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Knight Without Armor (1937)
"Knight Without Armour" (original title)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 633 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 5 critic

After two years as a Czarist British agent posing as a Russian Commissar, he rescues a Russian countess from her Bolshevik captors.

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(novel), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Countess Alexandra Vladinoff
...
Ainsley J. Fothergill aka Peter Ouronov
Irene Vanbrugh ...
Duchess of Zorin
Herbert Lomas ...
Gen. Gregor Vladinoff
Austin Trevor ...
Col. Adraxine
Basil Gill ...
Axelstein
David Tree ...
Alexis Maronin
John Clements ...
Poushkoff
Frederick Culley ...
Stanfield
Laurence Hanray ...
Forrester
Dorice Fordred ...
The Maid
Franklin Kelsey ...
Tomsky
Laurence Baskcomb ...
Commissar (as Lawrence Baskcomb)
Hay Petrie ...
Station Master
Miles Malleson ...
Drunken Red Commissar (as Miles Malieson)
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Storyline

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 Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The woman of flame -- the man of steel -- together !


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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

23 July 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Knight Without Armor  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem quoted by Fothergill, aka Ouronov, is "Prospice" by Robert Browning. The one quoted by the Countess is "I have outlasted all desire" (1821) by Alexander Pushkin. See more »

Goofs

When Donat enters train stain with the stationmaster, shadows of camera and crew are clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Ainsley J. Fothergill aka Peter Ouronov: [the darkness of the gulag is making him lose his mind. Shouting] Night... night... night! Night all the time! Ceaseless night! Nothing but night all over the earth! The sun must be dead! Everything must be dead! We're the last things alive!
See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: La monnaie de l'absolu (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Alexandra's Song
Music by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Shared Experience Of Escape
12 August 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Knight Without Armour finds Robert Donat as a British agent, fluent in Russian, sent to spy on the revolutionary movement even before World War I started. Such things were done I'm sure as farsighted folks in the Foreign Office probably saw Europe headed for general war and Russia would have been the United Kingdom's ally in that case.

Donat plays his part all too well, he's captured as a revolutionary and sent to Siberia and spends most of World War I there. Whatever else it does it certainly helps his cover. The original revolution that brought Kerensky to power frees the political prisoners and Donat now has to try and make his way home.

In a parallel story aristocrat Marlene Dietrich gets the shock of her life when one day she wakes up and her servants have fled because the Russian Revolution has come to town. From hero{ine} to zero overnight, she's got to get out of a country that's now shooting her kind on general principles.

They become allies of convenience and of course the shared experience of escape forges a romance as well. Both turn out to be pretty clever at taking advantages of breaks as they are captured a couple of times during the film.

Robert Donat was one of the few of her leading men to not fall under Dietrich's amorous sway. But they became good friends and according to a recent biography of Marlene, Dietrich helped Donat with a special breathing technique she learned about to help control his asthma. Donat suffered from asthma all his life and it eventually killed him.

The film is based on a lesser known work of British novelist James Hilton who also wrote Random Harvest and Lost Horrizon and of course Goodbye Mr. Chips for which Donat won his Academy Award for. It seems as though Hilton wrote his books with either Robert Donat or Ronald Colman in mind for the screen, they played his heroes so well.

On screen Knight Without Armour suits the images and talents of Robert Donat and Marlene Dietrich well and fans of both will appreciate it.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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