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 shooting Robert Donat had a severe attack of asthma and the film was delayed for almost a month. The producers wanted to replace him but Marlene Dietrich refused. See more »
When Peter Ouronov buries Alexandra in the fallen leaves, Alexandra is facing up. When he returns, she comes out from the leaves facing down. See more »
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!
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That was Jacques Feyder's only English movie.He had just done his major works " Le Grand Jeu" "Pension mimosas" and "La Kermesse Heroique" and "Knight without armour" in spite of obvious qualities cannot compare with them.
This is a tormented love story between a commissar (Donat) and a Russian countess of the old Russian aristocracy (Dietrich)who try to get to the border .The plot sometimes recalls a "Doctor Zhivago" in miniature.
Best scenes ,in my opinion,are to be found in the first part: Dietrich,walking across her desirable mansion,all dressed in white ,finding that her staff has left home and joined the revolution;the same,facing a sinister-looking pack of Reds in her park.
The mad station master,ceaselessly repeating that a train is coming into the station (madness was also present in Feyder's former works :"Le Grand jeu "was a good example of folie à deux )
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