
The Peddler
...
The General
Ullrich Haupt ...
The Captain
Michael Visaroff ...
The Guard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fred DeSilva
Jack Manick
Serge Temoff
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Storyline

In the final days of Czarist Russia, a peasant is raised from the ranks to Lieutenant. The other officers, aristocrats all, resent him, and make his life difficult. He falls in love with a princess, who spurns him. When he is caught in her room, he is stripped of his rank and thrown into prison. Then comes the Red Terror, and the tables are turned. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

27 May 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Tempestade  »

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(DVD)

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|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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No, Not Shakespeare's
28 July 2003 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

1928 was a year for Russian Revolution stories in Hollywood movies. Probably the best was von Sternberg's THE LAST COMMAND with Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent and William Powell giving great performances. This piece has great performances from John Barrymore and Louis Wollheim, but the female lead, Camillia Horn, producer Joseph Schenck's mistress, gives a performance that is largely composed of staring haughtily. Well, it's the way her part is written, I suppose in this melodramatic tripe. She despises Barrymore, she loves Barrymore, she despises Barrymore, then comes the revolution....

Even uncredited directing by Lewis Milestone couldn't help. Horn can't have been a bad actress with a sixty-year career in Germany, but she made this movie and the stinker ETERNAL LOVE in Hollywood, again with Barrymore under Lubitsch's direction and returned to Germany. Maybe she stared haughtily at Schenck too often.

What is worthwhile in this film is the late silent camerawork, courtesy of Charles Rosher. The late 1920s produced camerawork that moved about like a soap bubble on the breath of imagination. The advent of sound tied it down to a neurotic adoration of the still shot that it did not begin to recover from for a quarter of a century.

But this picture features camerawork that is astonishing. The party sequence, is balletic; the prison sequences trap you in bars of darkness and Rosher backlights everyone with a star halo that still takes your breath away, even in the scratchy prints that survive. This is one every fan fan needs to watch: not for the story, which is awful, not for the performances, some of which are excellent, but for the pictures. Look at every single frame. You won't regret it.


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