Ivan Mouskojine -- however you choose to transliterate his name -- was a fine movie actor. Starting out in Tsarist Russia, he fled and made a career for himself in France and Germany.
One can certainly seem why. Here, playing "The King of the Swindlers" he works his way from Paris to New York with a great deal of confidence and a style of acting that was perfected during the silent era, in which you can see the emotions wash across his face -- and, playing a confidence man, he manages to impart two or three levels to his emotional range.
The director of this film, Viktor Tourjansky, was another Russian émigré. One would hardly expect something that has some exquisitely light moments from a German film directed by and starring Russians, but, despite the terrifying ending, when her fate catches up with bad girl Brigitte Helm, it works, running a full emotional range. I credit this, in no small part, to a dazzling, fast-moving camera helmed by Carl Hoffman. Some of the shots in the serious sections may remind you of Lang -- hardly surprising, since Hoffman had worked with Lang on such works as MABUSE and Fraulein Helm's screen debut was as Maria in METROPOLIS.
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