In 19th century Russia,the idealistic officer Chernov is appointed chief of the Imperial Guard by the Empress Catherine the Great and navigates between the diplomacy of Grand Chancellor Nicolai Liyitch and the plots of the generals.
In a Swiss Village in 1806, the fiery Marcus and the local clergyman's niece Ciglia are passionately in love. Unfortunately, after getting drunk during a celebration, Marcus is seduced by his aggressive admirer Pia, who uses the encounter to force him into marrying her. Heart-broken, Ciglia tries to forget him by marrying her own persistent admirer, Lorenz. Able to be faithful in deed but not thought, the two pine for each other, inspiring jealousy in their respective spouses. And once Lorenz decides to find a way to force Marcus out of town for good, it seems the relationship between Marcus and Ciglia can only end in tragedy. Written by
It has only been in recent years that some of Ernst Lubitsch's silent films have become available on video. They prove that "the man with the golden touch" certainly had it before his more famous films of the 30's and 40's. I was unfamiliar with ETERNAL LOVE until this VHS/DVD incarnation and based on the few reviews I had seen I wasn't expecting much. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found myself totally captivated. I thought the four principals all gave fine performances (especially John Barrymore) and the photography (shot in the Canadian Rockies) was some of the best I've seen in an American silent film. The ending ,while not unexpected, still managed to have a terrific impact. Of the 3 Lubitsch silents I have seen (THE STUDENT PRINCE IN OLD HEIDELBERG and THE MARRIAGE CIRCLE are the other 2), this one tops the list. My thanks to the UCLA Film and Television Archive and to Milestone Films for making it available on video.
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