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We Live Again (1934)

 |  Drama  |  1 November 1934 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 322 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 8 critic

Nekhlyudov, a Russian nobleman serving on a jury, discovers that the young girl on trial, Katusha, is someone he once seduced and abandoned and that he himself bears responsibility for ... See full summary »

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(screen adaptation), (screen adaptation), 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Katusha Maslova
...
Jane Baxter ...
Missy Kortchagin
...
Prince Kortchagin
...
Gregory Simonson
...
Aunt Marie
Gwendolyn Logan ...
Aunt Sophia
Jessie Ralph ...
Matrona Pavlovna
Leonid Kinskey ...
Simon Kartinkin (as Leonid Kinsky)
Dale Fuller ...
Eugenia Botchkova
Morgan Wallace ...
The Colonel
Crauford Kent ...
Schonbock (as Craufurd Kent)
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Storyline

Nekhlyudov, a Russian nobleman serving on a jury, discovers that the young girl on trial, Katusha, is someone he once seduced and abandoned and that he himself bears responsibility for reducing her to crime. He sets out to redeem her and himself in the process. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Drama

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Release Date:

1 November 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Resurrection  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Rereleased in 1944 under Tolstoy's original title, "Resurrection." See more »

Connections

Version of Resurrection (1918) See more »

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User Reviews

 
WE LIVE AGAIN (Rouben Mamoulian, 1934) ***
14 March 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Having started my Easter marathon with a Fredric March title, I decided to follow it up with all his as-yet-unwatched costumers (which are not necessarily epics!) in my collection. This was one of a score of adaptations of the Leo Tolstoy classic "Resurrection": tellingly, 19 of them were made in a six-decade span (between 1909 – a D.W. Griffith one- reeler available on "You Tube"! – and 1968) but only once, a 2001 made- for-TV production directed by the Taviani Brothers, since then! It is only the second I have watched and own (the other being 1937's THE STRAITS OF LOVE AND HATE by one of my favourite auteurs, Kenji Mizoguchi, which I had frankly forgotten was inspired by the source material in question!). Actually, I also recorded the 1958 German rendition off Italian TV some time back – but have been unable to track down the VHS in time to make a comparison! Another that involved a notable film-maker was Marcel L'Herbier's, dating from 1923. For the record, director Edwin Carewe alone made two movies – a Silent in 1927 and a Talkie in 1931 (itself backed by a simultaneously-shot Spanish- language version!), all retaining the original title – which makes one wonder why it was deemed necessary to have so many Hollywood takes of it in close proximity!!

Anyway, it is worth noting that this was Fredric March's second and last collaboration with Rouben Mamoulian after the superlative, Oscar-winning DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1931): incidentally, the supporting cast here also includes Edgar Norton and Halliwell Hobbes from that horror film milestone! Besides, the director would helm three efforts in a row starring foreign divas – namely German Marlene Dietrich in THE SONG OF SONGS, Swede Greta Garbo in QUEEN Christina (both 1933) and Russian Anna Sten in the picture under review. In fact, the latter was movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn's answer to the other two (contracted to Paramount and MGM respectively) but, despite a trio of good pictures made in quick succession – the others being Dorothy Arzner's NANA (1934) and King Vidor's THE WEDDING NIGHT (1935) – she did not quite acquire their legendary status (perhaps because her looks were too close to Dietrich's?)! And, having mentioned both March and Garbo, the former would return to Tolstoy territory when playing Vronsky to the latter's ANNA KARENINA (1935) – whereas he was somehow never paired with Dietrich…

After this lengthy intro, I will get to the subject at hand: given the Russian setting, the film (co-designed by Richard Day – also responsible for March's recently-viewed THE AFFAIRS OF CELLINI, from the same year – and lensed by the renowned Gregg Toland) impressively evokes the golden age of Soviet cinema in its overpowering visuals and general ambiance, which extends to painstaking pastoral and religious rites (there were, in fact, a few too many of these for my liking…since they threatened to engulf an essentially thin, hackneyed and melodramatic plot line!); for what it is worth, both Leslie Halliwell and Leonard Maltin rate this a lowly * and ** respectively. March is a nobleman and Sten a servant-girl in his family's household (which staff comprises Jessie Ralph, also from the afore-mentioned CELLINI): in spite of their class difference, they grew up together and, as per his Socialist leanings, he now considers her an equal. However, tradition binds him to a military career – so he only returns home during Summer; on one of these occasions, he takes his affection towards her a little too far and, after going back, she discovers to be pregnant – his aunts (his sole surviving kin), refusing to believe their nephew had anything to do with her condition, summarily dismiss her! Predictably, she goes on a downward path from then on and becomes a woman of the streets (not that we ever see any of her experiences). Still, with the passage of time, March too (who goes from clean-shaven to sporting a pencil moustache and, finally, a goatee) has not only forgotten all about her (and taken up with magistrate C. Aubrey Smith's daughter instead) but replaced his former idealistic beliefs with a hedonistic lifestyle more attuned to his dashing uniform (at one point shown alighting his cigarette with the cover of the very book that had informed his revolutionary fervour)! Interestingly, its author – played by Sam Jaffe – turns up towards the end as a political prisoner.

When we next meet the heroine, she is in a courtroom – accused of poisoning a 'client', which she thought was merely sleeping powder, at the behest of her thieving 'accomplices' (including Leonid Kinskey) – presided over by Smith and on which March himself is serving as a juror! When a technical error in the formulation of the verdict condemns her to five years hard labour in Siberia (with the ubiquitous Charles Middleton as overseer), March moves heaven and earth in the attempt to have the sentence revoked but, when this fails, he realizes that his destiny is with Sten (undergoing a spiritual rebirth, which is what the title refers to) – since he blames her waywardness on his own callous behaviour – and divides his legacy equally among the vassals working the estate. While this self-sacrifice presumably forms the core of Tolstoy's original work, it does not really convince in the screen transposition (co-written by Preston Sturges{!} and famed playwright Maxwell Anderson); if anything, it must have presented the male star with a case of déjà vu in view of the very similar conclusion to Cecil B. De Mille's THE SIGN OF THE CROSS (1932)…and, as it happens, up next in my March/Easter schedule is his other film for that flamboyant director i.e. THE BUCCANEER (1938)!


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