Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In ... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Edward Everett Horton
Hank McHenry and Johnny Marshall work on a road crew for the power company. In a freak accident Hank is injured and is promoted to foreman of the gang. One night Hank and Johnny meet Fay ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
On the eve of World War II (1939) English officer Ralph Denistoun is in Nazi Germany on an espionage mission to recover a poison gas formula from Prof. Krosigk. He is helped by Lydia and ... See full summary »
Bijou, a saloon singer with a reputation for inciting brouhahas, is one of several deportees from a south Pacific island to arrive at another U.S. protectorate, Boni Komba. She becomes very... See full summary »
Country orphan Lily goes to Berlin to stay with her tippling aunt, and soon meets Richard, handsome sculptor across the street. Persuaded half-reluctantly to pose for Richard, her physical ... See full summary »
Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't... See full summary »
Because he can pass as a Russian, A.J. Fothergill is recruited to spy on the revolutionary movement in Russia in 1913. He becomes imprisoned in Siberia, as a revolutionary, until the 1917 uprisings. Amid the turmoil of the civil war between the red and white armies, he tries to flee Russia along with the beautiful Countess Alexandra. Written by
During the bathtub scene, Marlene Dietrich slipped on a bar of soap, falling naked and spreadeagled before cast and crew. Ever the professional, she picked herself up, laughed and continued shooting. See more »
When Robert Donat enters the train station with the stationmaster, the shadows of the camera and crew are clearly visible. See more »
Going Back In Time Turns Out To Be Time Well Spent
As usual, seeing this film via TCM or Turner Classic Movies was a most enjoyable experience. The subtext of "Knight ..." is that every known revolution is an entirely messy affair. Entirely.
The story is told in a rather straight-forward fashion and for most fans it will only augment their affection for, or resentment against, the female lead -- Marlene Dietrich. Like certain other stars of the cinema in the 1930s, she is always really just Marlene, take it or leave it alone. It works well in this mad adventure of a Russian Countess who awakes one morning to discover her world has crumbled.
The scene where she is confronted by a mob of revolutionaries, on her own beautifully manicured lawn, and without so much as one member of her staff there to speak up for her, is amazingly effective. It works and it works well in a fairly understated and yet unambiguous way.
Robert Donat, always one of my personal favorites, does yeoman's work.
He's the British secret agent who speaks Russian like a native and is clever enough to adapt to almost any situation. He is brilliant in this role ( and it is understood after the fact that Dietrich insisted that he not be replaced when he suffered a bad asthma attack as the production was just getting under way ).
All these decades later, those of us who are not so conversant with the historical basis of the Russian Revolution will probably be shocked by the casual slaughters that both the Reds, and the Whites indulged in.
There's much to recommend in this fine film and the Russian music that gets salted in here and there is tremendously emotional and workable.
Flat out, I really liked this rickety old movie and I could have used another fifteen minutes of Dietrich and Donat, no problem !! Eight of ten stars for the intrigue and this beguiling romance.
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